Exploring The Philadelphia Zoo, America’s First Zoo

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According to the Philadelphia Zoo’s site, more than 1,300 animals live there, including many rare and endangered species. The Philly Zoo was also America’s first zoo, established on March 21, 1859. It took another 15 years, though — thanks so the Civil War — for the zoo to actually open.

Philadelphia Zoo will soon transform into a winter wonderland as Santa travels to exotic places around the globe for a holiday celebration! Embark on a scavenger hunt around the Zoo, encountering unique scenes of Mr. Claus exploring the world. The adventure will take you to the rainforest, the Outback, the Arctic, on safari, and home on the farm. Stop by the Treehouse to get your picture taken with Santa Claus himself, and be sure to visit the Hot Chocolate Bar and Little Elves’ Gift Shop. Enjoy crafts and activities, and take home a special gift!

 Here’s a bit of what we saw:

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^^ The zoo had this cool tunnel system running around above the grounds that the monkeys could wander through.

The zoo had this cool tunnel system running around above the grounds that the monkeys could wander through.

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^^ This little gator guy was in this position the whole time we were in the area.

This little gator guy was in this position the whole time we were in the area.

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^^ Little Sebastian, anyone ;)

Little Sebastian, anyone ;)

^^ I was about to delete this photo of the Clown Fish because I had better ones, until I saw the Fish Photo Bomb.

I was about to delete this photo of the Clown Fish because I had better ones, until I saw the Fish Photo Bomb.

^^ The fish tank was a serious highlight. So beautiful!

The fish tank was a serious highlight. So beautiful!

^^ Rhino!

Rhino!

^^ This little guy is a Red Panda, and she'll be making an appearance in my children's book very soon!

This little guy is a Red Panda, and she’ll be making an appearance in my children’s book very soon!

^^ Chillin'

^^ This was the Momma monkey, who did have a baby strapped to her chest, although it's hard to see in this photo.

This was the Momma monkey, who did have a baby strapped to her chest, although it’s hard to see in this photo.

^^ This is the dad and son. They were wrestling the whole time, which was pretty adorable.

This is father and son. They were wrestling the whole time, which was pretty adorable.

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The Philadelphia Zoo is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Off-season hours are 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and in-season through 5:30 pm.

3400 W GIRARD AVE
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19104

Cheryl Lock
Cheryl Lock is a former magazine, newspaper and website editor turned full-time freelance writer. She has worked on staff at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, More and Parents magazines, as well as for Learnvest, the leading women's financial website. Her work has also appeared in Newsweek, Forbes, Ladies' Home Journal, the Huffington Post, AOL Travel and more.

Cheryl was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up moving around every few years as an Army brat. The urge to travel has been with her her whole life. While she calls New York City home, Cheryl makes it a priority to travel as much as possible throughout the year. Some of her favorite places include Iceland, the Great Barrier Beef, Cabo, Rome, Calabria and Munich, although she hopes to never stop exploring. Cheryl blogs about her travel adventures (and what's happening in and around New York City) at Weary Wanderer.
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