Troubadourable folk buddies Simon and Garfunkel once sang that "it's all happening at the zoo," before retiring from music to live out their days serenely basking in the reptile habitat. Get happening with today's deal: for $15, you get a one-day admission and an unlimited ride day pass (up to a $30.77 value, including tax) at Zoo Atlanta.
Zoo Atlanta, an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, teaches the value of preservation and the beauty of wildlife with educational exhibits and attractions. The Zoo offers indoor and outdoor habitats that house more than 1,000 animals from around the world, including the nation’s largest collections of gorillas and orangutans. The newest attraction, Trader’s Alley, shares the struggle of animals affected by illegal animal trade, such as the critically endangered Sumatran tiger and sun bears, which are Asian forest-dwellers with long tongues for licking tree sap and slender nails for needle-free knitting. Zoo Atlanta is one of four facilities in the United States equipped to house giant pandas due to the panda’s high, increasingly bamboo-based appearance fees. Bi-chromatic parents Lun Lun and Yang Yang and their 2-year-old cub Xi Lan were excited to expand their family on November 3 with the only panda born in the country in 2010; it will be introduced to the Zoo population this spring.
Zoo-goers who desire a closer look at friendly fauna can explore the varying textures of Boer goats, sheep, and Kunekune pigs in the petting zoo daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Other daily and weekly activities include keeper talks on elephants and giant pandas, live animal shows in the Zoo’s two theaters, and daily gorilla and orangutan feedings, black tie optional. With an unlimited ride day pass, patrons gain limitless access to the park’s 24-foot rock-climbing wall, hand-painted carousel, and the replica 1863 locomotive that takes guests on an educational ride along the outer perimeter.
Zoo Atlanta set up shop in 1889, and has since become one of the top destinations in the Southeast for viewing wildlife from around the world. Many animals have found their home at Zoo Atlanta, from elephants and tigers to gorillas and zebras. All in all, more than 1,000 animals currently roar and romp in their respective habitats, meeting up once a night to dish over visitors’ summer outfits.
A typical journey through the Zoo begins at Flamingo Plaza, from which visitors can choose one of two paths: They either take the left path and come face to face with elephants, warthogs, and lions, or they can choose the right and find themselves amid a flurry of exotic birds and excitable children at the KidZone playground. Visitors can walk at their own pace and follow their own path, still watching otters play, the nation's largest zoological population of great apes interact with their families, and giant pandas pretend like they don’t care people are watching them sleep. Guests can also check out a variety of amphibians and reptiles at the Zoo's newest destination, Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience.