Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Popular sections of the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere include the Alligator Cove, the Giraffe Savanna, and the African Wild Dog exhibit. The zoo’s main attraction, though, just may be the Jungle Gym. Spanning more than 66,000 square feet (6,131 square meters), the playground has a vast array of slides, cargo netting, swings, and climbing structures. Kids spend hours running around this expansive entertainment area.
Purchase a skip-the-line admission ticket ahead of time, and go behind the scenes to learn about animal care, behavior, and conservation with a backstage pass. Seasonal guided tours of the Grassmere Historic Home are available, and explain the history of the property, plus how the zoo ended up on the land.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Most visitors spend about two or three hours at the zoo.
Manual wheelchairs and electric scooters are available to rent at the entrance.
Avoid taking glass, disposable straws and lids, and balloons into the zoo, as they can be harmful to the animals. There are a few on-site snack stands and cafés.
How to Get There
The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) southeast of downtown Nashville. It takes roughly 15 minutes to get there by car, from I-65 or I-24. Alternatively, take the #52 (Nolensville Pike BRT lite) bus route to the Nashville Zoo Station Outbound stop, a little more than an hour from downtown.
When to Get There
There are fewer visitors in the late afternoon, but the animals are most active in the morning, especially during the summer. Check the Nashville Zoo website for the dates and times of zookeeper talks and animal feedings. The zoo sometimes closes due to inclement weather.
Another family-friendly attraction, Nashville’s Centennial Park, near Vanderbilt University, offers plenty of outdoor fun, including movie screenings, concerts, festivals, and more. Feed the ducks in the lake; explore the Parthenon replica, which serves as Nashville’s art museum; and listen to the city’s musicians via custom tree signs with QR codes that allow visitors to watch videos on their smartphones.
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