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11 Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Nashville Zoo

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Are you planning a trip to Nashville and looking for a fun and educational activity for the whole family? If so, you should definitely check out the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, one of the top attractions in the city. The Nashville Zoo is not just a place to see animals, but also a place to learn about their conservation, history, and culture. Whether you want to feed a giraffe, pet a kangaroo, or explore a historic plantation, the Nashville Zoo has something for everyone. In this blog post, we will share 11 essential things to know before visiting the Nashville Zoo, so you can make the most of your experience and have a memorable day.

Let’s get started without wasting any time!

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Some Wild Facts about the Nashville Zoo 

  • The Nashville Zoo has more than 6,000 animals of 339 species, including rare and endangered ones like clouded leopards, red pandas, and giant anteaters. 
  • The Nashville Zoo offers many interactive and immersive experiences, such as feeding giraffes, petting kangaroos, riding a zip line, and exploring a replica of a Peruvian village. 
  • The Nashville Zoo is involved in various conservation and research projects, such as the Clouded Leopard Consortium, the Giant Galliwasp Project, and the Hellbender Salamander Project. 
  • The Nashville Zoo hosts several special events throughout the year, such as Eggstravaganzoo, Ghouls at Grassmere, Zoolumination, and Brew at the Zoo. 

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When to Go and When to Avoid The Nashville Zoo

  • The best time to go is in the morning, when the animals are most active and the crowds are less. The zoo opens at 9 am every day. 
  • Try to avoid visiting during the hot and humid summer months when animals are less active. 
  • The busiest days are usually weekends, holidays, and school breaks. If you want to avoid long lines and large groups, you may want to visit on a weekday or in the off-season. 
  • The zoo is closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. It may also close for adverse weather or special events. Before you visit the zoo, check the website or social media for updates.  

Here is the List of 11 Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Nashville Zoo

1. Book your spot online!

To make sure everyone has a great and safe time at the zoo, you need to book your visit online before you go. It’s simple! Just pick the day and time you want to come, pay for your tickets online, and you’ll get an email with a unique code. When you get to the zoo, scan the code at the gate. This way, the zoo can make sure only a few people are there at a time. So, before you head to the zoo, remember to book your visit online.

2. Check the Weather and Dress accordingly

The Nashville Zoo is open year-round. But the weather can be different, and some animals may not be on exhibit if the weather is too hot, cold, rainy, or snowy. Before you go, check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. Bring items like hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and umbrellas to stay comfortable in the sun or rain. 

3. Bring your Food and Drinks, or enjoy the Zoo’s options

The Nashville Zoo allows visitors to bring their own food and drinks, as long as they are not in glass containers or have alcohol. You can enjoy your picnic at one of the many tables or benches throughout the zoo, or rent a pavilion for larger groups. You can also buy food and drinks at the Zoofari Cafe, which offers pizza, burgers, salads, wraps, and more. It’s open every day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, so you won’t be hungry while Visiting Nashville Zoo.

4. Download the Zoo’s Mobile App for a seamless visit  

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Get the zoo’s free app on your phone to make your visit even more relaxed. The app has a map to show you around, a schedule of animal shows and fun things to do, and information about the animals and exhibits.Use the app to scan special codes all over the zoo to learn more about the animals and how we can help them. It’s like having a zoo guide right in your pocket! So, before you go, grab the zoo app and let the adventure begin. 

5. Explore the newest and most complex exhibit: Expedition Peru

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A super cool thing at the zoo is the Expedition Peru. It’s the biggest and fanciest one, and it’s all about the Andean bear, which is a scarce bear. But that’s not all you can also check out other animals from the Andes, like guinea pigs, macaws, and pudus. The exhibit is made to look like where these animals actually live, with big rocks, waterfalls, and caves. So, when you visit, don’t miss the chance to see these fantastic animals and their incredible home! It’s like taking a trip to the Andes right at the zoo.

6. Watch the Soaring Eagle zip line 

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If you are feeling adventurous, you can try the Soaring Eagle zip line, which takes you on a 110-foot-high, 700-foot-long ride over the zoo. You can enjoy the panoramic views of the animals and the city skyline, and experience the thrill of flying like a bird. The zip line costs $8 per person, and you must be at least 42 inches tall to ride.

