These 5 free attractions at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere are fun and unique, plus each one is great for all ages. Click through to read more about each attraction!
The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is on the smaller side when it comes to zoos: only 188 acres compared to the largest zoo in the United States, the Columbus Zoo, at 580 acres. But don’t let that fool you into thinking you should skip it when you visit Nashville. With over 6200 individual animals and 339 species, there is a lot to see at the Nashville Zoo.
Immediately after purchasing your tickets, you walk through a canopy of large tropical trees. Here, you’ll find exotic birds, the sound of water flowing down small waterfalls and a nice break from the heat. As you move further into the zoo, you will want to consult your map (download the zoo app) so you know which direction you want to go first. Some paths wind around and connect, while others are more of an in and out type path.
No matter which direction you choose to go, you will want to make sure you visit these 5 attractions (all included in the entrance fee):
5 Free Attractions at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Have you ever been up close and personal with a kangaroo? Well if this is on your bucket list then you’ll be excited to find out that the Nashville Zoo has a kangaroo encounter. It’s completely free but there are a few rules, such as you are required to stay on the paved pathway. My kids and I absolutely loved this portion of our visit! The kangaroos are very used to human contact and will let you go right up to them (slowly) and pet their soft fur. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to see some baby kangaroos!
Another interactive experience at the Nashville Zoo is their critter encounter. This is where you’ll find goats, tortoises, birds and alpacas. Many of them allow you to get close and pet them. Or you can just take a picture next to them. Make sure to wash your hands at the sinks as you leave the enclosure!
Jungle Gym and Rope Bridge
If your kids need to get some energy out, take them over to the Jungle Gym, located by the Gibbon Islands and food court area. It has been newly renovated and includes activities for all ages and abilities.
Another fun area is the rope bridge, which is on the opposite side of the jungle gym, near the Spider Monkeys. My kids loved walking across and we all felt very safe and secure. Take into account the large trees in the area and monkeys swinging through the trees and it almost feels like you are on a rope bridge in the jungle.
This isn’t a specific attraction at the Nashville Zoo, but one my family and I found really interesting! We had never seen so much bamboo before and the height it grows to is pretty incredible. There is a large pathway that winds through the area, starting at the Rhino Hornbill and ending just before the Cougars.
Monkeys in the Women’s Bathroom
One of the biggest surprises of the zoo was when we went into the women’s bathroom near the Guinea Pigs. The wall behind the sinks is glass and behind it are some of the cutest little Cotton-top Tamarins! My girls and I thought this was so unique and we made sure to take pictures and video so we could show the others in our group.
Looking for more family friendly activities to do in Nashville? Check out my post where I share more ways to have fun in Nashville with your family!