8 Zoos and Other Attractions in Ohio, Indiana & Kentucky

Take a walk on the wild side this summer with a visit to a nearby zoo or aquarium

Fitz the baby elephant from the Louisville Zoo

By Corinne Minard

An easy way to keep the whole family entertained is to visit a zoo, aquarium or other animal attraction. Eight nearby locations promise to keep both kids and parents happy thanks to their mix of exhibits, rides and animal encounters.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

3400 Vine St., Cincinnati, Ohio http://cincinnatizoo.org/

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens is the second oldest zoo in the country and is also considered to be one of its best. It’s home to more than 500 animal and 3,000 plant species.

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

4850 Powell Road, Powell, Ohio https://www.columbuszoo.org/

The Columbus Zoo & Aquarium is one of the largest zoos in the country, thanks in part to having multiple attractions. In addition to the zoo and aquarium, visitors can also go to a waterpark or play golf.

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

3411 Sherman Blvd., Fort Wayne, Indiana https://kidszoo.org/

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is fun for all, but it was definitely designed with kids in mind. In addition to its many animals, the park has four themed rides and three animal experiences.

Indianapolis Zoo

1200 West Washington St., Indianapolis, Indiana https://www.indianapoliszoo.com/

The Indianapolis Zoo’s special features include the country’s largest shark touch pool, the world’s only underwater dolphin-viewing dome and the White River Gardens.

Louisville Zoo

1100 Trevilian Way, Louisville, Kentucky https://louisvillezoo.org/

The Louisville Zoo’s 130 acres is home to more than 1,100 animals, which includes its new baby elephant, Fitz, who was born last year.

Newport Aquarium

1 Aquarium Way, Newport, Kentucky https://www.newportaquarium.com/

At the Newport Aquarium, visitors can walk the across the Shark Bridge, which traverses the aquarium’s 385,000-gallon shark tank, touch stingrays and see eels, penguins and more.

Salato Wildlife Education Center

1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky https://fw.ky.gov/Education/Pages/Salato-Wildlife-Education-Center.aspx

The Salato Wildlife Education Center mixes outdoor recreation with meeting animals. In addition to seeing exhibits with black bears, bison and snapping turtles, visitors can hike along 4 miles of trails or fish in the property’s two lakes.

The Wilds

14000 International Road, Cumberland, Ohio https://thewilds.columbuszoo.org/

The Wilds is home to many rare and endangered species of animals roaming in a large, natural setting. Board an open-air Safari to explore, learn and relax while you observe wildlife with a knowledgeable guide.