Wild About Pennsylvania’s Zoos & Animal Parks

The Keystone State offers the family a whole kingdom of zoos and wildlife parks.
Featured Trip Ideas
Lehigh Valley Zoo
Lehigh Valley Zoo
Lehigh Valley Zoo/Photo Credit: fawlty128/Flickr

Banish “I’m bored” from your kids’ vocabulary this summer with a visit to Pennsylvania’s many zoos and wildlife parks, which are crawling, running, flying, and swimming with wild creatures.

Here are a few easy ways to get in touch with Pennsylvania’s wild side.

Pennsylvania Zoos

• Tap into exciting daily programs at the Philadelphia Zoo — America’s first — where zookeeper presentations, guided tours, and other animal-centric activities bring this Fairmount Park family attraction to life.

•  Investigate Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s The Islands exhibit, a new addition that houses endangered species, including siamangs, clouded leopards, Visayan warty pigs, Galapagos tortoises, and Philippine crocodiles.

• Meet Amur leopards and Canadian lynx at Erie Zoo & Botanical Garden’s new cat exhibit, and meander around the zoo’s various gardens, home to more than 600 species of plants.

• Seek out educational programs, camps, or family events at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnecksville and experience everything from African penguins to zebras.

• Check out the new hangout built at Norristown’s Elmwood Park Zoo for Slash, Clinger, and Shredder — three adorable Asian red pandas.

• Step into a zoo in the woods at Claws ‘N’ Paws Wild Animal Park in the Pocono Mountains town of Lake Ariel to see more than 120 species of wild animals; feed giraffes and parrots; and hug friendly deer, lambs, and goats.

Wildlife Parks in Pennsylvania

• See where the buffalo roam, as well as cougars, emus, goats, and kangaroos, at Animaland Zoological Park in Wellsboro.

• Stroll through the Southern Swamps or Big Sky Country at ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park in Hershey, where more than 200 animals represent more than 60 species and five regions of the continent.

• Prowl Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park in Centre Hall on a 90-minute open-air bus tour seeking out mountain lions, timberwolves, bighorn sheep, and other North American animals.

• Find fascinating facts about the mysterious and scaly members of the animal kingdom at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland in Allenwood.

• Travel more than 150 acres of rolling hills on a guided safari tour at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park in Halifax to see herds of roaming animals, flightless birds, and reptiles.

• Discover more than 100 wildlife species, including a kinkajou, fennec fox, and two-toed sloth at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort’s Wild Kingdom; take Louie’s African Train Ride to visit bison, tigers, lions, red sheep, and zebras.

Other Animal Attractions in Pennsylvania

• Enjoy performances, demonstrations, and watching the enchanting miniature horses and other farm animals at the Land of Little Horses Farm Park in Gettysburg.

• Admire more than 500 birds at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, including eagles, owls, flamingos, African penguins, canaries and Andean condors. 

• Get hands-on at the Endless Mountains Nature Center in Tunkhannock along the Susquehanna River, where a variety of animals, birds, and insects make their home.

• Catch a glimpse of the Northeast’s largest free-roaming elk herd in Benezette, where visitors will find the Elk County Visitor Center and multiple viewing areas.

• Venture to the southernmost part of Pymatuning Lake in Jamestown to see animals and birds from around the world at Pymatuning Deer Park; the Kiddie Zoo lets visitors get up close and personal with baby animals.

• Learn the workings of farm life in Shavertown at The Lands at Hillside Farms, including a working dairy herd, greenhouses to tour, and delicious organic products. 

• Ogle timber wolf puppies at the Living Treasures Animal Park in Jones Mills; or visit their New Castle location to ride camels, see three-banded armadillos, and feed alligators and giraffes.

• Encounter cows at working dairy operations, and learn how milk gets into your glass at Perrydell Farm Dairy and Walk-Le Holsteins in York County.

Check out our complete listings for zoos in Pennsylvania and more ideas for family getaways

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