Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

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3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH, USA

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens Reviews

WalterC WalterC
389 reviews
Nice zoo to visit, with a nice variety of animals Jul 31, 2015
Located north of downtown, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is considered the second oldest zoo in the US. A bus ride from downtown, passing by a university, you get off when you see a sign on a hillside. Then cross the street, and find a short path, which should lead you to crossing the bridge, to get to the zoo entrance.

Highlights of the zoo include…

1. Africa – the zoo’s newest addition, which has a lush landscape, with a variety of animals sharing it. Those animals include ostrich, impala, pelican, gazelle, and more. Separate enclosures for meerkats, painted dogs, lions, and giraffes.

2. Passenger Pigeon Memorial – a memorial to Martha, the last surviving passenger pigeon who died in 1914 at this very zoo. A nice exhibit on the species, and how it went from being really numerous to extinction. This is also where the last Carolina parakeet lived as well. Also, displays on animals that were saved from extinction.

3. Otto M. Budig Manatee Springs – a nice exhibition on the wildlife in Florida, with manatees, American alligators and more on display. And some interactive exhibits on the region.

4. Jungle Trails – a nice walkthrough the forest, with the trail taking you to separate buildings, for tropical Asian and African animals, with some animals outside along the way. Like the orangutans and colobus monkeys.

5. Variety of animals – there just seems to be a huge collection of animals, with a lot to see in the zoo. Including some rarities, like white lions, Indian rhinos, Asian elephants and Komodo dragons, along with a variety of birds in the World of the Wings building.

And some disappointments…

1. Overall layout of the zoo – while it is circular, I find it annoying to do some backtracking, as the entry and exit into sections seem to be really far apart.

2. Reptile House – very small collection of snakes and frogs, in a small and old building. But the architecture is nice and historic, dating back to the times when the zoo first opened. But is this why people visit a zoo? Also, a letdown for the fans of snakes.

3. The bear exhibits - kind of small, especially the polar bear one. The underwater viewing is a disappointment as well.

There is also the World of the Insect, which I hear, is definitely worth it for fans of bugs! I can’t list it as a highlight here, since I did not visit it. But thought I should just mention that. ;)

Also, the botanical garden part is throughout the zoo, hence why it feels more natural and less urban than some of the other zoos that I have been to. There is no separate part for it, at least not to my knowledge.

I give this zoo 4 stars, as I find the highlights to outweigh the disappointments. Overall, I think this is a very nice zoo to visit, and worth visiting if you are already in Cincinnati.
Wildlife Canyon section
capybara enclosure
Southern screamer and capybara
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ahtibat17 ahtibat17
266 reviews
Best Zoo Visit EVER Jan 19, 2010
I had the best zoo visit here EVER. The weather was perfect for animal activity. It was 45 degrees, but overcast. The polar bears were having a blast playing in the water, the tigers had just been fed large steaks, so they were feasting on them, and I was in time for a penguin march that I didn't konw about. That made my day because I LOVE penguins.

The Cincinnati Zoo has a variety of animals, just like any other zoo; lions, zebras, elephants, gorillas... I don't think I saw any animal that I hadn't already seen before, but it was a great visit. The lions were incredible. They had been donated by Sigfried and Roy and they were beautiful cats; probably the best looking lions I've ever seen.

I also lucked out; during the months of January and February, the admission is half-price. The one kicker is there is also a fee to park, but I got both the entrance fee and parking fee for $14.

Another thing -- the zoo map is really confusing. Walking around, I felt like I was either missing something and/or had trouble finding the exhibit or saw the same exhibit three times. I thought it was just me, but I ran into a couple other families that were having the same problem.

Overall, I thought the Cincinnati Zoo was one of the best zoos I've visited.
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WalterC says:
Yeah, I did get annoyed with the layout of the zoo, as I found myself backtracking quite often. Otherwise, I really did like this zoo.
Posted on: Sep 17, 2015
stefaniegreen stefanie…
11 reviews
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens Jun 28, 2010
I have never been to this zoo and wanted to go. There is a lot of different animals that you can see and different plants all around. They have a 4-D theatre that was very fun to watch it is only a ten minute movie but very fun. The chairs had some movement and you get sprayed with water to make you feel like you are actually in the movie itself and it feels like its real the glasses are just a little big for me but maybe not for most I do recommend you see the movie. There is quite a few different places to eat throughout the park and the one we ate at was very good. There is also a greenhouse with different plants in that have tags on them to educate you on there nutrition for you. They also have an area for kids to pet some animals and a train ride that the kids will absolutely love.
The giraffes you can feed.
Asian Elephant
Ashley5 says:
Did you get to feed the giraffes? We didn't know there were just certain times and we missed the time to feed them :( We are planning on going back just to feed them, though!!:)
Posted on: Jun 17, 2009
Ashley5 Ashley5
22 reviews
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens Jun 17, 2009
In June 2008 we took a drive to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, first off getting to the zoo is a little tricky, with some construction going on along the way, its easy to take a wrong turn. We managed to get fairly decent parking. The pathways to walk on are fairly wide so its easy to walk and not run into people. We went in June so it was very hot, but they have these poles set up that spay out a cold mist, and you can stand in front of it (one person at a time) and it really cools you off-without soaking you. They also have like a tunnel you walk through and the whole thing is just spraying a cold mist as you walk through-very efficient in cooling you off! They have a pretty big selection of animals. Everything is well marked also. It was nice that for the animals that swim they give you a place where you could go and see the animal from under the water-if they happened to be swimming at the time!

My favorite exhibit was the giraffes, if you come at the right time you are able to feed them!

Overall we had a great time at this zoo! We liked the selection of animals and the zoo layout. The only thing I can say bad was that the zoo was not really flat-you had to go up and down quite a few hills to get to see some of the animals. But we thought it was worth it!
Giraffe at the zoo
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