We write about products and services that we use. This page may contain affiliate links for which we receive a commission.
If you have never visited the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, you are truly missing out. This zoo is more than just a few animal exhibits, it is an exciting place to run wild!
My family became members after our first visit because we had so much fun. During the summer months in particular, there are few better places to take your children and I think that you will agree that the membership is worth the expense.
The biggest draw for us was the zoo membership pricing. I have a family of 5 and our membership paid for itself after only 2 visits!
There is also a long list of reciprocal zoos, aquariums, and nature centers around the country that will allow you free admission (or deep discounts) into their facilities. We’ve gone to many other facilities for free while on vacation, compliments of our Nashville Zoo membership.
You also receive a discount on all merchandise within Nashville Zoo and special events throughout the year. And because you’re giving to a charitable cause, the fee is also tax deductible.
With that in mind, who could resist a Zoo membership? But there are so many other reasons to join, I can’t stop there.
Top Reasons To Join The Nashville Zoo
- Realistic Habitats
The magnificent animal habitats created by the Nashville Zoo include some pretty amazing spots!A thick bamboo trail leads you to ring-tailed lemurs, koi fish, red pandas, and clouded leopards — to name a few. Its gardens contain bamboo varieties from around the world.
My family especially loves Gibbon Island. The gibbons that inhabit the island are notorious for their loud calls that echo throughout the Zoo. There is no fence around the island, only a mote, so you can sit and watch these gibbons with unobstructed views. It is fun to watch them swing through their mulberry trees.
Critter Encounters gives you a chance to view and pet goats, alpacas, and donkeys. My toddler loves the goats, and because of toddlers like her, the goats have a special place within Creature Encounters to escape to a “no petting zone.”These are just a few of the well thought out exhibits you can enjoy at Nashville Zoo.
- Animal Shows
The Nashville Zoo staff and animals really know how to put on a show! I have been wowed every time I watch “It’s a Wild Life” and “Wings of the World”.Some of the animals included in the shows are not on regular exhibit, so the shows are your only opportunity to see these wonderful animals.
My kids particularly enjoyed seeing a sloth who hung on her keeper’s arm while she spoke. The staff also show off birds of prey and giant insects that should not be missed.
The shows are both entertaining and educational as you witness these amazing animals in person. Check out the specific times for the animal shows to make sure you catch them.
- Grassmere Historic Farm
This home was built in 1810 and is one of the oldest homes you can tour in Davidson County.You can tour the house and walk through its beautiful gardens. There are also farm animals to see as well as a small cemetery that holds members of the original owners’ family.
My favorite part is the display of heirloom roses in the back of the main garden. They have also revived the apple and pear orchards as well as the vegetable and herb gardens.
You can get a sense of the Old World as you stroll through the farm and its gardens. It is the most relaxing part of the Nashville Zoo.
- Zoo Staff & Animal Keepers
The friendly and knowledgeable staff at the Nashville Zoo never cease to amaze me and they are definitely a reason to join.These dedicated animal lovers never hesitate to stop and talk with you about their wild friends, and their insights bring you even closer to the animals.
They have specific times in which the staff are available for question and answer sessions. Those Keeper Talks are the best time to get up close and personal with the staff and their animals. Although those are the best times, the keepers seem to be around a lot and are happy to answer your questions and talk to you about their special animals any time.
You can learn so much from the men and women who spend every day taking care of Nashville Zoo’s menagerie.
- Jungle Gym
All 3 of my children would tell you the number 1 reason to be at the Nashville Zoo is the jungle gym.This is not your average swing set, slide, and monkey bars establishment. We’re talking about 66,000 square feet of 35-foot high tree houses, corkscrew slides, tons of cargo netting, several swinging areas, caves, obstacle courses, giant snakes and hippos, and everything else that any kid could ever want to run wild.
The best part about this jungle gym is that it is so large — adults and children alike can play and have room to spare.
The cargo netting area extends to the top of the tallest tree house and is set beside a small river. I will tell you firsthand, it is fun to climb! My family likes to climb halfway up and lay down together for a breather before continuing up and sliding back down. There is also a honeycomb-like wooden maze that is fun to climb through.
If you have a little one under the age of 3, there is an area made especially for them to literally bounce off the walls. The area is covered in a thick foam padding that makes it perfect for them to run full speed without the threat of injury.
In case you start running out of energy before your kids do, there are several sitting areas — including picnic tables in the shade. This gym is so much fun, we’ve made the trip from Franklin just to play there several times.
- Zoo Animals
Finally, you cannot forget the animals!They have just about everything you want in a zoo including elephants, giraffes, exotic birds and reptiles, and river hogs.
One of my personal favorites is watching the giant anteaters. These odd-looking animals are fascinating to look at as they weave in and out of their bamboo trees looking for, well, ants I suppose.
The Zoo also features a giant green anaconda and adorable prairie dogs. Your family will also love the zebras, tigers, and porcupines.
The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is an opportunity to bring to life the animals and faraway places that we have all dreamed of, read about, and watched on television — but could never experience without the zoo’s help.
Becoming a member not only helps you make special memories with your loved ones, it also continues the education and research of our planet that will extend beyond our lifetime.
If this sounds like something you and your family would be interested in, check out a Nashville Zoo membership. Or just go for a visit, and see for yourself!
Don’t miss these 10 insider tips for visiting the Nashville Zoo.
I’m a stay-at-home mother of 3. Our family of 5 lives in Franklin, Tennessee. I love it here!