Get ready to go wild


Take a walk on the wild side with a trip to one of Ohio’s six zoos. Get ready to monkey around with some chimpanzees, take a splash with an otter or watch a real polar bear plunge.

Summertime is the perfect time to take that tip to the wildest spots in the state — an adventure for the whole family.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium houses over 10,000 animals with 600 different species, and welcomes over two million guests each year. The zoo and aquarium features several different areas, Adventure Cove, Asia Quest, Australia and Island, Congo Expedition: African Forest, Heart of Africa, North America, Polar Frontier, and Shores and Aquarium.

Visitors have the opportunity to interact with animals at various animal experiences throughout the park. Visitors can get up close and personal with kangaroos at a kangaroo walkabout or enjoy touching stingrays at Stingray Bay

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium offers several rides and attractions including a 4-D Theater, which utilizes special effects during their movies, and the North American Train Ride that takes five minutes to travel around the North American region of the park.

The annual Zoofari event in 2024 was held on June 22 at 7 p.m. Adults ages 21 years and older can explore the park while enjoying delicious food, signature cocktails and live music—all to benefit the Zoo’s conservation education programs.

July 1-5 is Military Family Days, which honors those who have served as well as the loved ones who tirelessly support them. The event is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A new feature that is coming soon to the zoo is called the Dinosaur Island boat ride. This voyage offers a one-of-a-kind tour through the Zoo’s captivating Australia and the Islands region. The ride has yet to announce the date it open, but is set to run daily through Aug. 11, and afterward will vary based on the time of the year.

Other Columbus Zoo and Aquarium hosts several other events throughout the year which can be found at

Package your getaway to the Columbus Zoo with an adventure at Zoombezi Bay, a nearly 23-acre water park, which is right next to the zoo. Those who purchase tickets for the water park will get into the zoo for free.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is located at 4850 Powell Road in Powell.

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is the home to the famous Fiona and Fritz hippos along with hundreds of other animals and different species of animals.

Different sections of the zoo include the Africa region, Birds of the World, Cat Canyon, Elephant Reserve, Gorilla World, Jungle Trails, Reptile House, Roo Valley, Wolf Woods, and more.

Visitors can experience giraffe feedings at various times throughout the day. Wings of Wonder presentations are available for visitors to watch flight demonstrations from various species of birds. Another animal encounter includes the Kroger Cheetah Encounter where visitors can enjoy watching cheetahs run.

A train ride, carousel ride, and Kanga’ Klimb are various rides and attractions available to visitors at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

The annual Zoo La La was held on June 21 and includes dinner, drinks, and zoo after-dark. Attendees will explore the zoo with their drinks in a manner that many others don’t get to do. Live music entertainment will also be available throughout the event.

Another fun summer event is Fritz & Fiona’s Sundae Fundae on Sunday, July 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Guests get free train and carousel rides during this event that offers a double-dip of Fritz & Fiona, delicious Graeter’s ice cream, and savory snacks from Grippo’s. Fritz & Fiona’s Sundae Fundae will take you around the Zoo for an ice cream and chip sampling where guests will be able to see their favorite animals enjoying their outdoor habitats after hours.

The event supports their educational programs. One such program is the living classroom education access program that allows free field trips to local schools.

More information on events at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden can be found at their website

The zoo is located at 3400 Vine St. in Cincinnati.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo consists of several regions of the zoo including Primate, Cat, and Aquatics, WaterFowl Lake, Circle of Wildlife, African Elephant Crossing, Austrailian Adventure, the Rainforest, African Savanna, and Wilderness Trek.

The Asian Lantern Festival returns this year, and during various weekends throughout the summer illuminated after dark, live acrobatic performances occure every hour on the Fifth Third Bank Stage. Also a variety of culturally-inspired cuisine is available at the MetroHealth Asian Food Market, and all-new lantern displays including a 50-foot-tall pagoda and themed areas like the Blooming Gardens presented by CrossCountry Mortgage. On select nights, guests will be able to drive through the festival from the comfort of their personal vehicles.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is located at 3900 Wildlife Way in Cleveland.

Visit for more information.

The Akron Zoo is home to over 1,000 animals from around the globe in various regions around the zoo. The regions include Curious Creatures, Grizzly Ridge, Komodo Kingdom, Legends of the Wild, Wild Prairie, Penguin Point, Pride of Africa, Wild Asia, and Zoo Gardens.

A conservation carousel is available for visitors to ride.

Events include Multicultural Day on June 22, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., during which guests are invited to celebrate cultural diversity and enjoy crafts and games during this special event. The Akron Zoo is partnering with Stan Hywett Hall & Gardens to present Multicultural Day! Come and experience a fun, educational day featuring local art from the community.

The Akron Zoo is located at 504 Euclid Ave. in Akron.

For more information, visit

The Toledo Zoo and Aquarium is houses over 10,000 animals with over 720 different species being represented. The zoo features Africa, Wolf Cabin, Rescue Roost, Flamingo Key, Galapagos Garden, Primate Foest, Great Apes, Reptile House, and more sections.

The Toledo Zoo also has the Promedica Museum of Natural History, which contains arthropods, reptiles, and amphibians. THe museum also has models and a greenhouse.

On Sunday evenings from July 7-Aug. 11, the zoo hold Music Under the Stars in the historic Amphitheatre, listening to live music while surrounded by family, friends and animals. They highlight the many musical talents found in popular bands throughout our region at this long-standing Toledo tradition.

The Toledo Zoo is located at 2 Hippo Way, Toledo.

Visit for more information.

The Wilds, located near Cumberland, Ohio, is not your typical zoo or wildlife habitat. It’s one of the largest and most innovative conservation center attractions in the world.

Over 500 animals representing over 25 species are at the conservation center.

Travel aboard a safari transport, an open-air safari, horseback, or zipline to view and learn about rare and endangered animals from around the world roaming freely in large, natural habitat, including rhinos, giraffes, zebras and antelope.

See the animals like nowhere else when you strap into The Wilds zipline safari tour. Soar through the sky as you overlook the majestic animals of The Wilds. Several tour options are available at various times of the day.

The Wilds is located at 14000 International Road in Cumberland. There will be road construction near The Wilds during the month of June. The zoo recommends to plan for more travel time before your scheduled tour.

Visit for more information.

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