Interact with animals and visit a historical estate at Nashville Zoo. In 1996, the zoo merged with the adjacent Grassmere Wildlife Park and now covers 81 ha (200 acres) and holds more than 6,000 animals, from colorful birds and fish to large predators. Take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn how the animals are taken care of and to get an opportunity to pet and feed the some of the zoo's residents. A guided tour of the Grassmere mansion is a window into the Tennessee's past. Be prepared for a lot of walking, because the zoo does its best to give the animals a lot of space. Add Nashville Zoo and other attractions to your Nashville trip itinerary using our Nashville visit planning app .
Nashville Zoo Reviews
We visited the zoo at night for their annual Zoolumination celebration. Although I know this festival is over until next year, it is definitely worth adding to your list if you are planning to visit..... more »
Zoolumination was an amazing display of Chinese lanterns. It was well laid out throughout the zoo. Each display has an explanation that left me with a better understanding of the Chinese culture... more »
This is a gorgeous, really well designed zoo. We strongly recommend it if you have kids or care about the welfare of animals in captivity. Where we had trouble was with some of the narrative surrounding its history and how it was presented. It's no secret that the zoo moved to this location after a historic family sold it. You can see plaques all over one area talking about how slaves were "needed," for the original farm to run. A few years ago, in 2014, many of the slaves graves had to be relocated. You would think this would be a good opportunity to show these people more respect, but instead they received regular stones as grave markers instead of any identifying or anything more presentable. Meanwhile, the "masters" still have an elaborate graveyard, filled with obelisks and nicely carved markers. Why not something to honour these nameless slaves who built and ran this farm? And why not a more suitable narrative surrounding them, the family that owned the land, and the farm's history? It felt as though the narrative here was okay with and sympathized with these slave owners. We were glad that the historic home estate was the last part of the zoo we saw, because the rest was absolutely lovely and still very much recommended.
As always our family had a wonderful adventure at the zoo. It is always clean with clear pathways and excellent maps so you can plan where to go. Our family lives the 'hands on exhibits'...kangaroos, tortoises and goats. Listening to the keepers talk about the animals and watching them be fed is a treat. The memberships they offer are a very good deal if you plan on visiting a few times a year. Besides admission you also get discounts while you are there. Well worth a visit either for a couple hours or the entire day. The clinic is a wonderful learning opportunity.
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