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Visiting Zoo Atlanta - #OnlyZooATL


A few weeks ago Madison and I were fortunate enough to be hosted by Zoo Atlanta, one of only four zoos in the U.S. with giant pandas, as well as home to North America’s largest collection of great apes. Now I have been to quite a few zoos in my lifetime, including a few in the Caribbean and Europe and I have to put Zoo Atlanta in my top 3 zoos to visit. Zoo Atlanta is located at 800 Cherokee Ave SE, in Atlanta, Georgia on an amazing 40 acre spread. Opening daily at 9:30am, we decided to get there early since Atlanta was fairly hot in temperature that day, and I knew we were already planning on doing quite a bit of walking. We wanted to see every animal there was to see and also enjoy some lunch while there.


Here is a quick tip if you're visiting Zoo Atlanta, grab a map of the zoo before you start trekking around the zoo, and I would say go to your left instead of your right. The right is your Play Zone for the kids and you may want to do that last. The way the zoo is laid out, you would go around in a circle and end up right where you started.


Your first stop as soon as you enter is the amazing Flamingo Plaza, where we met the Chilean Flamingos. I have always had an obsession with Flamingos. Their grace and beauty is yet to be matched in the bird kingdom and I could watch them for hours. However unfortunately for us, we didn't have very many hours to enjoy what the zoo had to offer so we watched them for a few minutes and got on our way. As soon as we left, we were met by a zoo worker who just happened to be showing off a Gopher Tortoise which can live up to 100 years. Not only did we get to see this Gopher Tortoise up close and personal, but Madison also got to touch it. You may want to take along a bottle of hand sanitizer since there might be quite a few more opportunities for you to get up close and touch an animal.



The zoo consists of animals that you may not want to see without the barriers that the zoo has installed to protect you. We decided to brave the wilds of Africa where we met the African Elephants, Black Rhinoceros and even got up close to Abu the 10 year old Giraffe. The Lions that day decided that they didn't want to be bothered and remained fast asleep throughout our entire visit. There are Warthogs, Meerkats (think Timon and Pumbaa) and so much more to see throughout your African journey.




Now the highlight of my trip was the Scaly Slimy Spectacular, Amphibian and Reptile Experience. Madison is afraid of anything that slithers and slides and so am I, but I still have a fascination with them. I love watching them on Nat Geo and may have seen Anaconda the movie about a million times. Just keep them in a cage however and we'll be the best of friends. Madison didn't want to stay too long here so I was only able to snap a few quick pictures, although I mentioned to her that she was going to be safe. I was extremely surprised at all the amphibians and reptiles that call Georgia home.






Since Zoo Atlanta is famous for their great apes, you're going to want to stop and pay them a visit. We were able to see a family of Western Lowland Gorillas including a mommy and baby. However, I was truly enthralled by the leader of their band. The great ape himself, who stood apart from all the others, overlooking his kingdom. If Mr. King Kong is too much for you, there are also the playful Orangutans who swing among the tree tops, or even relax in their hammock. We also visited the Living Tree House and got to see some birds in their as close to natural habitat. Then we were off to Asia, to see a few more animals, including the Sumatran Tiger and the famous Giant Pandas.







By this time we must have walked around the zoo for approximately 3 hours and then it was time for lunch. We were able to grab a quick meal at the zoo restaurant which also features kid meals for those who are traveling with their kids. I suggest getting the souvenir cup which is refillable because when it gets HOT, you're going to need all the liquid you can consume. Not to worry, the fun is about to begin. And the younger kids would enjoy what is to come, because we were about to head to the Outback Station Children's Zoo which features animals that you can touch. Animals that you see on the farm such as the pigs and goats. There are also a few Kangaroos just laying around and a pond just filled with turtles. Such awesomeness!




And if your kids aren't interested in petting the animals, well they will surely love the kids area which includes carousel rides, the zoo train, and a spectacular Splash Fountain water play zone, you may however want to bring a bathing suit or change of clothes since the kids do get wet there! There is also a playground where the kids can run around. If they weren't tired from all the walking, looking at the animals, then they sure might get tired here.





