We recently became members at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, due to a seven year old who is crazy about animals in our house. We have been members a few months and have learned many things about the zoo since. I thought I would share a few tips on how to get the most of your time at the Nashville Zoo.

Food and Drinks

Nashville Zoo tips Pink FlamingoI will say the food is pretty good at the food locations around the park. The refill cup is a must. We have one for both parents (our kids only drink water). We bring them back each visit and pay only $2 for a soda refill. It is a great buy. You just have to remember to bring it when you go. You are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks. This is a great money saver for those on a budget. There are lots of picnic tables in the field near the zip line. There is also a water bottle refill station right outside the park gates near the bathrooms. We always share a snack, like kettle corn or nachos while there.

Unseen World Aviary

Check out the Aviary in the Unseen World. There are many hidden animals. Most people only see the birds, ducks and turtles. However, did you know it is also home to a sloth? Yes, it really is! We stop each visit to try to find it hiding in the aviary. We sadly have never seen its face but we have found it sleeping in a few trees. The last visit we went, there was a zoo keeper in the aviary. We learned a lot from her that visit. She pointed out different species of salamanders that call the aviary home, she found the big lizards for us, and explained the different birds that we saw. If you find a zoo keeper hanging out, stop and talk to them. You will be amazed at all the things hiding. We also love to view all the exhibits in the Unseen World building. It is a nice place to stop and get out of the sun and heat for a bit.

Andean Bears

The new area that houses the Andean Bears is amazing! This was the whole reason we became members. The area is beautiful. I would actually love to bring a book and sit on the benches by the little creek. The nice part is there are two areas to view the bears. The one most people go to is the inside the little building area where you see most of the enclosure of the bears, especially the water pond they love to splash in. The building has fans which makes it a nice place to sit and cool off while you watch the bears play. Andean Bears Nashville Zoo tips family funThey have benches to sit on and also an interactive board to learn about bears. My son loves to play with that and learn. They also have a viewing of the water animals they have on display in there. While, in the bear area, do not forget to stop and watch the guinea pigs run across their new bridge. They are so cute to watch nap and play. Last key thing to remember about the bear area, is if you are a woman, do not forget to stop in the ladies room and view the Tamarin monkeys playing in the trees. The huge glass viewing window of the cute tiny monkey enclosure is only seen inside the ladies room. When we visited in June they also had two babies riding on the back of the mom. It was the cutest thing I have seen. Sorry men! If you want an exclusive exhibit for you only, go to the men’s room outside the gates and you have a python snake on view for you only.

More Zoo Favorites

Nashville Zoo kangaroo petting areaWe also love to visit the kangaroo area, the monkey rope bridge, and of course the petting zoo area. The monkey bridge is a fun little rope bridge or if you are not so daring you can walk the wood deck to the other side. The Nashville Zoo also offers a few attractions for an additional fee. My son makes us always stop to feed the tortoises in the turtle area. He finds them so amusing. We tend to end our trips by riding the carousel and if the lines are not so long the zip line. We have found that the lines for the rides are shorter in the afternoons. My husband found out the hard way to not wear a hat on the zip line when his visor flew off over the trees.

Whether you stay the day or just a few hours, the Nashville Zoo has a lot to offer visit after visit. We have seen something new each time. I recommend lots of water and sunscreen with the summer heat. Go and have fun. Talk to a zoo keeper and learn more about the animals. If you get hot, hang out in the Unseen World or the Bear exhibit and relax.

Currently, Kroger Plus Card holders can take advantage of a special “buy one, get one free” zoo ticket deal on Fridays during July and August (2018) as part of the annual Kroger Safari Fridays summer promotion.

Looking for more family fun in Nashville? Check out our Destinations & Entertainment blog for more ideas!