The Toledo Zoo consistently ranks among the nation’s top 10 zoos, and it’s easy to see why. Home to more than 750 exotic animal and bird species, it contains one of the most comprehensive collections of animals in the world. Highlights include the Africa! savanna exhibit, the interactive Kingdom of the Apes, the first hippoquarium in the country, the Nature’s Neighborhood children’s zoo and the Tembo Trail elephant habitat.
The zoo opened in 1900 as the Toledo Zoological Gardens. Despite extensive updates, the venue maintains a cozy, old-fashioned feel with the original wrought-iron entrance gate, a whimsical carrousel and Victorian buildings.
Excellent signage and a thoughtful layout with plenty of shaded areas, lots of bathrooms and concessions make visits easy and pleasant. It’s possible to zip through the whole facility in a single morning, but it’s worth taking the time to explore. On warm summer days, visitors can watch orangutans playfully shower observers with water at the push of a button, or see elephants reach for treats along Tembo Trail.
The zoo is open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day; hours vary seasonally. Admission is $14 for adults, $11 for kids during peak season from March to October (buying tickets online saves a buck).