The Maryland Zoo is divided into two main sections ~ The African Journey and the Maryland Wilderness Children's Zoo. A tram will take you from the Main Entrance to the area with the exhibits. My kids are past the stroller stage, but both the tram and the pathways are stroller friendly and most areas are fairly well shaded.
The African Area has many of the more "exotic" zoo animals. A winding path takes you on a large loop through the woods and the animals' exhibits are on either side of the pathway. There's a giraffe feeding station as well as camel rides (both have an additional fee).
My favorite area is the chimpanzee exhibit. Eleven chimps share a large indoor and outdoor exhibit area. We were lucky to be there for the zookeeper chat this past visit (check the schedule for the various chats when you get to the zoo). We got to see the chimps get some fruit and learned more about their behaviors.
|My own little chimps blended right in with the statues!|
In the Maryland Wilderness section, you get the chance to learn about some of the animals typically found in Maryland. You'll explore the animal habitats in a Bog, Stream, Cave, Woodlands and finally end up in a Farmyard. There are a quite a few "interactive" parts in this section of the zoo ~ the kids will be able to climb in a birds' nest, hop across lily pads, explore a dark cave, spin in turtle shells, and slide down a big slide that looks like a fallen tree. In the Farmyard, there's a petting zoo where you can get up close with various farm animals.
Check out all the fun they had in this area...
NOTE: The Cave exhibit is quite dark and could be frightening for little ones,
but it's easily bypassed.
The lily pads could keep my kids happily hopping for hours.
In addition to the African Journey and the Maryland Wilderness sections, there's also The Polar Bear Watch with three large polar bears. Many times, the polar bears are just lounging around on land, but on our recent visit, we were excited to see one of the bears cooling off in the water. (I don't blame him, it was a hot day!)
I've been going to the zoo here in Baltimore for almost 20 years now, first as a teacher and now as a parent. I will admit that for awhile, the zoo was getting somewhat rundown and I would be a bit disappointed when I'd visit. However, in recent years, they've made a lot of improvements and it's much better now. The buildings and facilities are much cleaner and better maintained than they were in the past.
The parking is free and there are concession stands in various locations where you can purchase food and snacks. You are also free to bring in your own food and snacks. The Maryland Zoo also participates in the reciprocal program with other zoos in the country, so if you're visiting the Baltimore area and have a membership at your local zoo, check to see if your admission might be free or discounted.
For more info on the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, you can check out their website before your visit.