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How to Visit the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque

Posted on | March 19, 2010 | Comments Off on How to Visit the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque

The Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offers a glimpse at famous Polar Bears (they were once in a Super Bowl commercial), guided train rides, and baby animals. If you are visiting Albuquerque for the 1st or 50th time, or if you’re a resident, don’t miss a visit to the zoo as they are constantly adding great new exhibits.

The Rio Grande Zoo, nestled on 64 acres just south of Downtown Albuquerque, has been in operation since 1927. This zoo boasts over 250 different species including, seals and sea lions, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, elephants, polar bears, giraffes, hippos, camels, tamarins, koalas, Mexican wolves, mountain lions, monkeys, jaguars, zebras and rhinoceros. Whew!

Feeding the Animals One of the first things you’ll want to do is determine the feeding schedules and arrange your visit to coincide with this. Here is a list of feeding times: Seal and Sea Lions, daily 10:30AM and 3:30PM Polar Bear, daily 2:30PM Lorikeet, daily (Memorial Day through Labor Day) 9:30AM-11:30AM and 1:00PM-3:00PM, cost is .50 Giraffe, Thursday-Sunday (Memorial Day through Labor Day) 11:00AM-1:00PM, cost is .50

Shops and Restaurants There are three gift shops available. Critter Outfitters and Jungle Shop are located just inside the zoo at the entrance and Out of Africa is located in the Africa exhibit. All gift shops are open from 9:00AM-5:00PM with extended hours on the weekends until 6:00PM. There are also 3 restaurants. The Cottonwood Cafe, The Matunda Cafe, and The Phoenix Plaza Snack Bar. The two cafe’s are open from 9:00AM-5:00PM and the snack bar is open from 10:00AM-3:00PM.

Rides and Playground The Rio Grande Zoo offers a fun guided train ride through the back of exhibits on the Thunderbird Express. Tickets can be purchased at the Out of Africa Gift Shop for .00/adults and .00/kids. The train ride lasts approximately 20 minutes. Camel rides are offered from the Spring to the Fall and cost .50 per person, with a weight limit of 175 lbs. Hours of operation are 10:00AM-4:00PM during the week and 10:00-5:00PM on weekends. A unique playground is situated across from the giraffe exhibits and is a great place for kids to play and parents to rest. The playground offers ropes to swing on, obstacles to maneuver through, a huge sand box and fountains to cool off in that randomly shoot out of the ground.