Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Celebrate the wonders of the animal kingdom across the country.
If the warm weather and return of the sun have made you eager to go outside and explore, consider visiting one of these top-rated zoos in the U.S. In honor of Zoo Lover’s Day, here are 9 hearing loss-friendly zoos that are worth exploring:
- Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington, D.C.
- San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA
- Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, WA
- Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis, IN
- Alaska Zoo, Anchorage, AK
- Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL
- Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO
- Zoo Miami, Miami, FL
Learn more about each of these hearing loss-friendly zoos below.
1. Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY
This world-famous zoo located just outside the Big Apple offers 265 acres of parkland dedicated to more than 4,000 animals, including a seasonal children’s zoo and a Congo gorilla forest that is sure to wow. For visitors with hearing loss, the park has a text telephone (TTY) available at Guest Relations and assistive listening devices at the Wild Asia Monorail exhibit.
2. Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington, D.C.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is a free zoo right in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. Home to over 2,700 animals, this hearing loss-friendly zoo offers access to guided tours, including sign language interpretation, and hearing assistive devices upon request. If you are planning on visiting this zoo, be sure to get in touch with their Guest Services Office to ensure you receive these accommodations.
3. San Diego Zoo, San Diego, CA
This California zoo houses more than 3,500 animals and features shows, guided bus tours, and an aerial tram to view the property from above. Here, you can receive accommodations such as an ASL interpreter, assistive listening devices in the shows and theaters, or tour transcripts with one-week advance notice.
4. Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, WA
Home to over 300 species – including some of the world’s most endangered – the Woodland Park Zoo is a hearing loss-friendly zoo that features exhibits for everyone. A two-week notice is requested for accommodations for sign language interpreters and assistive listening devices for ZooTunes Concert experiences.
5. Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis, IN
The Indianapolis Zoo holds popular exhibits like the daily Dolphin Presentation, White River Gardens, and Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center. Hearing assistive devices, ASL interpreters, and scripts for the animal chats are available upon request with Guest Services.
6. Alaska Zoo, Anchorage, AK
This small Anchorage zoo gives visitors a rare peek at arctic animals like snow leopards, reindeer, and muskoxen in their natural climate. The zoo offers personal, hands-on visitor experiences through “Animal Encounters” to learn more about the park’s animals and the work that zookeepers do. Hearing loss accommodations are available upon request by contacting the zoo staff before your arrival.
7. Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL
The Brookfield Zoo is located just outside Chicago and features a Dolphins in Action educational show, and a highly-anticipated upcoming Brick Safari, including a LEGO brick sculpture display that’s sure to amaze you and the young people in your life. Accommodations for this hearing loss-friendly zoo include assistive listening devices for presentations, captioned videos in The Living Coast and Seven Seas Dolphin Underwater Viewing, and sign language interpreters available on request.
8. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO
Another one of the hearing loss-friendly zoos on our list is in St. Louis, MO. This zoo includes a sampling of animals from around the world, animal demonstrations, safari walking tours, penguin feeding, and a sea lion show. Hearing loss accommodations are available, so be sure to contact the zoo at least 24 hours before your visit to see about the resources they offer.
9. Zoo Miami, Miami, FL
Zoo Miami has a robust amphibian and reptile display, as well as traditional exhibits for mammals from around the world. Guests with hearing loss are invited to contact Parks Disability Services at least seven days in advance of their visit to receive accommodations for their trip.
In the warmer months ahead, consider visiting one or more of these hearing loss-friendly zoos to explore and celebrate the wonders of the animal kingdom with family and friends. For more hearing loss-friendly destinations, tips, and news, visit our blog.