I’ve been to many zoos throughout my lifetime. Although the Oakland Zoo isn’t the largest or most world renowned, I am convinced it is the perfect sized zoo with a toddler in tow. The zoo is clean, well kept, and the animals appear to be thriving.
Although we are easily entertained these days, our favorites include the giraffes, fruit bats, and tram ride (a must see, as the sweeping aerial views are spectacular! Also worth noting, I believe this is the only way to get a good view of the bison.) Another favorite of ours is the train ride, which zips around the zoo, passing the emus and wallaroos (the only way you’ll catch a glimpse of these two species!) The train costs $3.50 per person, although you can take the train ride and visit the small theme park without entering or paying zoo admission.
We also adore the petting zoo (refer to your map, as this is easy to miss!) Visitors can brush and pet plenty of goats and sheep for as long as your heart desires. You will also want to expend some energy at the children’s play area. It is filled with climbing structures and a massive rope spider web to keep the wee ones busy!
A few extra things to note: Parking is pricey at $10 a vehicle, but there are unfortunately *few ways around it. A cafe with basic, underwhelming meals is located immediately inside the entrance. A corn dog will set you back $4, a burger $7, fries $3.50. Pack snacks and lunch if you are able to plan ahead!
*Bonus: Are you a local? Check out your library Discover & Go pass. Although you tend to have to reserve a few months in advance, you can score free admission for four guests, plus free parking!
Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd, Oakland, CA – oaklandzoo.org