The kid and I spent a gorgeous summer day at Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium earlier this week. We are zoo fans extraordinaire and have noticed a few common bonds between most zoos. Generally speaking, there will always be lions, tigers, and bears (oh, my!) at the larger zoos. Elephants, yes. Giraffes, probably. Monkeys? Highly likely.
So, why do we love to visit different zoos in different cities with the same kinds of animals? Simply, we can never get enough of ’em! We love the sweet faces of wild animals napping, grazing, and climbing. There’s also the extras in each zoo that set our experiences apart from the rest. The kid and I found Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium an awesome spot for a day trip to Pittsburgh.
In the Asian Forest area there’s tons of cool animals that are definitely worth a pit stop to check out. I think we got lucky, but the Komodo Dragon was right at the window and photo ready. There’s a couple of great interactive areas here as well, like the artificial termite mound and a spot where kids can measure up to a rhino.
An Amur Tiger made an appearance at its window as well, and we loved its peaceful, sleepy pose.
Our last stop in the Asian forest was the home of the Amur Leopard. Beautiful and graceful in its gate, we loved standing silently, watching one of them walk around its habitat.
In the African Savannah area, we were able to catch a glimpse of several species native to Africa. Springbok and Dama Gazelle, African elephants and lions, and Black Rhinoceros provided for our viewing pleasure. The kid loved checking out the animals through the pay binoculars!
Another great spot is the Tropical Forest section. A fun indoor area for kids, its got lemurs, monkeys, orangutans, and gorillas. Agile kids and adults can scoot down or sit on the floor and get an awesome glimpse of the animals through the slanted glass in the windows.
On a hot, summer day, PPG Aquarium is the perfect respite at the zoo to cool off and check out some beautiful aquariums and tanks filled with fish and aquatic species. We were lucky enough to visit while scuba divers were inside the larger tanks cleaning the coral and brushing off the glass and cement. My daughter learned a few scuba hand signals and practiced them with a diver!
If you have kids, there’s no way you’ll make it out of the zoo without a stop at Kids Kingdom. It’s packed with all of the things that kids love- slides, rides, and hands-on activities. There’s fun bouncy bridges and great spots to learn about animals as well. Oh, and if you adore taking pics of your wee ones, there’s some cool photo op spots like the large metal turtle that kids will be queuing up to sit on.
To check out my review of Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium on trekaroo, head here
Disclosure: I was hosted by Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG aquarium for the purpose of this article. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and, as always, my opinions are my own.