Zoo Tips

See below for a few tips that will make your summer visit to the Nashville Zoo a happy and memorable one for yourself and for others.

  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Get there early – it opens at 9:00 a.m.
  • Bring bug spray and use it…flies bite and so do mosquitoes.
  • Use sun screen for children – especially if they play on the AWESOME playground.
  • Bring a companion – this will help you walk slower and take more time to enjoy.
  • Stay on the paved path.
  • Don’t lay anything down.  Tether everything to your person. No – it’s not that someone will steal it.  You will forget you set it down and walk away and will have no idea where you left it.  And, you will cause worry and concern for others who see it and are too honest to pick it up and too concerned about you remembering and returning to get it to take it to Lost and Found for you.
  • Staying on the paved path will keep you and your wee ones out of the POISON OAK. (or is it POISON IVY?)
  • Stay hydrated – bring a water bottle.
  • If you are not familiar with the layout of the zoo – keep a zoo map with you and consult it. The important things (food and restrooms) are clearly marked.
  • The giraffe compound is the “end of the line” so to speak and the water fountain nearby doesn’t work – make sure your water bottle has water in it.
  • Go to the Lorikeet enclosure first thing in the morning if you want to interact with them – otherwise the fans that cool the enclosure keep them high in the trees and with their bellies already full of nectar they will show you no interest.
  • The hotter the day/afternoon the less likely you will be to see the animals – they will seek their cool “dens” or be hidden in the shade.
  • Keep up with your children – I watched a little girl run into the kangaroo enclosure ahead of her parents and was literally “caught ” (as in snatched up) two feet from the kanga she intended to “pet.”
  • Cover up, girls, and keep things G rated – no one wants (or needs) to see your private parts hanging out of the rear of your shorts or peeking over the top of your shirt. Believe me – what is often accentuated is not always as positive as you think.
  • Drink water – often – a lot of it and make sure those in your care do as well.
  • Drinking water often will necessitate a visit to the “facilities” – know where you are and where they are (you’re never very far from one).
  • If you choose to use the restroom facilities – clean up after yourself.  Ladies, if you choose to squat and not sit, remember…the next person who follows you might not.  NO one wants to sit in your dribble.
  • Let your wee ones wee first – you’re a big girl…hold it.
  • Dads, there are “Family” restrooms available if you’re concerned about upsetting guys in the “Men’s Room” by bringing your girls in with you.
  • There are FOUR elephants even though the signs give names and descriptions of three.
  • And, there are rabbits in the elephant compound!
  • The train is small and the ride short, but the kids absolutely LOVE it – some adults (like me) do, too.
  • Take time to see the reptiles/amphibians/fish…go slow…go s-l-o-w…so much to see.
  • Be patient and be nice.
  • Be considerate of the animals.
  • Don’t miss the Croft Home and the gardens behind it.
  • There are ample benches scattered along the paved paths (many are located in shaded areas).
  • If you have a question or need assistance, don’t be shy. The zoo keepers and workers are friendly and eager to assist in any way they can.
  • The zoo food is good quality even if it is “fast food” and the servings we received were man-sized.
  • If you want to see IT ALL – plan to stay the entire day.  Seriously.  I’m not kidding. Or, get an annual membership and go often. 😉
  • The Nashville Zoo is family friendly and family oriented. It’s a great place to hang out with your kids (whatever their ages).
  • The zoo brings back memories – be prepared to enjoy!
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