There are tons of fun and educational experiences at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.  Between the animal shows, animal keeper chats, and animal interactions, there’s plenty to do, see, and learn about during your fun-filled day at the Zoo!  If you would like to build your own schedule, download our mobile app and plan your day!

Seasonal Suggestions

Summer

Memorial Day – Labor Day

Itinerary Option A

Moe Hanging Out9:10am – Sloth Keeper Chat
Begin your day in the P&G Discovery Forest with Moe, the two-toed sloth! Learn all about how she preserves her energy through inactivity and slow movement, and see if you can spot her lounging on a tree branch! With only a small amount of muscle mass, two-toed sloths are very light-weight, which allows them to climb on to branches thick and thin. After learning more from the keeper, take a look at the Discovery Forest’s various plants and their importance through a multi-sensory experience designed for family fun!

2015-04-08 Peacock, Giraffes eating, Lion Cubs, Gladys 4169:30am – Giraffe Feeding
Marked with jagged spots, the Maasai Giraffe, also known as the Kilimanjaro Giraffe, is the largest subspecies of giraffe. As the tallest animals in the world, giraffes have a clear view of their surroundings on the African savanna. Start the morning off right by coming eye to eye with Cece and Jambo as they munch on lettuce right out of your hand!

2015-05-11 Zoo Meerkats Mona Gladys Bonobos 1 37010:00am –Meerkat Keeper Chat
Like other mongooses, meerkats spend the night in a burrow. In the early morning, they stand tall on their hind legs, exposing their bellies to the sun to warm up before the day’s foraging activities can begin. In this keeper chat, come see what the buzz is all about and watch as the meerkats work together to keep their mob safe! Living in groups of 30 or more, everyone pitches in to care for the pups, taking turns as babysitters and teachers while the others are out looking for food. Peer into the new meerkat exhibit as you learn more about these fascinating animals!

2015-04-08 African Dog Pups 16710:15am – African Painted Dog Keeper Chat
In this chat, you’ll learn all about our female painted dog, Imara, and the species in general.  With their unique patterns and pack-oriented mindset, the painted dogs are a great animal to see up close.  Watch the keepers train Imara right up against the viewing glass so you can see all kinds of different tricks and abilities.  It’s a great way to start off your day at the Zoo, up close to these very active animals!

florida manatee10:30am – Manatee Keeper Chat
Take a seat in front of the Zoo’s female manatees Betsy and Abigail.  While cooling down inside this exhibit, learn all about the manatee release program that the Zoo takes part in while watching these two manatees swim around, eat, and play!

After just learning all about manatees, why not ride one?  The Conservation Carousel is a short walk from Manatee Springs and with 32 animals to choose from, kids love the opportunity to ride the different animals that they’ve seen on their Zoo trip! 

cheetah running11:00am – Cheetah Encounter Show
See cheetahs do what they do best…run!! At the Cathryn Hilker Running Yard in the Africa exhibit. The cheetah plays an important role as a predator on the African savannah. The fastest animal on land, the cheetah can reach speeds up to 70 miles per hour over short distances. A sleek body, flexible backbone, long legs, non-retractable claws, and muscular tail assist the cheetah during high speed chases. Come see it for yourself!

polarbear11:30am – Polar Bear Keeper Chat
A polar bear playing with toys? Watch this keeper chat and see the Zoo’s polar bears Berit and Little One do just that and more!  These marine mammals will be up close while they swim around and interact with each other while you learn all sorts of new polar bear facts. 

Base Camp Cafe Cincinnati Zoo 1All that fun and walking around has probably put you in the mood for some lunch!  Check out the Zoo’s award winning Base Camp Café for a selection of different meals from burgers and salads to weekday daily specials.  With great food and an outstanding view of the Zoo’s Africa exhibit, you can’t go wrong with this combination at the Base Camp Café!

theater-300x201With still time between lunch and the next animal encounter, relax in the 4D Special-FX Theater for a short show.  Immerse yourself in a cinematic adventure that combines 3D projection with thrilling sensory effects such as wind, mist, snow, scents, and more. This one-of-a-kind experience is filled with excitement, stunning visuals, and all sorts of surprises

Your day at the Zoo isn’t over yet! With many, many more exhibits to see and many, many more animals to interact with, there’s no shortage of fun and adventure at the Cincinnati Zoo!

