The Akron Zoo, begun in 1953 as the Akron Children's Zoo, is a small, family-friendly park, located just west of downtown Akron. The 50-acre zoo is home to over 700 animals, including the endangered Humboldt penguins, jaguar, and the elusive snow leopard. The zoo is committed to education and conservation and is one of just 211 worldwide zoos, designated as a world conservation zoo.
The 50-acre Akron Zoo sits on land donated to the city in 1900 by George and Ann Perkins, heirs of the city's founder. The zoo started out as the Akron Children's Zoo in 1953 with Mother Goose-themed exhibits using live animals. The zoo steadily expanded over the years, adding the Paul Belcher Aviary in 1978 and the Tiger Vally and Asian Trail in 1998 and 1999. Today, the zoo features more than 700 animals from all over the globe.
Exhibits at the Akron Zoo include "Legends of the Wild", a natural habitat featuring 380 animals, including the Andean condor, the snow leopard, and the jaguar. Visitors to the zoo can also explore "Komodo Kingdom", featuring the Komodo dragon, Galapagos tortoises, and Chinese alligators, and "Penguin Point", home to the endangered Humboldt penguins.
In addition to the regular exhibits, the zoo has a train that runs throughout the park, pony rides for kids, a granary where visitors can feed the (tame) animals, and a penguin feed. Some of these activities carry a nominal extra fee.
The Akron Zoo hosts a full schedule of special events, designed to educate visitors, young and old, about animals and preserving nature. Highlights include the Mother's Day Garden Party, Kids Pajama Parties with the animals, the Senior Safari, and the Halloween "Boo at the Zoo".
Visting the Akron Zoo:
The Akron Zoo is open year-round and is easily accessible from downtown Akron and greater Cleveland. The park has several food concessions, offering pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches, veggie burgers, and other snacks. You may also bring food into the park and there are picnic facilities available on a "first-come, first-serve" basis. The guest services counter has complimentary wheelchairs and strollers and motorized carts available for rent.
Hours and Admission:
The Akron Zoo is open year-round, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Summer (May - October)hours are 10am - 5pm. Summer admission is $10 for adults, $8.50 for seniors, $7 for children 2-14, and free for children under 2. Summer parking is $2 per car.
Winter (November - April) hours are 11am - 4pm. Winter admission is $6 per person and parking is $2 per car. Zoo members receive free parking and admission all year.
The Akron Zoological Park
500 Edgewood Ave.
Akron, OH 44307
Hotels Near the Akron Zoo:
Accommodations near the Akron Zoo include the modern Radisson Inn (check rates), near Akron University, featuring a roof-top pool and in-room Jacuzzi tubs, as well as other Akron area hotels.
(last updated 7-9-13)