Zoo Atlanta: Watch Adorable Panda Cubs Romp and Play in Atlanta, GA!

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Have you visited Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, GA? The large zoo is home to some amazing animals to observe, like giant pandas, elephants, rhinoceros and tigers. Add in a wide variety of birds, giraffe, otters and a special children’s zoo section with farm animals and attractions, and you have a pretty fabulous day trip.

My family visited Zoo Atlanta when we were in the Atlanta, GA area. Here’s everything we loved, plus some tips to help make your visit super enjoyable.

Animals at Zoo Atlanta

Let’s just start right with the best part: there are giant panda cubs at Zoo Atlanta. They kept my 4 kids and pre-teens entertained for quite some time. And then before we left the zoo, we had to circle back to see them again. Their super energetic play had quite an audience laughing great big belly laughs with every tumble and dive.

Watch a bit of the joy in a video of these panda cubs.

You can also watch the pandas live on Zoo Atlanta’s Panda Cam.

Besides the pandas, the zoo has a wide variety of the larger zoo animals that aren’t always at a local zoo. They have a very large elephant barn and outdoor space. If the elephants are indoors, you can observe them in an observation area of the barn. The same applies to the rhinoceros, they can be viewed in the barn or outdoors.

You’ll also be able to observe gorillas, lions, tigers, and sun bears at Zoo Atlanta, plus a whole heap of smaller birds and animals. My crew was very entertained by a variety of birds who treated us to some impressive displays of feathers and bird calls. The Southern Ground Hornbill even brought bits of mulch and food to the window as if he was trying to show us his prize. The zoo keeper in the area confirmed this particular bird has become quite social with guests and does indeed approach people at the window with bits of food and things. My kids enjoyed seeing his cache of prizes.

The Children’s Zoo

One area that we passed through quickly was the children’s zoo. There you will find alpacas, which is why we ventured down there, but also goats and sheep and farm type animals. In this area there are also a few attractions. There is a train to ride and a carousel, plus a Treetop Trail ropes and climbing course. These attractions are not included in admission and will cost an additional fee.

Additional Fees: The attractions’ cost is not included in admission to the zoo. The Treetop Trail is an additional $14.95 per person, while the carousel and train are $3 to ride. A wristband for unlimited rides on the carousel and train can be purchased for $9.

Staff at Zoo Atlanta

We have traveled to many zoos across the country. The thing that stuck out most to me at Zoo Atlanta was the number of staff available to speak to us about the animals. At almost every turn there was someone who could help you if you were lost or tell you about the animals in the area. From these folks we learned about individual animals at the zoo, their names and histories, but we also learned how their behavior or environment might contrast that of the animal in the wild. The staff members were all very friendly and happy to answer all our questions.

Covid-19 Precautions at Zoo Atlanta

  • Masks are required at the zoo for guests older than 2. My kids didn’t have their masks on as we got to the ticket kiosk and the zoo employee made sure they were on before letting us into the zoo.
  • Tickets can also be purchased in advance, for contactless entry.
  • To help families keep some physical distance from others, boxes were painted near popular exhibits and staff helped to move people through spaced out lines so everyone got plenty of time to view the animals.
  • The pathways at Zoo Atlanta are marked one way to help prevent congestion.

Tips for Visiting Zoo Atlanta

  • Pick weekday mornings for your visit, if you can! This will help you avoid crowds. We found most of the animals out and active, even though we arrived just as the zoo was opening.
  • If you are visiting in warmer months, visit early in the day. That sun gets hot.
  • Most zoos are not honoring reciprocal membership pricing right now. However, if your family is large, buying a membership may even be cheaper than the admission cost for one day. My family of 6 would have saved $10 if we’d have purchased a membership instead of paying the gate admission price.

Places to Eat at Zoo Atlanta

The zoo has a number of small concession style places to grab a bite as well as a burger restaurant, a café and a place to get pizza. We did not purchase any food at the zoo, instead we brought snacks and swung by Starbucks for some coffee on the way to the zoo.

Zoo Atlanta Hours and Admission

Zoo Atlanta is open all year, except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Weekday hours are 9 am – 5:00 pm. Last entry is 3:30 pm.
Weekend hours are 9 am – 6:00 pm. Last entry is 4:30 pm.

  • Adults (12+) $26.99-29.99
  • Children (3-11) $20.99-$21.99
  • Seniors $24.99-$27.99
  • Children 2 and under are free

Family memberships begin at $139.

Zoo Atlanta
800 Cherokee Avenue SE
Atlanta GA 30315
404.624.9453

About the Author
Maria Bassett is a former school orchestra teacher, turned homeschool mom. She and her husband homeschool their 3 sons and 1 daughter, who range from 4th grade through 9th grade. Believing children learn best when they are engaged and having fun, this family loves to take their homeschool on the road, around Greenville and beyond.

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