7. Visit the Historic Grassmere Home 

The Nashville Zoo is located on a historic property that was once a slave-owning plantation, and the 1810 Grassmere Home is open for guided tours. You can learn about the history and culture of the area, and see how the Croft family lived in the 19th and 20th centuries. The tours are free with zoo admission, but you need to sign up at the Guest Services booth when you arrive.  

8. Shop for Souvenirs 

The Nashville Zoo has two gift shops where you can find souvenirs, such as plush animals, t-shirts, hats, mugs, magnets, and more. You can also adopt an animal, which helps to support the zoo’s conservation and education programs. You will receive a certificate, a photo, and a fact sheet of your adopted animal, and some packages include a plush animal or a behind-the-scenes tour. 

9. Attend the Special Events 

The Nashville Zoo hosts several special events throughout the year, such as Eggstravaganzoo, Ghouls at Grassmere, Zoolumination, and Brew at the Zoo. These events offer unique experiences, such as egg hunts, trick-or-treating, lantern festivals, and beer tasting, and may require separate tickets, have different hours, or affect the regular zoo operations. You can check the zoo’s website for the event calendar and information.

10. Support the Zoo’s conservation efforts

The zoo isn’t just about animals—it’s a hub for supporting their conservation, too! Join in by donating, adopting an animal, or becoming a member. You can learn more about these projects on the zoo’s website or at the exhibits, and see how the zoo is helping to protect and restore wildlife and habitats. 

11. Enjoy the Interactive experiences 

The Nashville Zoo offers many interactive and immersive experiences that let you get closer to the animals and learn more about them. You can feed a giraffe, pet a kangaroo, ride a zip line, explore a replica of a Peruvian village, and more. These activities may have additional fees, limited availability, or age restrictions, so you may want to check the zoo’s website for details and reservations. 

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You Should Stay at These Best Hotels Near Nashville Zoo 

Explore the finest hotels near the zoo, providing comfort, convenience, and quality. Check out some top picks for accommodations near Nashville Zoo in Nashville:

  • Best Western Plus Sunrise Inn Nashville: This is a 3-star hotel close to public transport and the airport. It offers complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking. It has good reviews from travelers who liked its breakfast, room size, and location.
  • Omni Nashville Hotel: This 4-star hotel boasts a rooftop pool, spa, and live music, earning stellar reviews for its outstanding service, prime location, and top-notch amenities. Ideal for those seeking the best hotels near Nashville Zoo.
  • 21C Museum Hotel Nashville: This is a 4-star hotel that doubles as a contemporary art museum. It has a restaurant, a bar, and a fitness center. It has excellent reviews from travelers who enjoy its art, design, and food.
  • Red Roof PLUS+ Nashville Fairgrounds Discover a stress-free stay near downtown Nashville, where you get free Wi-Fi, parking, and a pet-friendly setting. Dive into the lively scene of live music, museums, and tasty food. 

Conclusion

You’ve just learned 11 essential things to know before visiting the Nashville Zoo, one of the top attractions in the city. Whether you want to see rare and endangered animals, enjoy interactive and immersive experiences, or explore a historic plantation, the Nashville Zoo has something for everyone. Don’t forget to make a reservation, check the weather, plan your route, and attend the special events. The Nashville Zoo is more than just a zoo, it’s a place to learn, have fun, and support conservation. Ready to have a wild time? Book your tickets today and visit the Nashville Zoo! 

FAQs

How long does it take to visit all the attractions at Nashville Zoo?

The time it takes to visit all attractions at Nashville Zoo can vary based on individual preferences and pace, but on average, visitors often spend around 3 to 4 hours exploring the zoo.

Are there free things to do at Nashville Zoo?

While general admission requires a fee, some free activities include exploring the zoo’s grounds, encountering wildlife in designated areas, and attending scheduled animal shows and educational presentations.

How much does it cost to visit the Nashville Zoo?

The cost of visiting the Nashville zoo ranges from free for children under 2, to $12-$22 for children (2-12), to $16-$26 for adults and teens (13+).

What are some of the best restaurants near Nashville Zoo?

Some recommended restaurants near Nashville Zoo include RH Courtyard Restaurant, Quills Cafe & Grill, and Screaming Gibbon Pizza Kitchen.

What do you wear to the Nashville Zoo?

Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for walking, considering the weather. Bring layers for temperature changes, and remember essentials like hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.


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