Zoo in Independence


Select Local Merchants

  • Henry's Ark
    There's a more personal way to get to know a zebra than visiting it at the zoo or stalking it on the African plains. At Henry's Ark, visitors can get up close to their favorite striped horse, along with emus, yaks, bison, buffalo, and llamas. All the owners ask: don't feed the animals.
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    7801 Rose Island Rd
    Prospect, KY US
  • Louisville Zoo
    It's one of Louisville Zoo's signature exhibits: inside the award-winning Glacier Run, guests venture into an imaginary gold-mining town on the edge of the wilderness. There, through gigantic windows, they can watch polar and grizzly bears dive through water, climb rugged cliffs, and dig through pits for tasty treats. But Glacier Run is just the beginning at the zoo, which sprawls across 134 acres and is home to more than 1,500 animals. The zoo first opened in 1969, and it has since become one of the region's most popular attractions. Aside from connecting with the animals, families can enjoy playgrounds, adventure ropes courses, and rides, including an antique carousel and two colorful trains. Several times per day, guests can also attend animal-training sessions, where they meet zookeepers and learn more about the animals.
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    1100 Trevilian Way
    Louisville, KY US
  • Jane's Saddlebag
    A boer goat stares at you. A donkey stares at the goat. And a baby tennessee walking horse reads its first Dr. Seuss book. No matter where you point your eyes, you’ll be treated to sights of charming animals at Jane’s Saddlebag’s petting zoo. It’s one of many delightful fixtures at the rural getaway—a hands-on historical education experience at a restored saddlebag home, which sprawls across more than 35 acres near Big Bone Lick State Park. A historic smokehouse adjacent to the home offers insight to the days before refrigeration, when Kentucky farmers would preserve their cured meat by hanging it above a smoldering fire. And behind the saddlebag home lies a replica of a 1700s flatboat, a low-cost form of transportation used by settlers to take one-way trips down the Ohio River and achieve ankle tans. From April to October, these rustic outposts bathe in the sound waves of live music, and the cook-in-residence slakes the hunger built up from exploring both the refreshing nature of the grounds and the historical splendor it offers. When it’s in season, the cook uses freshly grown vegetables and puts flames to a new york strip steak until it’s almost as tender as the mashed potatoes with which it’s served. There’s even a wine and gift shop, where regional wines—some from Kentucky—vie with antiques and gift baskets for the attention of gift givers.
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    13989 Ryle Rd
    Union, KY US
  • Kentucky Reptile Zoo
    Kentucky Reptile Zoo is home to one of the largest collections of venomous snakes in the world, including an 18-foot reticulated python and many other cobras, vipers, and rattlesnakes. Visitors can get up close to the zoo's slithery residents during daily shows, and also witness live venom extractions performed by the zoo's director. In addition to the snakes, guests also enjoy informal tours, cross paths with an alligator and meet tortoises and aquatic turtles in the Turtle Tracks area?a favorite amongst kids.
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    200 L&E Railroad Pl.
    Slade, KY US
  • Idle-Hour Ranch
    There is nothing run-of-the-mill about Idle-Hour Ranch. With more than 200 animals, including 40+ species, the Iddings family's exotic menagerie has grown quite a bit over the years. Guests to the ranch can meet one of its most beloved residents, Sam the giraffe, or catch glimpses of mountain lions and peacocks. Open to visitors on the weekend, various attractions include a mini farm market, a safari-themed corn maze, and face painting.
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    4845 Fenner Road
    Troy, OH US
  • Louisville Nature Center
    Amid the hustle and bustle of the city, Louisville Nature Center offers a tranquil escape from urban sprawl. At its 41-acre Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve, more than 2 miles of hiking trails wind past a verdant forest populated by 180 species of tree, shrub, and wildflower. The latter blooms in a native pond and garden, and dragonflies and 30 butterfly species in other gardens pay homage to Lord of the Flies by trying to collectively lift a conch. More creatures soar skyward inside one of Louisville's only bird blinds, where visitors can watch 150 species of resident and migratory birds fluttering about. After exploring on their own, guests can relax on one the picnic tables or beneath the covered gazebo before joining in on special events such as owl hikes. Youngsters, meanwhile, can discover more nature factoids at summer camps, educational programs, or birthday parties, which include guided hikes and live animal presentations.
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    3745 Illinois Ave.
    Louisville, KY US

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