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If you are looking for a family activity in Southern Colorado, I suggest a visit to the Pueblo Zoo. This is a nice friendly little zoo in contrast to the larger zoos in Colorado Springs and Denver.
Pueblo Zoo has staple animals like lions, tigers, and bears (and a couple of unusual animals too). Most of all it is manageable with kids. You can enjoy this zoo at a leisurely pace, along the flat paths and not feel totally exhausted.
We have been to some of the premier zoos like Smithsonian National Zoo and Bronx Zoo, but we still love little town zoos too.
Consisting of 30 acres in Pueblo, Colorado, the Pueblo Zoo is open all year, so there’s no need to plan a specific time of the year to see all 400-plus animals that inhabit this large zoo.
If you read our article about the best things to do in Pueblo, Colorado, you know we have family there. So you are getting insider information from the locals here (which may also be slightly biased.)
History of Pueblo Zoo
The Pueblo Zoo has a long and interesting history. The main part was built over a decade. Work on the zoo beginning in 1930 was completed around 1940. In the National Register of Historic Places, the location is listed as Pueblo City Park Zoo.
The design of the Pueblo City Park Zoo is an example of the late 19th -century American movement style. The Public Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration built the two buildings and six structures.
When Should I Visit the Zoo?
The best news about the Pueblo Zoo is that it is open all year. The weather in Pueblo is more temperate than the northern and mountainous parts of the state. With little snowfall and many sunny days in the
However, there are also once-a-year events that are fun to attend. With unique sounding names for these events like ” ZooBoo” or the “Brew At The Zoo” who wouldn’t want to join in.
We have enjoyed the December evenings with “Electric Critters” when the zoo is decorated with holiday lights.
Pueblo Zoo Animal and Exhibits
The 130 species and over 400 animals are separated into five main exhibits. Many of the exhibits are housed in historic buildings from the turn of the century.
This part of the zoo is modeled after habitats and animals from Asia. You can see exotic animals like the stunning Przewalski’s horses, gibbons, Malayan sun bears and also Reeves’s muntjac.
The African penguin exhibit was one of our favorites both for the animals and the fun costumes they had for the kids.
Australian Outback, both adults and children alike can spot a glimpse at the red kangaroos, as well as the emus.
Although the maned wolf that hails from South America could seem a bit out of place in this part of the zoo.
The zoo added local education by featuring the wetlands ecosystem form Colorado. Venturing to this spot of the zoo will give you a glimpse
These include the white-tailed deer, the Plains bison, black-tailed prairie dog, trumpeter swan, wood duck, swift fox and more.
Pioneer ranch is where the petting zoo is located. Once upon a time, you could go in with the goats and animals to feed them and sustain little nibbles.
Now you purchase food and feed them safely through the fence. The older kids have spent time on farms so they were not as impressed as the 2 year old. The toddler loved feeding the “tiny horse”
This part of the zoo includes the types of animals that could live on a large ranch like cows, donkeys, alpacas, camels, hogs, goats, sheep, snakes, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, ducks and many others.
Holding to its name, this part of the zoo hosts plains zebras, lions, ostriches, East African crowned cranes, Thomson’s gazelles, lappet-faced vultures, white storks, and more. There is also an exhibit that includes African wild dogs (check with the park for more info on this exhibit).
What About Gatherings and Birthday Parties?
Yes, the Pueblo City Park Zoo can accommodate groups for celebrating your child’s birthday party or a corporate party.
There is plenty of things for party attendees to see and enjoy here. The “Summer Party Times” runs from May through September on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 4 PM. And the “Winter Party Times” runs from October through April on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 4 PM.
There are also specially named packages like the Zoorific Package, Safari Pack and the Ranch Package.
In fact, we rented the zoo for our wedding rehearsal which was so much more fun for families than a formal dinner. You can be inside the zoo after hours and cater your own food.
Important Information to Plan Your Visit
The name Pueblo City Park Zoo describes its location, which is on the northeast side of City Park. Situated adjacent to the Elmwood Gold Course, visitors can reach the Pueblo City Park Zoo from Route 45 and Nuckolls Avenue.
Adress: 3455 Nuckolls Ave, Pueblo, CO 81005
Hours: The Pueblo Zoo is open from May to September, 9 AM to 5 PM, daily.
And from October to April, 9 AM to 4 PM, daily.
Cost of Admission: From March 1 to November 30, admission is between $10 and $11 for children and seniors and $12 for adults. Children three years old and under get in free.
For active military, admission is $9. And for military children, admission is $7.
From December 1 to February 28, admission is between $8 and $9 for children and seniors and $9 for adults. Children three years old and under get in free.
Note: There are also group rates and equipment rentals like safari carts and wheelchairs available.
Final Thoughts on the Pueblo Zoo
In conclusion, this is a perfect place to see your favorite animals and to learn about ones that you may have never seen or heard about before.
If you are planning a visit to the area, you can find more ideas about fun things in our article here. Fun Things to do in Pueblo, Colorado
Most of all Pueblo Zoo is a sweet little zoo that is a fun day for the whole family, especially with babies and toddlers in tow.