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Cleveland Zoo – tickets, prices, discounts, animals to see, train ride

Cleveland Zoo is Northeast Ohio’s most-visited year-round attraction and gets around 1.5 million visitors annually. 

The 183-acre Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is home to over 3000 animals offering guests countless opportunities to connect with wildlife.

The zoo is divided into several exhibits, including the African Elephant Crossing, Australian Adventure, the Rainforest, and the Primate, Cat & Aquatics Building. There are also seasonal exhibits, such as the Asian Highlands and the Wild Winter Lights.

This article shares everything you must know before buying your Cleveland Zoo ticket. 

What to expect at Cleveland Zoo

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How to reach Cleveland Zoo

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is located just 5 miles south of downtown Cleveland at 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, Ohio 44109. 

It is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 77, 90, and 480.

If you plan to drive, it is best to fire up Google Maps and follow the directions. 

Click here to know about the nearby parking lots.

On busy days, especially weekends and Mondays, you may get traffic on the way. 

RTA Bus is the best option if you plan to take public transport.

Cleveland Zoo has lots of parking space, all of which is free. 

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Cleveland Zoo hours

The Zoo is open from 10 am to 5 pm from April through October and 10 am to 4 pm from November through March. 

It remains closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

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Best time to visit Cleveland Zoo

The best time to visit Cleveland Zoo is when they open at 10 am. 

The animals are most active early in the morning, and crowds are just about getting in. 

As the day progresses and the temperature increases, animals get lethargic and go into the shaded areas. 

We recommend weekdays for a peaceful visit because it gets crowded on weekends and school holidays.

Check out the best things to do in Cleveland, Ohio.

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How long does Cleveland Zoo take

If you visit with children, you will need three to four hours to explore Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

Kids tend to linger longer around their favorite animal enclosures, attend feeding sessions and keeper talks, and try out all the available experiences. 

If you are a group of adults in a hurry, you can walk past all the exhibits at the Metroparks Zoo in 90 minutes. 

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Cleveland Zoo prices

Cleveland Zoo’s General Admission ticket for adults aged 12 to 61 years costs $19, and kids from 2 to 11 years pay a discounted price of $15.

Senior visitors 62 years and above pay a price of $17 for their admission into the Zoo.

Infants up to two years enter for free.

The Total Experience Ticket is priced at $25 and gives you access to the Zoo. 

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Cleveland Zoo tickets

While reserving your visit to Cleveland Zoo, you have two options – book the cheaper General Admission ticket or get the Total Experience Ticket. 

The Total Experience Pass allows you to access all the extras in the Zoo, such as RainForest, unlimited Train rides, Carousel rides, and 4-D theater, and $1 off Giraffe and Lorikeet Feed.

If you book the General Admission ticket, you must pay extra for all the additional rides.

  • Train: $2.50
  • Carousel: $3
  • 4-D Theater: $3
  • Giraffe Feeding: $3/leaf, $6.00 for three leaves
  • Lorikeet Feeding: $2.50/cup

Did you know that Ohio has many zoos? Find out about the four fantastic zoos in Ohio.

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Animals in Cleveland Zoo

Cleveland Zoo has lots of animals to see. After all, it houses more than 3000 animals representing about 600 species.

These animals are divided into habitats that mimic their natural living environment. 

African Elephant Crossing

African Elephant Crossing is near the zoo’s main entrance and offers prime viewing areas for visitors to see the animals.

The Crossing offers open-air viewing, a nose-to-trunk window, an elevated feeding station, and a gated crossing where guests get closer to the elephants.

Asian Highlands

The Asian Highlands of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo hosts Amur, snow leopards, red pandas, and Takin.

Since this part of the zoo is newly constructed, it is larger and more intricately built with cooling caves, climbing structures, elevated platforms, etc.

Australian Adventure

At Gumleaf Hideout, visitors can see koalas perching on live eucalyptus trees in indoor and outdoor habitats.

At the Wallaby Walkabout, kangaroos and wallabies roam freely.

Kookaburra Station is home to sheep, goats, miniature donkeys, and other farm animals; younger kids love touching and interacting with them. 

African Savanna

At the African Savanna, you also get to see lions up close and from a safe distance. 

The habitat features grassy areas, shade trees, and a rock shelter for the African Lions. 

 African Savanna is also home to the Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter, where visitors can feed giraffes.

Besides the Lions, visitors can also see rhinos, zebras, bontebok, Colobus monkeys, etc. 

Primate, Cat & Aquatics

Primate, Cat & Aquatics is a series of indoor habitats where you see Western Lowland gorillas, rare snow leopards, lemurs, and many other diverse primate species.

The outdoor Gorilla habitat is open during the warm weather months.

This zoo section is interesting because it brings the slowest animals with the fastest – Aldabra tortoises- next to the cheetahs. 

Here, guests also see aquatic animals from salt and freshwater habitats.


The Cleveland Zoo’s rainforest exhibits more than 600 animals and ten thousand plants from the jungles of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. 

