The Oakland Zoo

With apologies to Paul Simon for taking liberties with one of his lyrics, it really is all happening at the Oakland Zoo. Like its counterpart on the other side of San Francisco Bay, the Oakland Zoo is an excellent place for kids of all ages to learn about animals and how their lifestyles and purchasing decisions positively or negatively impact the habitats where these animals live. The Oakland Zoo opened its doors in 1922 and has evolved significantly in the ensuing decades. Like most zoos of the era, it began as a place where guests could see animals in exhibits designed for maximum exposure of the animals with little regard for their unique needs.

Today, that paradigm has been completely re-imagined, with engaging exhibits that are created specifically for each species, as well as guest education. The Zoo features more than 600 different native and exotic animal species in a wide range of different exhibits, including:

  • African Savannah
    This remarkable four-acre exhibit features zebras, elephants, lions, birds and other animals found in this unique habitat, along with indigenous savannah plants as well.
  • Rain Forest
    The trees and vines of this exhibit are filled with chimpanzees, tamarins, squirrel monkeys and other primates, along with colorful birds and reptiles. Majestic tigers stretch and bask in their exhibit and occasionally bare their formidable claws to scale the trees for an afternoon nap.
  • Wild Australia
    Guests board the Outback Express Adventure Train to view the emus, wallaroos and other unusual and interesting animals housed in this unique part of the zoo.

The Oakland Zoo also features many other interesting and delightful things to see and do, such as:

  • An area with fun rides designed for kids
  • A Children’s Zoo within the Zoo
  • The Wildlife Theater where guests can enjoy many different types of fun and educational events
  • The California Trail, a new exhibit that focuses on animal care, conservation and guest education
  • Picnic areas, an auditorium, a Science and Education center and many more animals!

While guests of all ages will enjoy the many things to see and do at the Oakland Zoo, the facility is especially appealing and designed for kids. The Zoo is a great place to spend a day with kids and further their understanding of the world around them. It is located at 9777 Golf Links Road in Oakland’s Knowland Park and is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and one Saturday in June, when the Zoo holds its annual fundraiser. Hours vary slightly depending on the season but the Zoo is usually open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets range from $15.75 for adults to $11.75 for kids under 14 and seniors aged 65 to 79. Kids 2 and under and seniors 80 and over are admitted free. For more information, visit the official site at

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