Itinerary Option B

base_smallBefore you kick off your afternoon at the Cincinnati Zoo, check out the Zoo’s award winning Base Camp Café for a selection of different meals from burgers and salads to weekday daily specials.  With great food and an outstanding view of the Zoo’s Africa exhibit, you can’t go wrong with this tasty lunchtime combination at the Base Camp Café!

cheetah_encounterNoon – Cheetah Encounter Show
See cheetahs do what they do best…run!! At the Cathryn Hilker Running Yard in the Africa exhibit. The cheetah plays an important role as a predator on the African savannah. The fastest animal on land, the cheetah can reach speeds up to 70 miles per hour over short distances. A sleek body, flexible backbone, long legs, non-retractable claws, and muscular tail assist the cheetah during high speed chases. Come see it for yourself!

Snake Animal Encounter12:45pm – Reptile Keeper Chat
Lizards, snakes, alligators, and turtles steal the spotlight while keepers talk about these reptiles with an educational and interactive touch.  This is always a kid’s favorite, since you’re more than likely to get a chance to touch a snake or a lizard.

turtle1:15pm – Galapagos Tortoise Encounter
With few natural predators and competitors for food, the Galápagos tortoise grew over time into the largest turtle in the world! Get up close and personal with the Cincinnati Zoo’s very own as you learn more about the unique history of the Galápagos tortoise and the introduced predators it faces today!

western lowland gorilla1:30pm – Gorilla Keeper Chat
Watch the gorilla family, led by silverback Jomo, climb through trees and swing on branches as they interact with one another and receive their afternoon snack.  Keepers do a great job informing the crowd about these endangered gorillas and all about their communication and interactions among their family.

09 A Elephant 01132:00pm – Asian Elephant Keeper Chat
At the Elephant Reserve, you can take a break and sit down in the shaded seating while learning some amazing facts.  You don’t really know how enormous elephants are until you see them up close.  The Zoo’s intelligent, emotional, and lovable female elephants are sure to make you want to learn more!

stop-in-the-name-of-puppy-love2:30pm – African Painted Dog Keeper Chat
In this chat, you’ll learn all about our female painted dog, Imara, and the species in general.  With their unique patterns and pack-oriented mindset, the painted dogs are a great animal to see up close.  Watch the keepers train Imara right up against the viewing glass so you can see all kinds of different tricks and abilities.  It’s a great way to start off your day at the Zoo, up close to these very active animals!

bird show3:00pm – Wings of Wonder Bird Show
Watch macaws, parrots, and eagles fly through the crowd and around the amphitheater along with a handful of other bird species call, mimic, and climb throughout the show.  This famous show is something you won’t want to miss on your Zoo adventure! **No shows on Mondays and Tuesdays

african penguins4:00pm – Penguin Keeper Chat
Learn from the best at the Wings of the World bird house! Did you know some penguins like warm weather? Learn all about the best dressed birds in this amazing keeper chat. #BirdsAreAwesome!

trainA family favorite is the Safari Train After eating lunch, the train station is right across from Base Camp Café, so having a ride around the center of the Zoo is a great way to relax while taking in more exhibits!

Your day at the Zoo isn’t over yet! With many, many more exhibits to see and many, many more animals to interact with, there’s no shortage of fun and adventure at the Cincinnati Zoo!


Blogger Tours

Road Trip USA by Kevin Richberg

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Insider’s Guide: Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Visit to The Cincinnati Zoo


Thane’s Special Tour of the Cincinnati Zoo

Zoo Director Thane Maynard has given hundreds of tours of the zoo over his 37 years here.  So here are his tips on maximizing your visit to the park.

Cheetah Encounter

cheetah_encounter

See the fastest runners in the world at their best.  Catch our Cheetah Encounter Show at the Cathryn Hilker Running Yard.

Wolf Woods

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Perhaps the best kept secret at the zoo, our Mexican wolves are great animals with a great conservation story to tell.

Blakely's Barnyard bonanza

barnyard bonanza

This Children’s Zoo show is hilariously fun and active, particularly for young families.

Wings of Wonder Bird Show

birdshow

The best bird show I have ever seen anywhere just completed its 31st season under trainer Gary Denzler.

World of the Insect

insect encounter

The Cincinnati Zoo’s Insectarium is home to the largest collection of living insects on Earth.

Gorilla World

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Our western lowland gorillas are one of the best exhibits any time of day. Simply great.

Base Camp Café

Base Camp Cafe Cincinnati Zoo 1

Sharing a meal on the deck overlooking our new Africa exhibit is hands down the best dining experience this side of the Serengeti.  Mix it up and try a zoo salad.

Passenger Pigeon Memorial

Passenger Pigeon Memorial

This 140 year old building houses a tribute to “Martha,” the last of her kind.

Sumatran Rhino

Harapan - Kathy Newton

The Cincinnati Zoo is the only place outside of Indonesia where you can see the rarest large mammal in the world.