Plan a Family Day Trip to the Kansas City Zoo

The Kansas City Zoo provides a unique day trip for families. A few zoo insider tips can help guests plan a fun-filled day.

The Kansas City Zoo is a great place for a family-friendly day trip. To plan a visit, check out the online zoo map for the list and location of all animals on display. The KC Zoo offers several shows, including keeper chats, so don’t forget to plan the day around the showtimes.

We arrived at the zoo right at the opening. I handed them our ticket and they handed us a map and off we went! First, we were greeted by a polar bear that was rather entertaining to watch swim around. Then we went off to Australia. That was one of the nice things about this zoo. They had things set up in regions and you always knew where you were entering. Right away I was impressed with how clean the zoo was, the nicely shaded walkways, and the signs telling you what you can find where.

They had so many fun things to look at and explore. I wish I could show you all of our pictures that I took. They had a kids’ area that they could explore. It was 2 levels and the kids could get down to the second level by going down a slide. Just everything was very much- interactive shall we say. I loved that no matter what animal you looked at you can learn about it either by informational facts or from employees who came out and talked about that animal. My kids were able to touch some sort of snake, a leopard tortoise and we watched them feed the hippos! To help you view all these wonderful things you can either take a boat ride around Africa, ride a tram, or take to the sky on their Skyfari (ski lift type thing).

They had so much to see and do. I was truly amazed at how beautiful and interesting the zoo was. But our biggest highlight was something unique. See at our zoo in Omaha, we have peacocks that walk around, whereas here; their peacocks are in cages and they have Kangaroos hopping out in the open!

Overall I highly recommend visiting the Kansas City Zoo if you are ever in town. It is really worth it and provides so much for the kids!

Kansas City Zoo Insider Tips

Bypass the initial displays. The river otters take the stage at the entrance to the zoo, and just around the corner guests will find a fun sea lion display. Since these are so close to the entrance, though, it may be a good idea to save them for the end of the day. This will help avoid missing out on favorite animals that are farther away from the entrance. Besides, it is a good place to rest before making the trek through the parking lot.


Start in Africa. Kansas City Zoo has a large African display, which includes animals, such as elephants, cheetahs, hippos, zebras, giraffes, and gorillas. The display is stretched out over more than two miles of trails, which is why the KC Zoo recommends guests may want to start the day with this attraction first. Otherwise, guests may find themselves too exhausted to visit all of the displays at the end of the day.

Afternoon Breaks to Eat and Cool Off

Take a lunch break. After visiting the African display, kids will most likely be ready for lunch. Guests can eat at the Beastro, the Carousel Café, or Rafiki restaurant. The zoo also allows guests to bring their own picnic lunches.

Take a break to play. The Discovery Barn is located near the Carousel café. An animal display nearby includes llamas, sheep, and goats. Inside, kids and adults will enjoy the air-conditioned display of macaws, lemurs, and meerkats. Kids can ride down an indoor slide and climb on the huge Peek-a-Boo tree outside.

End of a Great Zoo Trip

Wrap up the day in the Outback. The path from the barn leads to the zoo’s Australian exhibit, which includes an up-close and personal look at the popular kangaroos. Right around the corner, guests will find the Asian display with tigers, orangutans, and red pandas.

Saving the best for last. In 2010, the Kansas City Zoo welcomes the arrival of the much anticipated polar bears. The exhibit is near the entrance and makes a great end-cap to a full day at the zoo.

The Kansas City Zoo provides a great day trip for families. With all the KC Zoo’s wild animals, there is always something new to see.

Tips for Family Zoo Trips

Trips to the zoo can be a lot of fun, but also tiring when taking small children. Try these tips for making the trip more enjoyable.

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