The Nashville Zoo is a popular stop on itineraries to Tennessee's capital city. The zoo is one of the best family activities in Nashville, and it appeals to children and adults of all ages. The mild temperatures and good weather year-round allow the zoo to be open all year long, except on major holidays, meaning that no matter when you go to Nashville, you can visit this fascinating site.
The entrance fees to the park are reasonable and parking is free, making a trip to the zoo affordable for almost all travelers, and Nashville Zoo coupons can be found around the city, which helps take the pride down even more. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere sees an increase of visitors on weekends and over school vacations, but it is well worth the crowds to get a peak at the fascinating animals and exhibits.
Whether you’re interested in lions, goats, or frogs, the Nashville Zoo has an extraordinary variety of animals, exhibits and hands-on activities. The Critter Encounters area of the zoo is an exciting opportunity for children and adults to get to know various critters up close and personal. The area allows visitors to pet alpacas, goats, donkeys, African pygmy goats, and Australian wallabies—the newest edition to this great habitat. Staff are on hand to provide background on the animals and to ensure each visitor's safety while engaging with the animals. Critter Encounters alone makes the zoo worth a trip, and it’s definitely one of the best family activities in Nashville.
Gibbon Islands is also another great area at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. These two landscaped hills are surrounded by a moat and are home to the zoo's gibbons. These swinging primates are easily observed in their habitat and quite a sight to see as they glide through the trees and sing to each other.
The Bamboo Trail is also a must-see during any visit to the Nashville Zoo. The trail focuses on animals around the globe that make their homes and feed off of the sturdy bamboo plants. Visitors can see the cuddly red pandas, ring-tailed lemurs, leopards, and rhinoceros hornbills while strolling through the exhibit. The Bamboo Trail also offers a bamboo garden with samples from around the world and a koi pond.
If you are interested in amphibians and all things creepy-crawly, be sure to stop by the Unseen New World exhibit at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. The animals in this exhibit are divided by their geographic origins: North America, Central and South America, and the West Indies. The Unseen New World gives insight onto how these species hide themselves from predators in the wild. It focuses on the plight of these animals and what we can do to help save the species. Visitors will find a large variety here, including the threatened Puerto Rican Crusted Toad, Anacondas, Gila monsters, and about 75 other species of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and insects.
Another one of the best family activities in Nashville is taking a hiatus from the zoo and visiting the Grassmere Historic Farm, which dates from the early 1800s. Children will be amazed to see a true farm with typical farm animals and traditional farm house. There are Percheron draft horses here, the true working horse on old Tennessee farms, as well as a chicken coop and a few cattle. Children and adults will get a glimpse of what life was like back in the early 1800s when families used the farm as their source of income and self-sustainability.
No matter how long you’re staying in town, the Nashville Zoo is an excellent stop to escape the hustle of the city and still have a lively day out. Visitors, whether they’re animal-lovers or not, will enjoy the variety of species here and the excellent exhibitions, as well as the beautiful Southern scenery. You can also visit the Adventure Science Center, a popular children's attraction in Nashville.