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Franklin Park Zoo - Zoo New England

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Hours:Hours Vary see below
Ages:Toddlers, Kids, Teens, Adults
In/Outdoor:Indoor, Outdoor
Cost:$$ see below
Category:Zoos & Aquariums
franklin park zoo - zoo new england photoThe zoo is located just four miles from downtown Boston in the northeast portion of Franklin Park, Boston's largest park and the last component of the city's Emerald Necklace.

Let your kids’ imaginations run wild at the all-new Children's Zoo at Franklin Park Zoo. Discover aviary friends, like the hooded crane or the scaly-sided merganser, atop the Eagle's Nest, and get a bird’s eye view of the entire Zoo.

See gorillas, zebras, giraffes, tigers, lion and more.

Get an up close and personal view of the adorable little critters in the Prairie Dog Pop Up. Play next to the red pandas on the Bamboo Climber, featuring live bamboo plantings and an array of climbable “bamboo” poles.

And adventure through the Grass MAze to discover sculpted elements representing animals that live in the grasslands. Don’t forget to visit the turtles swimming and sunning themselves in the two turtle ponds!

NEW! Gorilla Landing!

Gorilla Grove is Franklin Park Zoo’s brand-new outdoor gorilla habitat. This immersive space features over 360,000 cubic feet for the gorilla troop to explore, including vines and trees for climbing, a cascading waterfall, and a multitude of built-in foraging opportunities for gorillas to discover throughout the day.

Venture through the observation outpost to the heart of the habitat, where you’ll get a 360-degree view of Gorilla Grove. Come face-to-face with gorillas at the viewing stations around you, or look up, and you may see gorillas peeking in at you through the skylights as they climb overhead!

The Butterfly Landing, open seasonally, is filled with hundreds of butterflies. Kids will also like the African Tropical Forest Habitat where they'll see Gorillas at play (a must-see), and don't miss the Australian Outback where you'll come face to face with wonderful Red Kangaroos.

In the Aussie Aviary, feeding the animals is encouraged! Hundreds of brightly colored budgerigars, affectionately called budgies, flutter through this free-flight exhibit. If you’re lucky, the birds will land on your seed stick and let you keep them company while they enjoy a little nibble.

Get up close to camels and enjoy a ride at the Camel Trek attraction! Known as 'ships of the desert,' dromedary camels are incredibly adapted to harsh, arid environments. Learn more about these animals and enjoy a camel's-eye view of the Zoo!

With 10,000 square feet of playground to let children’s imaginations run wild, we’re serious about playtime. With designs inspired by the wildlife that inhabit the Zoos, kids can frolic among giant fish, slip down a giraffe-like tube slide, and 'hop on' a Panamanian golden frog spring rocker.

Parking at Franklin Park Zoo is limited, but free.

Find out more about having a Zoo Birthday Party.

Education for Kids

Zoo New England offers an exciting array of interactive classes for children and adults featuring a wide range of themes. Topics include:

• Animal Adaptations
• Biodiversity
• Habitats
• Lifecycles
• The Web of Life
• Wild Careers
• Wildlife
• Conservation

Zoo programs motivate students through hands-on, participatory activities that utilize the Zoos’ rich educational resources.

All classes reflect the National Science Education Standards, Massachusetts State Education Framework and the Boston Public Schools Learning Standards for grades K-12. Programs can be modified to fit specific topics.

If animals are your thing ,be sure to check out our guide to Boston Zoos and Aquariums! You can find many options both in Boston and within a short drive.

For more ideas on places to visit in Boston, our Things to do in Boston with kids guide is a great place to start! We've compiled some of our favorite spots for kids & families for you right here.

HOURS↑ top

Apr. 1 – Sept. 30: Mon-Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.,
Weekends and Holidays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Oct.1 – Mar. 31: Daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
*Last entry one half hour before closing.

*Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

COST↑ top

View Current Admission Rates

Adult: $24.95 (FPZ) $19.95 (SZ)
Senior (62+): $22.45
Child (ages 2-12): $17.45
Children under 2: Free
Members: Free



One Franklin Park Road, Dorchester, MA map
Phone: 617-541-5466

Signage is dismal and these routes are complicated if you don't know where you are going. (Typical Boston, no signs and confusing roadways). GPS or mapping this out BEFORE you go will save you some hassles.

