Easily one of the best zoos that we have taken the littles to, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will always hold a special place in my heart. Usually, trips to locations such as this are a bit stressful. The crowds, the constant requests of “I want to see…”, and the difficulty navigating through the areas for specific shows can be overwhelming when you have three very young children in tow. At the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo though, it was a fairly peaceful experience, even without The Mister by my side to help this pregnant mama out.
*While our trip to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo was complimentary in exchange for this review, all opinions expressed are honest and our own. All posts on our website may contain affiliate links which help support our family.*
A relaxing environment, a detailed map, and clearly marked trails made all of the difference in how our visit went compared with how it could have gone. Add in the incredible staff and amazingly the entire day was a breeze. When the time came, I was less ready to leave than the littles were!
Meet Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Originally started as a nature preserve in 1952, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo reopened July 3, 1965 after a massive expansion left them with 5.5 acres and 18 exhibits. Attendance that first day hit over 6,000 visitors and the zoo has been a favorite of their hometown ever since. As one of the few self-supporting zoos, surviving solely on their revenue from admissions, rides, and concessions, the zoo has the freedoms to focus on their mission: “connecting kids and animals, strengthening families, and inspiring people to care.”
Upon our arrival, evidence of their mission was instantly obvious with their “Kids 4 Nature” interactive display. Each child visiting the zoo was given a metal washer to drop into the spiral wishing well. By spinning these washers (and some spare change) into the well, the children were able to cast their vote on how the zoo would next donate to a major conservation project.
The three projects to choose from were helping to rehabilitate the African penguin, encouraging sustainability and responsibility when fishing for blacktip reef sharks, or preserving Indiana’s wetlands and rivers. We had two littles who immediately went for the penguins while our middle wild child dropped her washer into the middle well, casing a vote to protect the sharks.
With five main sections and over 100 species living on the premises, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is sure to have a creature who will peak everyone in the family’s interest. Our girls’ favorite areas were the African Journey and Central Zoo where they obsessed over the safari station, all animals shown in The Lion Guard (a show from Disney Junior), the penguins, and the seals.
My favorite part of visiting with our littles had to be the Z.O.&O Railroad which takes you on a mini tour of the zoo via train. Their smiles the entire time made this mama heart beam with joy and the train was actually quite comfortable while being meant for their younger visitors. I didn’t feel cramped or squished even though I was sporting a good-sized baby bump during our trip.
Visit Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
- Open daily at 9 AM
- Last admission at 5 PM
- Zoo closes at 6 PM
*Note that the zoo closes during the winter so please contact them to be sure they are open or see their upcoming events here.*
- Adult (ages 19-61) $14.00
- Child (ages 2-18): $10.00
- Seniors (ages 62+): $12.00
- Babies (ages 1 and under): FREE
- Zoo Members: FREE
*Visit their website for more information on memberships, group sales, or school trips.*
Rides & Animal Experiences:
- Z.O.&O. Railroad: 2 tokens
- Endangered Species Carousel: 2 tokens
- Sky Safari Ride: 2 tokens
- Crocodile Creek Adventure Ride: 2 tokens
- Giraffe Feeding: 1 token
- Goat Food: 1 token
- Pony Trail: 5 tokens
*Tokens cost $1 each and are available via kiosks throughout the zoo.*
3411 Sherman Boulevard
Fort Wayne, IN 46808