Virginia Zoo, Norfolk

Want to offer your 5- or 10-year old kids a bite of wild adventure? If yes, then bring them to the Virginia Zoo for a spring break camp to explore and learn about the wonderful wild life. This Zoological Park is 100% fun-filled land for children of all ages, which you can access from anywhere in the city by just a short drive. Chic and well maintained, the Virginia Zoo is entered via a big headquarters building from where you will obtain a zoo map. But wait; guys! Before going in, do look for the two giant observation towers that undoubtedly will offer a spectacular birds-eye vista of the zoo. Now come down and enter the gate where a wide plaza is encountered with the fully loaded fountains squirting water, obviously not at you intentionally. However, if you wish to get wet with your kids, just walks over these ground level sprays. I am sure your kids would definitely like to join those other kids getting wet on a hot sunny day.

It is now that you start looking at the zoo map and realize that the set up of this attraction is completely spherical. This means that you can easily roam about in a loop without any tension to miss out any highlight inside. When I was on my tour of the Virginia Zoo, it was a hot afternoon time and so many animals were snoozing in the shade, which indicates you should come here either in the morning or evening.

Virginia Zoo

Among all the creatures that you see here, you will realize that the most active ones are the giraffes, bison, antelopes, ostrich, and zebras of which the latter three stay together in a big open zone. Next, you get to see a free show of the zebras that simply set it all naturally by undulating around in the dust. You can see them in the containment zone along with the white rhinos that hardly tend to put up a concert for the guests in the heat. My next sight was of the elephants that were seen in their structure. Talking about the lions, as it was afternoon time, I hardly could see any of them. This might be because they were probably napping in their den. But yes, I could see some tigers that were sleeping outside under the cool shade. Zebras and giraffes were quite active besides being under the shade for napping. Other creatures that I could greet include reptiles, farm animals, eagles, birds of prey, waterfowl, bongo, meerkats, nocturnal animals, baboons, deer, emu, llamas, hogs, and deer.

Overall, the Virginia Zoo has good wide paths and appealing landscapes along with several theme gardens, which ensure a great break out at the weekend. Although it is not that vast, it still can grab a couple of hours from you for your memorable tour. And yes, before you leave, you just cannot resist riding in the park express train whereon the train engineer narrates the story and highlights of the zoo while you pass from the red panda exhibit to the new site of the Trail of the Tiger in construction.

New attractions

ASIA – TRAIL OF THE TIGER exhibit showcasing Malayan tigers, orangutans, Asian small-clawed otters, white-cheeked gibbons, Malayan tapirs, siamangs, binturongs (bear cats), and birds like brilliant fairy bluebirds, beaked rhino hornbills, chestnut-breasted malkohas, and azure-winged magpies
Squirrel monkeys

Giant land tortoises
Rare African bongo

Timings

10 am to 5 pm, but closed on major holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year.
Address

3500 Granby Street
Norfolk
VA 23504
Tickets

$11 per adult
$9 (2 to 11) per child
$2 for the train ride
$10 per senior citizen above 61

Facilities

African Village Restaurant in the Africa section
Strollers
Wheelchairs
Open-air tent for events like birthday parties
Boardwalk for a big event
Classrooms in the Education and Visitor Center
Conference rooms

Events

Zoofari Golf Tournament – May 9, 2011
Zoo Tales – 11 am on Tuesdays
Animal Crackers – Monthly on third Sundays at 10 am
Spring It On Camp – April 18, 20, and 22
Party for the Planet – April 23

Tip

Enter at 10 am for active animal sightings; Come here on cool day for more natural shows.