At Franklin Park Zoo, animals live in themed zones that echo their natural habitat. View lions and gorillas at the Kalahari Kingdom and Tropical Forest; observe zebra at the Serengeti Crossing; and see kangaroos at the Outback Trail. A program of activities that includes behind-the-scenes tours, zookeeper chats, and nature workshops provide ways to engage with the zoo’s animal care and conservation work—these are not typically included with standard admission.
If you’re exploring the zoo and wider Boston, consider a sightseeing pass to save yourself time, money, and hassle. The Go Boston card grants free access to Franklin Park Zoo and up to 40 other city attractions for a fixed number of days. The flexible Go Boston Explorer card offers free admission to the zoo and 20 other attractions over 30 days, making it ideal for more leisurely exploration.
Things to Know Before You Go
The zoo is stroller-friendly and wheelchair-accessible.
On-site facilities include restrooms, food outlets, picnic areas, and a petting zoo.
When not viewing the animals, kids can enjoy a wildlife-themed playground.
Some parts of the zoo don’t benefit from shade, so ensure you take a hat and sunscreen if the weather is fine.
How to Get There
Franklin Park Zoo is accessible via Boston’s T public transportation. Take the Orange Line or Commuter Rail to Forest Hills station and catch the 16 bus from there to the zoo. Alternatively, catch either line to the Ruggles stop, and take the 22, 28, 29, 44, or 45 bus. The zoo is also easily reached by cab or self-drive, and free parking is available.
When to Get There
The zoo is open daily year-round, apart from Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Opening times are generally from midmorning until early evening, but hours vary slightly at the weekends and during the winter months. The zoo gets busy in summer, especially at weekends, but otherwise it’s generally crowd-free.
What Not to Miss at Franklin Park Zoo
Must-sees at Franklin Park Zoo include the domed Tropical Forest zone and a rainforest-style world where you can see Western Lowland gorillas, pygmy hippos, and ocelots from five glass viewing stations. Other highlights include the Bird’s World aviary and the Kalahari Kingdom, where you can climb into a stationary 4WD for up-close views of two African lions.
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