Nashville Zoo, Nashville TN

The Fun Adventure Family took on Nashville again and you may be thinking we donned our ten gallon hats and honky tonked on over to the country music hall of fame, but we did the music scene on our trip through last year. This time we were looking for some more little kiddo friendly ways to explore. Queue the zoo! We heard great things about Nashville Zoo and knew we needed to check it out.

One thing you need to know off the bat is that the Fun Adventure family only visits zoos that have received AZA accreditation. Most importantly because it ensures that the facility meets the highest standards for animal care, welfare, and conservation. Also because that means it’s on our reciprocal program. If you don’t know about how to visit zoos and aquariums for free or discounted prices check out our blog post about it here. The Nashville Zoo has been awarded AZA accreditation four times! After our day there we can certainly tell why. We’ve never seen such beautiful, spacious, natural, and well maintained enclosures. The animals seem very happy in their spaces.

In addition to the well maintained enclosures, the walking paths were amazing! We’ve been to some zoos where it felt like you had to walk forever to get to the next exhibit. I’m pretty sure that there was just as much walking going on at the Nashville Zoo, but with such fun landscaping along the paths it sure didn’t feel like it. I, personally, LOVED the bamboo all along the walkways near the lemurs. It truly felt like a magical experience walking through the exhibits.

The kids went nuts for the rope bridge. It’s only one way so we had to go around to walk across again! There’s no denying that this small touch helped to make the day just that much more special to them. I also thought it was awesome that there was decorations up for fall. Pumpkins everywhere! As well as decorations going up for Christmas. If I had thought of it at the time, I would have had our photos for both holiday seasons there! Based on what we saw the zoo takes it’s holiday celebrations seriously!

Before your visit you should check out the website to familiarize yourself with the layout and to get the keeper talk schedule. There are several talks every day. Between the animals, the talks, the playground, the gorgeous walkways, and the multiple hands on exhibits there’s more than a day’s worth of adventure to be had! We actually missed a significant portion of the zoo and really wished we had a second day to spend there. If we were local we’d invest in the membership without hesitation. While we were in the gigantic play area, one of the employees told us that they would be renovating soon. Dorky Adventure Dad and I both dropped our jaws! How could they make this any better?! I can’t wait to see what they do.

I’d also recommend going to “Unseen New World” exhibit as early as you can! It’s quite warm in there so during the cooler months it will feel nice if it’s on the chillier side in the morning. Checking it out earlier can help because it gets a bit crowded in there. With good reason. Some of the most impressive creatures in the zoo are in there.

There are water fill up stations sprinkled around the zoo and as avid water drinkers we really appreciated it. They are the kind of high tech water fountains that also fill up water bottles! Why aren’t these standard everywhere? We recommend skipping the bbq joint and other small food stands and go to the cafeteria. It was far less crowded and very reasonably priced. The kid’s meal is so big that we split it up between the kiddos. There was chicken strips, french fries, apple sauce, animal crackers, and a drink. I can vouch for the pork mac n cheese. It was phenomenal and very filling. Unfortunately I completely failed to snap pics of our lunch. As we were eating the gibbons started making the wildest, loudest noises! We quickly ate down our food and ran to check it out! They looked like frog monkeys making that strange noise. It was so fun!

The family bathroom next to the cafeteria is an awesome spot for diaper changes. There is a sink right there on the solid counter top diaper changing area. I mean, who thought of this? They deserve a medal! Speaking of bathrooms, the woman’s bathroom near the bear exhibit has monkeys inside! Seriously! And the men’s near the entrance has a snake! I also noticed that there is a nursing area at the entrance. Bathrooms may seem like a silly thing to be excited about, but I know my fellow moms get it.

The Nashville Zoo is Fun Adventure Family approved for sure! Fun is found in every part of the zoo. Adventure abounds with the kid friendly atmosphere. And family is clearly the focus as the exhibits can’t help but bring the whole family together in fascination and respect for these amazing animals. We’d love to see your family’s fun adventure to Nashville Zoo so be sure to tag us on Instagram #FunAdventureFamily and use #NashvilleZoo too!

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