Don’t forget to look up because over 50 birds from 12 different species fly freely overhead in the free-flight indoor aviary. 

Rainforest is a two-acre, two-level habitat with a 7.6 meters (25 feet) waterfall. It is one of the largest of its kind in the country.

The lush green part of the zoo is also home to a research hut, the Discovery Center, a tropical rainstorm exhibit, a weather station, etc. 

Waterfowl Lake

At the Waterfowl Lake, visitors can see native Waterfowl and a nesting pair of trumpeter swans. 

Don’t miss the outdoor flight cages that house Andean condors, the planet’s largest flying birds, and a pair of Stellar’s sea eagles.

While visiting the Waterfowl Lake, step into Wade Hall, a Victorian-themed ice cream parlor. 

Wilderness Trek

Wilderness Trek is home to cold climate animals active outdoors throughout the year, including various bear species, Amur tigers, grizzly bears, wolves, seals and sea lions, tufted deer, Persian onagers, etc. 

Wilderness Trek’s Rosebrough Tiger Passage is home to the zoo’s two Amur Tigers.

The state-of-the-art glass viewing ensures visitors can see the Tigers from up close.

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Experiences in Cleveland Zoo

Besides the animal exhibits, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has other exciting experiences for guests. 

4D Theatre

At the 4-D Theatre, you can see 15 to 17-minute immersive shows that stimulate the senses with stunning 3-D projection and special effects.

The theatre is right next to The Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter and is a fun experience for guests of all ages. 

4-D Theatre is included in the Total Experience Ticket. 

Boomerang Line

Boomerang Line is a train that rides through Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Australian Adventure section. 

The train service is open only from April to October, weather permitting. 

Cleveland Zoo’s general admission ticket doesn’t include the train ride, and the train ticket is $2.50 per person.

The Circle of Wildlife Carousel features 64 animals carved by Mansfield, Ohio-based Carousel Works.

Wildlife Carousel at Cleveland Zoo

The carousel ride costs $3 per person and is suitable for all age groups.

Nature Discovery Ridge play area is next to the Circle of Wildlife Carousel and is a must-visit if you are in the zoo with your kids.

Image: Clevelandmetroparks.com

The park invokes children’s imagination and inspires them by using wild habitats and natural elements like rocks, water, and trees. 

Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter

Giraffe feeding at Cleveland Zoo

The Giraffe Encounter is an exciting opportunity to hand-feed 17-foot giraffes right out of your hand.

Ben Gogolick Giraffe Encounter in the African Savanna area has a massive deck from where you can interact with the world’s tallest mammal.

Image: Cleveland.com

Visitors who plan to feed the animal must purchase Romaine lettuce at the giraffe deck site for $2.50 per leaf or three for $6.

Cleveland Zoo’s tram

The Tram Service at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is the best way to ensure you explore most wildlife attractions during your visit.

During the open-air tram car experience, you also hear an informative commentary that explains the animals and their exhibits along the tram route. 

The Tram Service, which starts at 10 am and continues till the zoo closes, is included in your regular Cleveland Zoo ticket.

The tram travels directly from African Elephant Crossing to the Primate, Cat, Aquatics Building, and back.

The trams can accommodate strollers, wagons, etc.

Since the MetroParks zoo tram is a popular activity, there is usually a wait – around 20 minutes on regular days and a little more on busy days. 

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Cleveland Zoo map

If you visit with kids, a map helps you stay on course and aware of the situation. 

Besides helping you locate the exhibits, Cleveland Zoo’s map can also help you figure out where the restaurants, playgrounds, restrooms, stroller/wheelchair rentals, gift shops, etc., are.

You can download the map of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo now or bookmark this page for later.

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Restaurants in the Zoo

Cleveland Zoo has a Pizza Hut serving Personal Pan Pizza, popcorn, Bavarian Pretzel, Cheese Cup, Uncrustable, Hot Dogs, Nachos, etc. 

There are many drink options as well. 

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Strollers and Wheelchairs

Strollers and Wheelchairs are available for rent from the gift shop in the Welcome Plaza.

The Single Stroller costs $8 for the day, and the double stroller costs $10.

Electric Wheelchair costs $25 to rent. However, you must leave a $25 deposit and display your ID card at the gift shop. 

To reserve a wheelchair in advance, you can call the Zoo gift shop at 216-661-7603.

# Clevelandzoosociety.org
# Wikipedia.org
# Zooborns.com
# Tripadvisor.com

The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

Other Zoos in Ohio

# Cincinnati Zoo
# Columbus Zoo
# Toledo Zoo

This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

2 thoughts on “Cleveland Zoo – tickets, prices, discounts, animals to see, train ride”

  1. Have not been to the zoo in decades. I used to work there as a kid in one of the hot dog stands. I am now 83 and plan to visit when the weather cools off.

  2. I wish you had like a small golf cart for people that can’t walk very good I have a bad back and I haven’t seen so many new things there and it is just impossible for me to do all that walking I would love to see all the new things


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