What to Expect When You Visit the Nashville Zoo

photo by Jim Wood

The Nashville Zoo has been open at its current location at 3777 Nolensville Pike since 1997. It’s the 9th largest zoo in the country by land mass and one of the top tourist attractions in the state. It sits onb188 acres

Before heading out to the zoo, here are some things to know before enjoying this Nashville destination.

  • The Nashville Zoo is open every day with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
  • Hours of operation in the spring, summer and early fall (mid-March to mid-October) is 9am – 6pm, and hours of operation for late fall and winter (mid-October to mid-March) is 9am – 4pm. For exact dates, check the Nashville Zoo website.
  • Expect to spend at least 2-3 hours during your visit to the zoo.
  • Currently, you must make a reservation for a timed admission to the zoo due to construction of a new parking garage. Parking is automatically charged when you purchase a ticket. You can purchase a membership for discounted entry. Purchase tickets here.
  • The zoo is stroller accessible and wheelchair accessible; you can also rent a stroller or wheelchair while at the zoo on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • During your visit, you may exit and re-enter the zoo, be sure to stop by information to receive a hand stamp in order to re-enter.
  • Guests are allowed to bring outside food to the zoo. No glass, disposable straws, and balloons are allowed as they can be harmful to the animals.


In addition to seeing the animals at the zoo, there are other attractions to see and do. Some of these require an additional fee to participate.

DinoTrek – A seasonal event showcasing animatronic dinosaurs available to see March 10 through July 30th. Cost is an additional $4 in addition to zoo admission.

Adventure 4D Theater – Sit back and enjoy an immersive 4D short film featuring thrilling 3D and multi-sensory special effects that make you feel the action on the screen! Cost is an additional $4 to zoo admission.

Soaring Eagle Zip Line –Soaring Eagle lifts guests 110 ft high and several hundred yards back before releasing the seat for an exhilarating 28 mph ride back to earth. Cost is four attraction tickets, $2 per ticket.

Wild Animal Carousel – Take a spin on one of the 39 brightly-colored, wooden animals, including a giant anteater, clouded leopard and more. The pavilion features carvings by Zsolt Hormay, the master carver who helped create the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Cost is $2 in additional to admission.

Wilderness Express Train – Climb aboard and take a short journey into the wooded territory and undeveloped terrain. The train ride, ideal for kids up to age 5, requires no tracks and chugs along a small circular path surrounded by trees and nature. Cost is $2 per rider.

Animal Experiences  -Lorikeet Landing, exhibit is free but feeding the Lorikeet’s is $2. You can also see the Kangaroos and Critter encounters for free.

Jungle Gym – Come swing like a gibbon, run like the zebras and prowl around tiger-style in the 66,000-square foot playground. Jungle Gym features a 35-foot tall tree house structure, super slides, swings, and giant snake tunnel. Free attraction.

Grassmere Historic Home – Listed on the National Register of Historic Homes, the Grassmere Historic Home was built in 1810 and is the centerpiece of the Grassmere Historic Farm. The home is open seasonally for guided tours. Free attraction.

Learn more at https://www.nashvillezoo.org/.