The Kansas City Zoo is the perfect place to visit on a summer day before school starts. Before everyone left to head home we decided to visit the zoo. We started the day early since it can get hot in the summer in Kansas City. The Zoo is open at 8:00 am and closes at 4:00 p.m. during the week but stays open until 5:00 p.m. on weekends.
Close to the front entrance is the polar bear exhibit and it did not disappoint. You can get up close and personal with a polar bear with only a few inches of acrylic glass separating you and the bear.
The polar bear exhibit has recreated glaciers, a large sandbox and open spaces along the banks which create a Polar BearEnvironment of Fun for digging, plunging and napping. This awesome Arctic adventure creates an interactive public connection to these magnificent northern species through above and below water viewing in the 140,000 gallon pool and a climate controlled viewing area with multiple viewing angles.
Everyone was mesmerized watching Nikita, the 6 year old polar bear, do his flip turns in front of the public viewing area.
The Kansas City Zoo started as a dream in 1907. City activists declared ”An idea to create the largest zoological garden in the United States. There will be nothing better in the world. Swope Park is an admirable site for this purpose…” An affluent real estate speculator, Thomas Swope, donated land to Kansas City in 1896 for the park. Barron Fradenburg, a wealthy businessman and leading member of the Chamber of Commerce, made a plea that “Kansas City cannot be a metropolitan without a zoological garden.” A Zoological Society was formed.
100- years later, the zoo has expanded to include more than 200 acres of beautifully landscaped park, the Kansas City Zoo, a private non-profit, is home to 1,000 animals from around the world and has hosted over 2.1 million guests in just the last five years.
The carousel was a big hit. The Kansas City zoo carousel is an Endangered Species Carousel. Thirty-six, hand-carved wooden animals grace the traditionally-styled carousel. Most depict an endangered species. (The carousel is adjacent to the Lorikeet Exhibit, just off the new promenade that runs through the center of the Zoo. )
Carousel animals include a rhino, hippo, chimpanzee, cheetah, koala, dart frog and many more. Plus there are some not-so-endangered – but certainly fun – critters, such as the Mizzou Tiger, Kansas City Royals Lion and UMKC Kangaroo.
Close Encounters of the Animal Kind in Lobby Auditorium
The Kansas City Zoo was ranked number one in the nation for “African Animals and Exhibits.”
We took the tram to see the Africa exhibit.
Lions, hippos, cheetah, chimps and more live in Africa, the largest themed exhibit area at the Zoo. Visitor’s will see acres of plains animals, such as zebra, giraffe, gazelles and more.
Next door, lions play along a grassy hillside, and cheetahs run along a ridge. Farther into the exhibit, gorillas cool themselves under shady trees, and hippos dip and dive in a water pool.
Chimpanzees climb in a forest of trees. Baboons scavenge the ground looking for treats, while rhinos cover themselves in mud.
A herd of five African elephants roam the acreage on the way to the Africa exhibit.
Snack shop was our last stop with a ride on the coin operated zoo car.