There are several different sections on 125 acres to visit at the Phoenix Zoo. The Arizona Trail, the Africa Trail, the Tropics Trail, the Discovery Trail and the African Savanna are the major areas, and there are many different animals to see and learn about. When you aren't looking at gila monsters and giraffes and raptors and elephants, you can take a pedal boat ride in the lake, or enjoy a snack, or take a leisurely ride around the zoo on the Safari Shuttle.
The youngest Zoo patrons might be happy spending their entire day at Harmony Farm. The Red Barn Petting Zoo is home to several animals that the children can touch. There are playgrounds, and, in the summer, a splash areas.
My one Phoenix Zoo Gripe: I love the Phoenix Zoo, but my one complaint involves an exhibit called the Forest of Uco. The endangered Spectacled Bear is the major attraction there. There are two bears. It's a long walk, and it is deliberately designed to make it a private habitat for the bears, totally fenced with vines on the fences and wild bushes around the perimeter. People will wander around that enclosure for quite a while trying to get a glimpse of a bear. It's just too hard to find them, and on the occasions that I do, it's a bit anticlimactic. Now that I've seen them, I skip the Forest of Uco when I go to the Zoo. I'd rather spend my time elsewhere -- there's so much more to see and do.
Phoenix Zoo Tip: You may bring coolers, ice chests, and your own food, but no alcohol or glass. You may bring your own roller blades or bike to use while visiting the Zoo, but no skateboards or scooters. Shoes are required. The following items are also not permitted at the Zoo: balloons, balls, frisbees, radios, whistles, weapons (real or toys), knives. Smoking is prohibited at the Phoenix Zoo.
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