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Everything You Need to Know About Zoo Knoxville (2023 Guide)

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Last Updated on January 20, 2024 by Allison Lancaster

If you’re in East Tennesee and looking for zoos in Knoxville, Zoo Knoxville should be at the top of your list. Not only does it have a wide variety of animals but it is one of the most kid-friendly places in East Tennessee.

Why Visit Zoo Knoxville

Growing up, Zoo Knoxville was one place that my grandparents took me to many times. I have so many fond memories of Zoo Knoxville from my childhood! We love taking our kids to Zoo Knoxville. There are so many family-friendly things to do.

Not to mention, Zoo Knoxville is close to many other things in East Tennessee that you will want to visit.

Family at Zoo Knoxville in front of Elephants

Things To Know About Visiting Zoo Knoxville

Wear Comfortable Shoes. I wore flip flops, and while my feet weren’t terribly sore by the end of the day, I do wish I had worn more ‘walking friendly’ shoes. There is so much to see at the zoo and so many various exhibits and animals, that you don’t want to miss one square inch of the zoo. While it’s of course not as big as Disney World or larger amusement parks, etc. you will do a lot of walking in a day at the Zoo in Knoxville.

That being said, be prepared to walk and take it all in!

mom and son with stroller at entrance to zoo in Knoxville, TN

Take Your Camera. Before we headed to the Zoo, we contemplated even bringing our camera, but I am so glad that we did! Some of the pictures that I was able to capture are amazing (check out the one of the snake below) and I love being able to have those memories to show the kids as they get older.

While your phone camera is great, if you have a larger digital camera it is absolutely worth taking it with you to the Zoo in Knoxville, TN.

snake with mouth open at zoo in Knoxville TN
Tiger at Zoo Knoxville

Take Food! I wasn’t sure if you were allowed to take snacks or drinks into the zoo, so I didn’t pack any. However, I noticed several people with lunches eating at the various picnic areas around the zoo.

This is a wonderful idea! There are several shops and restaurants at the zoo, but you can also bring snacks of your own (which is nice for those of us with picky eaters!). This is also a great idea to save a few dollars. I would also recommend packing bottles of water for the entire family.

Father and son walking around Zoo in Knoxville

Visit The Exhibits More Than Once. When we arrived, one of the first animals we saw were the elephants. We circled back around to them at the end because Levi loved them so much. One of the elephants was ‘showing off’ when we circled back and was throwing grass and dirt using her trunk. It was funny to see and Levi enjoyed it so much.

Take your time and if you especially loved an exhibit, return to it before you leave, you never know what you might see! Plan to spend the entire day at the zoo and you are sure to see a wide variety of things!

Zoo KNoxville elephant

Be Prepared To Have a Blast! We always have the best time at Zoo Knoxville! We have made memories that will last a lifetime and I cannot wait to take the kids back.

There are so many beautiful animals at the zoo and the educational experiences offered at the zoo are amazing! Be sure to check their website, as there is always a fun event or experience happening!

How to get to Zoo Knoxville

It is very easy to get to the Zoo in Knoxville, TN. Their address is:

3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive
Knoxville, TN 37914

Birthday Parties at Zoo Knoxville

We actually held Levi’s 6th birthday party at Zoo Knoxville! It was such a wonderful time. We had a pizza and cake party. The staff truly made it a birthday to remember. We made crafts, met some furry friends, went on a walking safari, rode the carousel, and even got to spend time with Big Al the Aldabra Giant Tortoise!

boy with birthday cake at zoo knoxville birthday party

I highly recommend a birthday party at Zoo Knoxville. I know that we will for sure be back for future birthdays and events.

Big Al Zoo Knoxville birthday party meet and greet

What hours is Zoo Knoxville open?

They are open daily from 9am-4pm. I recommend calling ahead of time or checking their website to confirm the hours.

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