Family Friendly Activities In Kentucky: Louisville Zoo

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Disclosure: I received complimentary passes to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own and/or those of family members assisting this post.

We have 4 children with ages ranging from 4 – 13. That can make it really difficult to find family friendly activities in Kentucky. Especially ones that all four kids AND my hubby and I are going to enjoy. And when we aren’t necessarily traveling on a family trip but want something fun for the entire family, we need something fairly local. Like within a couple hours driving time.

One of our favorite places to visit is the Louisville Zoo. We recently took a trip there and had a ton of fun.

Louisville Zoo

One thing I’d definitely recommend, though, don’t go when it is 98 degrees with a heat index of 100+. And if you do, go well prepared.

The Louisville Zoo allows you take small coolers. So we loaded one of my Thirty-One thermal bags with ice packs and bottled water and placed it in the bottom basket of the stroller. That way, we could stay well hydrated but not have to carry the heavy bag around. And because I figured our youngest would be exhausted at the end of the day, the stroller really came in handy.

There are a lot of really great animals at the Louisville Zoo and they are all in solid enclosures so you don’t have to worry about being pulled in or having anyone climbing into their areas. To me, that makes it much safer for families.

Louisville Zoo: Tiger

Some of the animals we saw were giraffe’s, rhino’s, orangutan’s and other primates, an albino alligator, tigers, puma’s, ocelot’s, Komodo dragon, pink flamingo’s, zebra’s including a new baby named Ziva and many more.

Louisville Zoo: Orangutan

There were grizzly bears and seasonally, polar bears. We didn’t get to see any polar bears but the one of the grizzly’s was in a very playful mood and kept pouncing the larger one, then jumping in the water and back again like puppies. We walked out of the grizzly bear area and were headed to another part of the park when we noticed that the smaller one had taken off down a ramp that looked like cracked roadway. I think it was following us! It was so funny.

Louisville Zoo: Grizzly Bear

The orangutan and chimp’s were also in playful moods and really put on shows, swinging on their poles and dancing around. All of the animals were so pretty.

The zoo is laid out in a loop so you can start at one end, visit all the animals, and then circle back tot he entrance/exit. I believe just the loop is one mile long but I may be mistaken there. There are several places to purchase food and beverages if you don’t bring your own and picnic tables to eat at if you do.

Another thing that is great for the hot days is the Papa John’s Splash Park. The kids were able to splash in the water and cool off. I just wish there were umbrellas over the benches so mommy and daddy could have been in the shade. It got pretty hot sitting there while they splashed around in the water. And there is a bathroom/changing room where you can change into your swimsuits and so you don’t have to go home wet.

Louisville Zoo: Papa John's Splash Park

There were also misting stations where you could walk through the mist and cool off. But they were toward the end of the loop. I wish there were more of those so you could cool off throughout your walk. But it was nice having them. The water misting your face felt really nice. There are plenty of bathrooms and benches to sit on. So you can rest if you get tired.

And I was right, our youngest was all tuckered out by the end of the day. That stroller really did come in handy!

Louisville Zoo

Even though it was hot and humid, our family had a great time and can’t wait to go back again. In the fall. When it’s cooler out!

If you’d like to see more photos from our visit to the Louisville Zoo along with a little bit about the history of the zoo, head over to Cinnamon Hollow and check out our slideshow!

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  1. Looks like you had a blast at the zoo! I recently wrote a piece on the large yet affordable cities and Louisville, KY was on the list. 🙂 There are many family friendly activities in the ‘ville.