Storrow Drive:
Take the Fenway exit to Route 1 South
Follow Route 1 (Riverway) to Route 203 East, following signs for Franklin Park Zoo
Once you pass the Arnold Arboretum, keep left to go over the overpass
At the next rotary, go two-thirds of the way around
Enter Franklin Park, and follow Zoo signs

Route 128 North or South:
Take exit 15A (Dedham Exit) to Route 1A
Stay on Route 1 (approximately 4 miles) until it becomes the VFW Parkway
Continue on the VFW Parkway, approximately 3 miles, until it ends
Take a left on Centre Street
At the rotary take 203 East onto the Arborway
Pass the Arnold Arboretum and keep left to go on overpass
At next rotary, go two-thirds of the way around, enter Franklin Park, and follow Zoo signs

I-93 North of Boston:
Take I-93S to Exit 15, Columbia Road
At the end of ramp take a right onto Columbia Road
At the 3rd light Columbia Road turns left
Continue on Columbia Road through 9 more lights
Go straight across Blue Hill Avenue
Parking for the zoo is on the left - entrance into the zoo is on your right. If lot is full, stay straight on Franklin Park Road and there is additional parking on your right

I93 South of Boston:
Take I-93N to Exit 15, Columbia Road
Take a right at the end of the ramp - you must go up and around the rotary and then come back - to be heading in the correct direction on Columbia Road
At the 3rd set of lights, Columbia Road turns left. Continue on Columbia Road through 9 more sets of lights
Go straight across Blue Hill Avenue
Parking for the zoo is on the left - entrance into the zoo is on your right. If lot is full, stay straight on Franklin Park Road and there is additional parking on your right

Route 9:
Take Route 9 to Route 1 (the Jamaica Way) south
Follow Route 1 to Route 203 East
Stay in the left lane and go over the overpass
At the next rotary go two-thirds of the way around, enter Franklin Park, and follow Zoo signs

Public Transportation
Franklin Park Zoo is accessible by the MBTA.

Take the Orange Line or Commuter Rail to the Forest Hills station, then take the number 16 bus to the Franklin Park Zoo.

Take the Orange Line or Commuter Rail to the Ruggles station, then take the number 22, 28, 29, 44 or 45 bus to the Franklin Park Zoo.

Take the Red line to the Andrew station, then take the number 16 bus to the Franklin Park Zoo.

All of the above bus lines will take you to the Zoo. For bus schedules, rates, and more information please contact the MBTA at 617-722-3200

TIPS↑ top


5-stareven in winter
We love this zoo! I just took my 1st and 2nd grade class for a Rainforest field trip. Wetook a great class about the rainforest and then wandered through the indoor rainforest building. Warm and cozy! And so many cool animals! We even got to see the baby gorilla close up. We also walked through the (warm) bird house. A wonderful field trip option or family option for winter!
3-starZoo Visit
My girls and I make an annual visit to the Franklin Park Zoo. It has become somewhat of a tradition. We especially enjoy the gorilla exhibit.
4-starFranklin Park Zoo A Great Time For Little Ones
My three year old and I had a great trip to the Franklin Park Zoo in September 2008. We live 15 miles away and do not make the trip to this Zoo nearly often enough. It was a warm drizzly Sunday afternoon and the zoo was not crowded. All of the animals that are sometimes not easy to see were out and easy to watch from all viewpoints. The male lion was putting on a roaring show, the three giraffes (including the new baby) were walking all around their enclosure and the wild dogs were racing around chasing one another. The staff was helpful and parking was free and convenient. Franklin Park is not in the nicest area of Boston and the zoo itself is not the size or caliber of the San Diego Zoo, but, as long as you go with the proper expectations (e.g., this is a smaller city zoo with a good, not great, mix of animals, and in good, not great, condition) it is absolutely worth the very reasonable price of admission and is a real treat for families with small children who love animals. More local families should make the trip to this Zoo with their families and support Boston's zoo!
5-starFranklin Park Zoo
We had an amazing time at the zoo. The price was right and my two year old absolutely adored it!
4-starA Great Zoo
well, you have to drive through a rough neighborhood to get there, and there are some seedy characters in the park next to the parking lot....other than is great! excellent zoo for $9! the tropical rainforest and the bird house are my favorites and worth the price of admission alone!


My day at the Franklin Park Zoo, Grade 3 Student
This year was my first time at the Franklin Park Zoo. I went with 3 of my friends and we had a blast. I had never seen a real giraffe before, that was so cool, because we were so close to him. Also I loved the gorilla exhibit, I thought it was so cute that the gorilla had a blanket that he loved to put around him. The playground was huge and awesome, we could have played there all day. I can't wait to go back to the Franklin Park Zoo again.
Awesome, Grade 3 Student
I went with my parents on a warm Saturday afternoon and had lots of fun. My favorite animals were the kangaroos, and the gorillas. I really loved the tropical animal exibit and the gorilla with his blanket on him was very funny. The baby warthogs made me giggle. At feeding time, I loved seeing the giraffes and zebras running and playing. To rember the trip, I made a customized penny which I keep in my zoo collection.
My Trip to Franklin Park Zoo, Grade 2 Student
I went to Franklin Park Zoo and saw a lot of animals. I got to see an ostrich, gorillas, birds and a white tiger. People were working on the lion's cage so we did not get to see lions while we were there. I got to see a really big scorpion that looked like a spider and it was scary. One of my favorite parts of the zoo was the big playground area. It had a seat that would spin around like a tornado and you could push it really fast. I got to climb up the stairs and go down the long slide. My last stop was at the zoo gift shop. I got a lion's tooth necklace to bring home with me! I would like go go back to the Franklin Park Zoo!


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