Visiting the Indianapolis Zoo
Visiting the Indianapolis Zoo is a must for anyone near Indianapolis. The Indianapolis is special because it is one of the largest zoos in the country that runs off donor assistance and not government funding. Exhibits include ocean animals, an impressive orangutan area, forest animals and so much more.
The Oceans exhibit may be my favorite part of the Indianapolis Zoo. Not often do you get an Aquarium and Zoo in one so it is neat. You can touch sharks, watch penguins and play with dolphins. I recommend the dolphin show to see all the fun tricks they can do. Indianapolis is the only place in the entire Midwest where you can swim the dolphins! If interested, contact the zoo prior to your visit to set up.
Snakes, iguanas, lizards… all those species of animals that make me cringe a little- that of course, my son loves to see, are all in the Desserts exhibit. The exhibit stays toasty warm all year round in a temperature controlled environment.
Alaskan Bear, Red Panda or get close to a bald eagle in the Forests exhibit. The walkways are well shaded for warmer months.
Some really neat animals live in the plains. Warthogs, lions, wildebeest, cheetahs, giraffes and more!
FLLIGHTS OF FANCY
This is the only area of the zoo, we didn’t explore too much on beyond flamingos. You can see all different species of birds in this exhibit.
I haven’t seen anything quite like the Orangutan Center here in Indianapolis. The area is designed for research and is home to one of the largest groups of Orangutans in an American zoo.
RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS
RACE A CHEETAH
Find out if you can outrun a cheetah.
**KOMBO FAMILY COASTER
Fun, family friendly roller coaster for the whole family! Yes, even my 3 year old was tall enough to ride.
There is a playground next to the flamingos for all ages to burn off some energy- or that ice cream you just fed them.
Go up in the air around the Orangutan Center. You may even get a peak at an Orangutan lounging near you.
SHARK TOUCH POOL
The nations largest shark touch pool is right in Indianapolis! Have a personal encounter with a dogfish.
New! Opening soon.
Let the kids ride on the carousel where instead of horses, there are your favorite zoo animals. Ride a shark or even a lion.
Take a ride on the train and see some of the Plains exhibit.
**FEED A FLAMINGO
Get up close to a flamingo and see how they eat- it is actually very interesting!
**FEED A GIRAFFE
A lot of zoos allow you to feed the giraffes and it never gets old!
FAMILY NATURE CENTER
The nature center is part of your zoo pass. March through September, you can see 30 species of butterflies in a beautiful indoor garden area.
Check out dog shows and more!
SHOP & EAT
No matter what side of the Indianapolis Zoo you are on, food is nearby. Pizza, burgers, hot dogs, BBQ, tacos, salad, soft serve and pretzels are just a few of the choices you will find within the park. Guest information from Indianapolis Zoo says no outside food or drink allowed in park, however, everyone seemed to have brought their own lunches anyway. If nothing else, plan to keep lunch in a cooler in the car.
- Pavilion Cafe
- Café on the Commons
- Nana’s Kitchen Sweet and Treats
- Snack Shop
- Westside Café
Make sure to check out the gift shop on the way out for an Indianapolis Zoo t-shirt or another fun item.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Buy your tickets online to save money! I do recommend adding in the Total Adventure Package (TAP) which get you into the starred ** attractions I went over above that cost extra.
There are so any hotels in the downtown Indianapolis area. I recommend just a quick search of hotels in your price range. Indy is not a large city so any area is accessible but somewhere by the stadium is ideal.
Parking is available a the zoo for an extra fee. There was ample parking when we visited!
Have you been to the Indianapolis Zoo yet? If yes, share your favorite attraction in the comments below. If not, what are you looking most forward to seeing?