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Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Fodorite Reviews

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Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Review

Famous for its white Bengal tigers, this is one of the country's most respected zoological institutions. In 1999 it was one of three facilities outside of Florida to be allowed to take in Florida manatees; the mammals can be observed at the Manatee Springs exhibit. The zoo is also home to walruses, lowland gorillas, polar bears, and Sumatran rhinos, for which it has the world's only successful captive breeding program. Rhino Emi gave birth to an unprecedented third calf in captivity in 2007. In summer there are animal shows and camel and train rides. The zoo is open evenings from mid-November to early January for its annual Festival of Lights. Be sure to put on your sneakers; there are a lot of hills in Cincinnati, and they all seem to be here. Follow the paw-print signs off I–75 Exit 6 or I–71 Exit 5, the Dana Avenue exit.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 3400 Vine St., Clifton, Cincinnati, OH 45220 | Map It
  • Phone: 513/281–4700; 800/944–4776; 513/281–4701 recording
  • Cost: $12.95, parking $6.50
  • Hours: Memorial Day–Labor Day, daily 9–6; Labor Day–Memorial Day daily 9–5
  • Website:
  • Location: Clifton

Fodorite Reviews

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    Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Review

    I love this zoo. You can take the whole family, because in all the animals, even your teen will find a favorite. (my teen's are the birds. any bird she sees she loves.) other then that, there is lots of shade. the down side is the food isn't the best. I would rather bring my own. make sure that you don't come on a crowded day. It sucks out all the fun. i hope you enjoyed my review.

    by yellowflower, 2/5/11
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    Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden Review

    It may be a "Respected Institution", but it is a horribly cruel place for pathetic and listless animals. By all means visit this zoo if you happen to be in Cincinnati with absolutely NOTHING TO DO and have money to waste. Never make a special journey to go to this place Your time would be better spent at Fountain Square dodging pigeons. This zoo is SO depressing! Management does a fine job of maintaining the zoo - it is clean, landscaped, etc. But this is a zoo, after all, and it is all about the animals. This is an old, old zoo, in the center of an urban area, and as a result the animals are housed in tiny cages and enclosures. This is as far from natural as it gets, and they are clearly miserable. The Big cats and bears - what most people want to see - are sad, sad, sad. Fur is lusterless and often thin and patchy. The animals either pace constantly in a heart rending psychotic trance or lay in the corner in what appears to be a drug induced catatonic slumber.

    by Albert1001, 8/31/10
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    Great fun for animal lovers

    This zoo is huge. It took us 6 hours to get through everything! We went in August so it was very hot and extremely humid. The exhibits are fabulous and there are a few air condition buildings with animal exhibits that give you a nice break from the heat. Dining is expensive but not suprisingly considering it is a big attraction in a major city. It was easy to get in and out from the Highway. There didn't seem to be much parking at all and we went on a Monday so not sure how weekend/holiday parking works.

    by beckasdream, 8/30/07

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