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Oakland Zoo, Oakland

4.2
#2 of 33 in Things to do in Oakland
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
Founded in 1922 and home to 660 animals, Oakland Zoo features a number of natural exhibits in addition to a renowned elephant program. Explore themed areas spread out across the zoo, including the African savannah, the veldt, wild Australia, the rain forest, and more, each complete with flora and fauna native to that region. The Adventure Landing area features rides that give you views of the animals. If you have little ones with you, stop by the children's zoo, dedicated to teaching young minds about animals and the natural world. Be sure to check the website for information on scheduled animal feedings, special events, activities, and educational programs. Use our Oakland itinerary planner to add Oakland Zoo and other attractions to your Oakland vacation plans.
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514 reviews
Google
4.3
  • We have visited the Oakland zoo in the past and enjoyed it, but outside the zoo with a separate entrance there is an area for young children with rides for kids 36"-54". My 2 yo and 5 yo loved it. We ...  more »
  • The zoo was a lot of fun but the real joy was the adventure park and the train ride. The park layout is a bit odd with dead ends everywhere. A lot of the walkways are narrow and hard to get a stroller...  more »
  • I used to take my two sons here when they were small; now my sons have taken their kids here to share it!  more »
Google
  • Great zoo. Some animals are allowed more privacy than others, you will need binoculars to spot the lions when they are not napping behind trees/ bushes. Expect to miss a certain number of animals just because. The new gondolas are nice and smooth. The view from the new restaurant is worth the trip, not the food. Absolutely unacceptable menu with a very limited options. With such amazing views one would expect an equally attractive menu, no so fast. More healthy options are needed.
  • For my list, I've created a bucket list of places to go. And they've been to all the zoos beside Oakland zoo. In December, one of my friends went to the Oakland Zoo with her 2 year old and family. She cognizant that Oakland zoo is not huge and not that many animals to see. Although her reviews were stuck in my heard, I still sought to see for myself. Entrance- At the zoo parking entrance, you have to pay $10. There were signs posted on the windows of the entrance, credit card system temporarily down and cash accepted. I pretended as if we didn't read the instruction and gave my credit card. They guy said you don't have cash. I replied, no. Then he swiped my card. I guess to speed up at the entrance, they posted those signs. We purchased the tickets at the zoo entrance and I kept saying to myself that should have purchased the groupon deal. It was expensive, $19 per adult without tax and for 2 year and up they charge. I think best time to come to the zoo is in the morning. We reached the zoo at 10.30am and the parking lot was almost full. At the entrance, make sure to grab the map so you don't miss out anything. Once you enter the zoo you'll see the gift shop on your right and the flamingos directly in front of you. Near the gift shop are the restrooms and on the left is the restaurant where we ate. The gift shop is small but remarkable, great educational toys, t-shirts, hats, sunblock, puzzles and etc. Outside the zoo is the Outback Express Adventure Train. They have a train ride for adults and children that go around the zoo. Every time my daughter see the train, we have to ride. And she loved it. Our conductor did not give much information. After paying the zoo entrance, we paid additional for the train ride. I felt everything was adding up very fast. Wear comfortable shoes because there are steep hills in different portions of the zoo. For the sky ride, you have to pay $ 3per person. I have 9 months old and they charged $3 for the baby. You can see most of the animals through the sky ride and it was totally worth it. I loved the newly opened Gondola ride. It had a beautiful view of the bay area. We saw elephants, giraffes, zebra, turtle, lemur, lion, buffalo, tiger and etc. Overall, this was a great zoo and I would definitely come back when the new area is opened.
  • Had a great time here. Animal enclosures are small but they have a good variety. My favorite part of my visit was the new gondola. It is absolutely amazing. If there is one thing you do here then ride the gondola! Kiddie play area is also great to let the kids run around. They have picnic tables next to this area which is great for families
  • Don't know what happen to the animals. I guess it's too hot that's why they are all hidden. The Gondola is a great addition to this place. From the top is a nice view of the bay area (this was the highlight of our visit). Giraffes are the most alert animals we saw on our quick visit.
  • This is one of the best zoos I've visited. Most of the animals can always be seen. Accept those darn lions. But if you take the Sky Ride you can see them from there. The train is also cool for seeing animals you can't see from anywhere else. The food is pretty good and the staff are super friendly.