"The Virginia Zoological Park is committed to saving and protecting the world’s wildlife by inspiring a passion for nature and taking conservation action at home and around the world."
Welcome to the Virginia Zoo, the 53-acre zoological park located next to Lafayette Park in Norfolk, Virginia. This zoo holds 700 animals inside and allows guests the opportunity to meet, greet, and learn all about these creatures as they explore the various exhibits, attractions, and gardens.
The Virginia Zoo was first opened in 1900, becoming AZA-accredited in 1987. Throughout the zoo, you will find several different themed animal areas/exhibits, as well as gardens scattered throughout. Here's a little glimpse of what you can expect as you explore the grounds;
- Africa-Okavango Delta - Meet animals like lions, elephants, and rhinos all from the plains of Africa.
- Animal Wellness Campus - The onsite animal wellness hospital.
- Asia - Trail of the Tiger - The jungles of Asia bring you animals like giant red pandas and tigers.
- Australia Walkabout - Wallabies and their joeys will greet you on one side, emus on the other!
- North America - See North American animal residents such as Bison and Bald Eagles within the confines of the NA zone.
- World of Reptiles and Friends - 13,000 square feet filled with reptiles such as the Siamese crocodile and more.
- ZooFarm - Cows, pigs, and prairie dogs, oh my!
- Run Wild! Nature Discovery Zone - One of two onsite children's playgrounds.
- Gardens - Butterfly Garden, Formal Garden, Rain Garden, Shade Garden, Tropical Garden, and more.
'Every visitor is met with a plethora of education, from programs that enhance families’ visits to the Zoo, to Scout Snoozes and kids and family programs', and much more. There are sensory backpacks and lap pads available to make the trip fun and accessible for all guests.
For extra fun take a ride on the Norfolk Southern Express Zoo Train, a fun and informative trip around the park, or visit the kid-friendly Water Plaza and splash pad. When you work up an appetite head to The Beastro or African Village Cafe for some grub and don't forget to stop by the Zoo Gift Shop to pick up your educational material or fun souvenir before you go!