This was our first trip to the Nashville Zoo. We really didn’t know what to expect on the other side of the wall. You could hear the sounds of animals coming toward you from over the wall and people coming in and out. The kids were too excited to stand in line but luckily the lines moved pretty quick and they didn’t have long to wait. We played a guessing game in line to see who knew the name of the animal making the sounds. Once inside we felt as if we had just stepped into the jungle. The trees were so thick and lush and the cool shade was welcomed after standing in the hot sun just a moment before. The path was a wide boardwalk with a rustic fence to keep the animals separated from the visitors who had come to snap pictures of them. Sometimes I could swear the animals were watching us.
As we wound our way through the jungle we were met by exotic cranes, majestic blue parrots, chimpanzees, alligators, and more. The jungle path opened up to an aquarium which housed several beautiful species of under water life as well as iguanas, snakes, frogs, and insects. When we had finished inside the aquarium we caught a show with a turkey vulture and his trainer. He was a bit of a show off! Just around the bend from the aquarium are several places to grab a quick snack or lunch. With lunch out-of-the-way and our bellies full, it was time to decide what part of the world to visit next. Should we go to Asia or Africa next? I wanted to go to Asia but the guys chose Africa. So we were off to Africa. We followed elephant tracks and danced to the beat of an African rhythm through the tall grass and bamboo shoots. We spotted several strange African animals and counted stripes on zebra backs. There is a petting zoo near here where you can get up close to goats, sheep, camels, and more. They will even let you brush their coats!
From Africa we circled back around to visit the bird house. This is an enclosure where you can go in and feed all kinds of exotic birds and if your lucky, they may let you hold them. It isn’t encouraged by the keepers because the birds may bite but they were landing on us when we put our hands out to feed them.I think this and the carousel was the kids favorite part of the day. They got to pick their favorite animal from the zoo and ride it around, Kalob picked the giraffe and the baby picked the kangaroo, though I can’t recall seeing any kangaroos at the zoo. The zoo is so large it is really an all day affair, because, besides all the animals to find they also have train rides, carousel rides, A play area that is built like a jungle village that climbs higher into the sky. But be careful you don’t get lost in the maze of winding pathways! There is a soft play area for those smaller members of the family and shaded booths for Mom and Dad.
You would think this would be enough for any family to do in one day, but wait, there’s more.A historical home and farm rests on site. The house is open for guided tours and has an interesting and historically significant role to play in TN history.The zoo now sits on the 380 acres of farm land, but the kitchen garden, several animals, and the family cemetery are still present on the site. The zoo is called the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere after the house. This beautifully preserved house and property are well worth a visit and I definitely recommend taking the tour to get a better appreciation of the historical significance of both the zoo and the house. I wish I could have taken more pictures but then you wouldn’t be able to make your own discoveries. This zoo is an adventure and we can’t wait to go back. I definitely recommend this as a must see stop on any tourists bucket list.
This attraction is stroller friendly and they also have strollers available for rent. They have plenty of rest rooms throughout the zoo so its great for those little ones who may need a potty sooner than later and several rest stops for tired explorers. You can bring a picnic lunch with you. They have an event venue on site that is equiped with grills to feed your guests.This zoo has so much to offer that I am including a link to their website so you can get more specifics for your families visit. Visit them at http://www.nashvillezoo.org. The zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and you can reach them by phone at (615) 833-1534. The pictures in our gallery are interactive. Hover over them or click them to see more. Enjoy!