Trip Planner USA  /  South Dakota  /  Watertown  /  Zoos & Aquariums  /  Bramble Park Zoo

Bramble Park Zoo, Watertown

Categories: Zoos & Aquariums, Nature & Parks, Outdoor Activities
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 80+ reviews on the web
Bramble Park Zoo is located in Watertown, South Dakota. Open since 1912, the zoo comprises 15acre with approximately 500 animals representing 130 different species.Bramble Park Zoo has been an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) since 1993.HistoryThe zoo was opened in 1912, and is named after Frank Bramble, who donated pheasants and other birds to the town to put on display. By 1940, the zoo had outgrown its original facility, and was moved to its current location. The new exhibits for the zoo were constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).In 1972, the Lake Area Zoological Society (LAZS) was created "to provide significant assistance in the growth, development and professionalism of the Zoo." The LAZS puts out a quarterly publication called animal chatter.In the 1990s, the zoo received accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) (1993), hired its first full-time educator (1996), and built the Discovery Center and a new front entrance to the zoo (1997). With money from the city and an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant, the zoo also renovated animal-holding areas and other infrastructure, constructed additional raptor rehabilitation areas, and revitalized the primate exhibits.Throughout the first decade of the 21st century,the zoo continued to update and expand its exhibits. It created a walk-through Australian Adventure exhibit and a short grass prairie garden. In May 2010, the Terry Redlin Environmental Center opened, which includes a variety of aquariums, which were donated by Terry Redlin's son. It also includes educational activities, smaller animal exhibits, and two new educational classrooms. The new center is connected to the Discovery Center building at the entrance of the zoo.
Use our Watertown vacation builder to visit Bramble Park Zoo on your trip to Watertown, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • The grandkids always have a great time here. Friendly staff, lots to see and do. Great variety of animals to see. 
  • An excellent network of bike/pedestrian paths around Bramble Park. Part of the path took me behind the zoo - which was closed for the day. Looking through the back fence, I saw these birds, a field of...  read more »
  • I thought this zoo suffered from a lack of information. There are no details on the map and some of the animals did not even have signs letting me know what they are. The staff members we ran across w...  read more »
  • Awesome small zoo. Cool animals, didnt expect to see a snow leopard, or tiger in Watertown, SD.
  • Beautiful, peaceful and fun for entire family. Also, the zookeepers here are top notch! 😁
  • It's a smaller zoo that is great for younger children. The new petting zoo in the barn and the otter exhibit is great. There's not large crowds to deal with, either. Go in the morning before noon during the summer before it gets too hot because the animals are much more active. My children (8 and 3) and I really enjoyed this zoo. And we will continue to go back.
  • They boast 500-800 animals, but it's not true. It's sad. They don't even have the petting zoo anymore and the one carousel they had for little kids over where the petting zoo used to be doesn't even work. The person who takes your money is also the food person and the gift shop person, so if she's busy helping someone else in one of those areas, you're going to wait a while. The penguin area was empty both of the last two times we went. Also, the alligators haven't been around. They have areas marked for specific animals, but they've been gone awhile. If you have babies and young toddlers who don't really care about seeing big animals or specific animals, and one's that are happy seeing a couple of main ones like monkey's and buffalo (which you see a lot in SD anyway), then they would enjoy this zoo. If you have older kids who like to mark off all the animals they see, or kids that want a petting zoo or more advanced animals (lions, tigers, and bears, oh, my!), then I suggest you drive to Sioux Falls - it's worth it there for sure.
  • Bramble Park Zoo is a treasure in Watertown. Yes, there are many better zoo's. Yes, they do not have many amazing exotic animals in this zoo. However, the zoo is in a town of twenty thousand, and with that in mind, it is a wonderful zoo. The staff are helpful and knowledgeable, and the zoo participates in the community in many ways.
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h