Visiting the Metro Richmond Zoo


During my parents’ recent visit in March, we decided to take advantage of a cool, sunny Saturday and take our toddler to the zoo for the first time. The Metro Richmond Zoo is in Moseley, VA about 25 miles southwest of downtown Richmond. We arrived shortly after opening so that we could take in as much as we could before lunch time (and nap time) called.

{planning our route}

The Metro Richmond Zoo is intimately sized, which is perfect for a toddler. While we took our stroller, our daughter only sat in it for about 5 minutes. She was happy to walk the rest of the time, leading us to whichever enclosure she wanted to see next. There was plenty to see in our hour and a half visit; there are over 150 different species including lions, cheetahs, a rather impressive number of primates, and giraffes.  

{making a new friend}

You can get quite close to many of the animals, which isn’t the case if you’re at a larger zoo. The zoo also offers “zoo treats” for purchase at the ticket counter and throughout the grounds so that you can hand feed the animals. There is a bridge over the giraffe enclosure that allows you to be face-to-face with the giraffes to facilitate feeding them. The adults in our group found this awesome, and the toddler found it utterly uninteresting (typical toddler). Be aware: since you can feed some of the animals, watch your child closely to make sure your child isn’t surreptitiously sharing goldfish with the emus and giraffes.

{“Put down the camera and feed me, woman!”}

In addition to following the walkway around the grounds to see the animals, the zoo also offers a Safari Sky Lift and Safari Train. The Safari Ski Lift takes you on an aerial tour of the zoo, right over camels and zebras, while the Safari Train is a narrated tour by a zookeeper and takes you into an area of the zoo with free-ranging animals. The Safari Train has open sides, so I’d be hesitant to take a child that wouldn’t reliably sit still for about 15 minutes (we passed on that with our toddler!).

The zoo also has a playground, merry-go-round, and picnic areas throughout. Outside food and coolers are allowed, and food is available for purchase as well. And heads up: There are peacocks that wander freely on the walkways, so be aware of poo piles. I highly recommend checking shoes and stroller wheels before getting back in the car.

We had a great time and will definitely be back in the future!

Quick Info:

Located at 8300 Beaver Bridge Road, Moseley, VA 23120 (about 25 miles south of downtown), the zoo is open from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday.

Parking is free and plentiful. The parking lot is mixed gravel and concrete, so umbrella strollers are a little tough to push.

Admission: Adults (ages 12-59) are $17.25; children (2-11) are $11.25; infants (under 2) are free; seniors (60+) are $16.25

“Zoo Treats” can be purchased throughout the zoo to feed to the animals for $2.

The Safari Sky Lift and Safari Train are $3 per rider over the age of 2.