Before you leave be sure to stop in at the Gift Shop. I'm a sucker for gift shops and I never leave without buying a souvenir or two to commemorate my visit. As most of you know, I just LOVE snow globes and I collect them whenever I visit some place new. It's my way of saying "I was here", so I wanted to add to my ever growing collection. I just happened to pick up a snow globe that played the song "Born Free", and it reminded me of the movie that my dad and I sat and watched numerous times when I was younger. I may be showing my age, but it brought back sweet memories and I JUST HAD TO HAVE IT! Madison got her Panda's and we ended our day with a few memories of us visiting Zoo Atlanta.



I love zoos and you can make them an educational experience when you visit with your kids. I love playing games with Madison whenever we go to the zoo. One of the game we play is "find the animal", we try and locate a certain animal before each other, and then we read the information relating to that animal. For example, who knew that the Sumatran Tiger is the smallest of Tiger family? I sure didn't. So if you're ever in the Atlanta, Georgia area, I highly suggest putting the Zoo Atlanta on your calendar of events to do and tag your photos on social media with their official hashtag #OnlyZooATL.


Here are the ways you can connect with Zoo Atlanta:



Let's discuss: What animal would you be most interested in seeing at Zoo Atlanta if you visit? 

Annmarie John
60 Comments
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60 comments:

  1. Giant pandas! One of those other four zoos must be San Diego. I've been there! And I was impressed. The train is awesome!

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    1. Oh I want to go to San Diego so badly. I have family in California but they live in San Jose and nothing happens there. I might visit and drive to San Diego and pay a visit to the zoo or just spend a few days in San Diego if I get great hotel rates.

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  2. Amazing post! Im like you, the scaly section would've been my favourite place to check out. Your snake pics are AWESOME!!

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    1. Thank you Chrissie. I like seeing them on TV and behind a glass, just don't get me to touch them. :)

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  3. Excellent post. Sounds like a really well put together zoo for everyone. And sadly one of the few places to now see black rhinos.

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    1. It is an amazing zoo and I had no idea that black rhinos aren't readily available in the zoos. Good to know.

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  4. Chances are slim that I will ever get there, so thanks for the pictures. It was fun to hear about this zoo.

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    1. The zoo was spectacular and I'm sorry to hear you might not make it, but if you're EVER in the Atlanta area, I'd say put it on your list.

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  5. I have to say that this zoo looks great. My favorite animal to look at are the rhinos, and this one looks majestic. Pandas so cute always, though the first time I had seen one was in Shanghai Zoo.

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    1. I just love looking at them all. My favorites has to be the tigers and lions though. I've always been a fan of cats, big and small. I would love to visit the Shanghai Zoo. Can't begin to imagine all the animals that would be there.

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  6. I love going to the zoo! I also love visiting zoos in other states too because they're all so different. What a fun time!

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    1. Oh me too. I have two zoos within driving distance of each other and they are oh so different.

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  7. Ah I really miss going to the zoo. Would love to go again this summer though, maybe a safari nearby! You have taken some beautiful pictures!!!

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    1. Thank you Megan, Zoo's are such an amazing experience.

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  8. Wow... American zoo's are so different from the ones we have here in Canada. The valley zoo here in Edmonton just got a mini facelift and they just put a small spray park just before the main gates but nothing like the one in your photos. Looks like you guys had a great time!

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    1. Oh we had a blast and I still have yet to visit a zoo in Canada although we've visited lots of times. The next time we visit, I'll be sure to add it to my list.

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  9. This looks like a FAB zoo! we have a zoo here in Chicago as well, but Atlanta sure has a different set of animals! I will have to keep this in mind if we ever travel to Atlanta

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    1. I think the zoos in different states highlight different animals. Like the Colorado zoo may be one of the few that actually have Moose. :)

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  10. oh my gosh! What an awesome zoo. I have been to some amazing zoo's and have loved each and every one of them. Your photo's are wonderful and it looks like you had a great time

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    1. We have an amazing time and animals are so easy to photograph when you don't have to tell them "sit". :)

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  11. I just went there recently with my family and we had a blast! <3 Great pictures by the way!

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    1. Oh I'm sure they did because we did as well and thank you.

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  12. I can't remember the last time I went to the zoo with the kids. It's always an amazing experience. Fulfilling too, when you see your kids smiling and in complete awe of the beautiful animals. You're definitely right, it's an educational experience as well. I've never been to the Atlanta Zoo, but seeing the pictures, it's a must to go there!

