Sea Lion at the Memphis Zoo

Go Wild at the Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo has been named as one of the best zoos in the country according to TripAdvisor, and for good reason! From the time you step inside the grand entrance, you know you’re in a very special place. The main entrance and courtyard pays honor in its design to the ancient city of Memphis, Egypt. The meandering streams, crisp waterfalls, native plants and tranquil gardens alone are a great reason to visit. Come play around in the Memphis Zoo. Hop on the tram and see everything from exotic animals to the petting zoo and everything in between. As you can see, you’d better plan to stay at least half a day with all there is to see and do.

Special Events

Fun at the zoo is year round. Celebrate winter with a million lights and an outdoor ice skating rink at Zoo Lights. Kids of all ages are thrilled at Zoo Boo each Halloween as the zoo transforms itself into a “spook-tacular” family event. Enjoy trick-or-treat stations, costume contests, painted pumpkin patch and much, much more.

Exciting Exhibits

With 19 unique exhibits and thousands of animal species, you can “travel around the world” within the perimeters of the zoo. Visit Teton Trek which brings the Yellowstone National Park to Midtown. The Great Lodge and replica of Old Faithful are surrounded by grizzly bears and wolves. (And yes, you can play in the geyser.) Catch a playful sea lion performance at Northwest Passage where you can also get nose-to-nose with polar bears, see totem poles (that actually received a Native American blessing), bald eagles, black bears, and the list goes on. Pay a visit to China where you can stand a few feet away from giant pandas, Le Le and Ya Ya. The Memphis Zoo is one of only four zoos in the United States to provide this rare opportunity. 

Grizzly Bear Sitting next to water at the Memphis Zoo
Giant Panda at the Memphis Zoo
Kid at the hippo exhibit - Memphis Zoo
Stingrays at Memphis Zoo: iStock

zambezi river hippo camp

New in 2016, the Zambezi River Hippo Camp exhibit is a 4-acre habitat is modeled after an African fishing village and is home to exotic animals from southeastern Africa's Zambezi River valley, such as Nile crocodiles, an okapi (think: a cross between a zebra and a giraffe), brilliantly colored flamingos and, of course, three majestic hippos. Technological enhancements, such as 60-inch video screens and a mobile app, allow visitors to learn even more about the animals and their natural habitats.

Don't Miss These Exhibit Highlights:

  • See hippos, Benti and Splash, from the underwater viewing area, where you can watch them effortlessly glide and play in the water.
  • Watch 15-foot, 850-pound crocodiles leap into the air during feeding time.
  • Identify exotic species of birds in the African aviary, or head over to the pink flamingo habitat.

Located in Overton Park, the Memphis Zoo introduces visitors of all ages to more than 3,500 species of animals, from highly endangered Sumatran orangutans and giant pandas to African penguins and ostriches. This is one kid-friendly activity the whole family will love.

Also Nearby:

After your day at the zoo, explore the other attractions in Overton Park, such as Brooks Museum of Art, Rainbow Lake Playground or Old Forest State Natural Area. Or, head over to nearby Overton Square, a lively entertainment district where you'll find an array of vibrant restaurants, unique shopping and legendary nightlife options.