With over 3,500 different animals, the Denver Zoo pays special attention to creating natural animal habitats and maximizing visitor viewing opportunities. Walk up to an above-ground perch for a panoramic African scene with lions and spotted hyenas. Feed the parrots. Explore Elephant Passage, 10 acres around a simulated Asian village with an elephant house and where gibbons cackle and swing between trees over your head. This Denver treasure recently celebrated the birth of three penguins and a baby gerenuk that will grow into a graceful antelope. A near threatened species, the gerenuks are one example of the zoo’s dedication to conservation; 188 of the 650 species living there are considered threatened or endangered. The Denver Zoo constantly invents fresh ways to learn about wildlife. Kids up to age six who follow the Activity Map will roar like lions, tell jokes to hyenas, and run like giraffes through a grassy meadow.
The zoo covers a huge area so wear comfortable walking shoes. Wheelchairs and electric scooters are available for rent. Several cafes and two picnic areas provide different options when it’s time to feed the humans. Be sure to come back the next time you visit the Mile-High City because there’s always something new at the zoo which is open every day of the year. The admissions window is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer (March 1 to October 31) when tickets cost $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $10 for kids three to eleven, and are free for younger children. Guests enjoy a reduced price during the rest of the year when the zoo opens an hour later and closes one hour earlier. Take advantage of Denver Zoo free days in January, February, and November and the lights and special entertainment that transform the zoo during December evenings. A five mile drive north on Colorado Boulevard right outside the Holiday Inn gets you there. Or be green; the RTD bus drops you off nearby and a short walk brings you to the entrance. For additional information go to www.denverzoo.org or call 720-337-1400.