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    1. Oh it's amazingly beautiful there. If you ever get a chance to visit Atlanta, I say go there!

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  13. It's amazing how there are so much more activities to do here rather than looking at the animals. Having the chance to pet animals other than viewing them is surely a better way to enjoy the trip. Buying at least one item from the gift shop would be a good way to remember the visit.

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    1. Oh we always get a souvenir and sometimes 2 or more, depending on what is available. I love it because there was so much to do.

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  14. Zoos can definitely be an educational experience. I'm so glad you and Madison had a great time! I love the cute little stuffed pandas!

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    1. Oh we sure did have a great time. Madison decided she wanted the Panda's. :)

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  15. So fun, and entertaining! i love how you could do a lot of activities for both adults and kids. How old was that tortoise Madison touched? Did she play at the fountains?

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    1. We had no idea how old the tortoise was but the worker did say that they can live up to 100 years as for the fountain, we didn't since Madison didn't want to get wet. :)

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  16. Zoos fascinate me. The panda is really cute. It's so adorable. I'm not much a fan of reptiles though.

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    1. I'm not a fan of reptiles but they fascinate me but I would never get up close to one unless it's behind glass.

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  17. I love zoo's and this one looks like so much fun. I love the giraffes the most. They're so tall it's scary.

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    1. They sure are tall and majestic would be the word. I don't find them scary at all and Abu was very friendly.

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  18. It's always fun visiting the zoo. It looks like she had a great time interacting with the animals.

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    1. Oh she sure did and you're right, they are fun!

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  19. This zoo looks incredible! You can really get up close and personal with the animals. I love the shot of the flamingos, looks like you all had a wonderful trip!

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    1. We had a really great time there and I had some even better shots but Madison decided she wanted to share that one. :)

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  20. I just saw flamingoes just a couple days back. I hope to do 'panda hugging' atleast once in life.

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    1. Oh that would be awesome. I would love to do a panda hug myself too.

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  21. I really love how other Zoos come with different kinds of animals. We have zoos here local but we sad to say they come in limited animals. I haven't seen apes my entire life yet, hoping to see one soon. :)

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    1. Oh man, you most certainly need to see an ape. Not many zoos have them and I'm glad I was able to see a few in my lifetime.

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  22. I love how kid friendly the zoo is and the mix of interactive animal experiences and kid entertainment is perfect. Glad you had a good time.

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    1. We had a great time and that's one of the thing I loved about Zoo Atlanta. It's not just animals, there's other things to do as well.

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  23. Zoo looks wonderful and great place for a family outing with kids. I have been to zoo n number of times with kids but they find everything so fascinating - pink flamingos, giraffe.

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    1. Oh yes most kids do. I know Madison had a great time but she especially loved the playground. :)

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  24. Souvenirs are a must for us when we visit a zoo. Looks like you had a great time.

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    1. We did and just like you, they are a must for us too.

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  25. This seems so lovely! I've always wondered what a zoo in America looks like! :)

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    1. I have to be honest with you Jason, they are all different. So far I've shared what about the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Denver Zoo which are totally different from Zoo Atlanta.

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  26. Wowie!! Those animals look so cute. Kids would simply love to be in this place for hours and hours..

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    1. Oh yes they would because there is so much to see and DO.

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  27. wow its been years since I last visited a zoo. I love the way t=you have done the photography for the post. Great job dear!

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    1. Thank you Fatemah. I took so many photos that I didn't even know which to choose from. There is still so much more I could show but you'll have to visit the zoo to see them for yourself. :)

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  28. I cannot take the snakes! Those flamingos are beautiful! I wonder why the fur on the giraffe's head is like that? Like it's tangled? Or is it really like that?

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    1. A lot of people aren't fans of snakes but I'm fascinated by them. The flamingos are beautiful and as for the giraffe's head, I couldn't tell you. I wasn't going to get up close to find out. :)

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  29. How fun! I've never been to Atlanta, but it's on our "to visit" list. The zoo looks like a must for my kiddos.

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    1. Oh most definitely if you're in Atlanta you've got to add it to your list. You and the kids would love it.

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  30. How wonderful, I love the photos looks like you were actually in the wild taking pics. I loved taking my children to the zoo.

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    1. Oh me too! It's such an amazing experience and we get to learn so much. I just love animals.

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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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