Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

cleveland-metroparks-zooThe Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a zoo in Cleveland, Ohio. It is run by the Cleveland Metroparks, which is an Ohio governmental organization responsible for overseeing the park system and other public spots in the Cleveland area.

The zoo is set on 183 acres in the southwest area of Cleveland and has over 2,000 animals from 6 continents. The address of the zoo is 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, Ohio 44109. (Wildlife Way is the zoo’s own road; it runs between Fulton Parkway and Pearl Road.)

The zoo is open every day except Christmas and New Year’s Day. Hours are 10AM to 5PM on weekdays and 10AM to 7PM on weekends during the majority of the year. Hours may vary for certain special events or during holiday weeks. See this page for current hours and ticket prices.

The zoo that would become the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo was founded in 1882 on land donated by industrialist Jeptha Wade. The area was then known as Wade Park; today that area is called University Circle. Wade donated 14 American deer as well; these became the first animals in the zoo. In 1907 the Cleveland City Council decided to move the zoo to its current location as part of a plan to further develop the Wade Park area, including the construction of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

In 1992 the zoo opened The RainForest, a two-acre indoor exhibit that simulates jungle conditions and features rainforest animals from Africa, Asia and South America. This exhibit is especially popular during the winter when visitors want to escape from the cold.

A “Giraffe Encounter” feature opened in 2015 allows zoo visitors to easily feed giraffes by positioning visitors at the giraffes’ eye level.

The zoo offers many special events and special opportunities, including Boo at the Zoo for Halloween, the Twilight at the Zoo concert fundraiser, overnight group sleepovers, and more.

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