This post about Franklin Park Zoo tips has been sponsored by Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.
We visited the Franklin Park Zoo on an overcast day in April, but that didn’t stop us from falling in love with the zoo. We had such a great time that we’ve put a zoo membership on our wishlist for the kids who have summer birthdays (Grandma LOVES giving a membership somewhere instead of gift). With that being said, because it was so early in the season, we didn’t get to experience ALL that the zoo had to offer in terms of bonus activities (rides, carousels and so on). They just weren’t open for the season yet!
We were however, surprised by a few things we encountered at the zoo. I want to pass them along to you because our experience could have been enhanced if we knew more about the zoo going in. These Franklin Park Zoo tips are for you!
Franklin Park Zoo Tips
The Franklin Park Zoo is an AZA Safe Zoo.
What is an AZA Safe Zoo? Well, I’m glad you asked! Here’s more about the movement in AZA’s own words.
“Saving Animals From Extinction focuses the collective expertise within our accredited zoos and aquariums and leverages their massive audiences to save species. At the same time, SAFE will build capacity to increase direct conservation spending, as well as our members’ impact on saving species through work in the field, in our zoos and aquariums, and through public engagement. We have done it before. Some species exist only because of the efforts of aquariums and zoos and our partners.” Source.
For the summer of 2017, Stonyfield has partnered with the AZA to encourage more families to head out to their AZA Safe Zoo’s by offering a special edition of their packaging that includes ways to get free tickets to the zoos. You can read more about that here, where I already gave all of the details earlier.
While there are many food options available inside the zoo, you can bring in your own picnic too.
This is such a great benefit! So many families have really specific dietary requirements or food allergies. There are picnic tables in several different areas of the zoo.
Franklin Park Zoo truly is a zoo and a park.
One of the things my kids loved about the zoo was design. The combination of little nooks to explore, walking paths, climbing structures and play equipment AND animals to enjoy made their time extra special.
Franklin Park Zoo offers free parking.
Unlike some other attractions that are day trip worthy, Franklin Park Zoo doesn’t charge you to park!
Franklin Park Zoo offers a safe and up close look at a lot of “dangerous” animals.
This was probably the thing my family loved the most…. the design of the zoo allows for multiple views of animals behind both fences and glass. My kids loved watching the lions from afar and then going to the glass viewing enclosures for a closer look.
The same was true for Joe the Gorilla. We loved having more than one viewing area of the animals! This is a great benefit, especially for days when the zoo might be crowded.
Some animals roamed freely.
We loved observing the peacocks as they wandered through the zoo. My kids thought it was especially cool when one visited us near the playground.
And this cute friend kept a close watch on us while we observed the Pygmy Hippo.
The Franklin Park Zoo has tons of engaging and creative information on their website.
Both Lola and Malone loved checking out some of their YouTube videos (like this one).
Like most places, there is opportunity to spend more money after you pay to get in.
If you’re a family on a budget, check out this link and decide which extra’s you might want to do before you get to the zoo. That way, your family won’t be overcome with a case of the “I wants” while you’re in there. Most of these were still closed when we visited, but I know that I would have been asked. They offer everything from camel rides to feeding animals plus a few “kiddie” rides. Here’s more info on their attractions.
Franklin Park Zoo participates in the library pass program.
So before you visit, check with your local Massachusetts library to see if they have a pass for you!
My kids adored seeing the animals and exploring the grounds. But they both said their favorite part was the 10,000 sq foot playground at the zoo. They could have easily spent the full day there. This playground is fenced in and features just about every piece of playground a equipment a kid could want. And best of all? It has a rubber surface, making it wheelchair and stroller friendly.
Want even more great summer travel places? Check out my MA Bucket list!