POINTS OF INTEREST
Opened in 1874, America's first zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals representing six continents. It's small and well landscaped enough to feel pleasantly intimate, and the naturalistic habitats allow you to get close enough to hear the animals breathe. The Amphibian and Reptile House houses 87 species, from 15-foot-long snakes to frogs the size of a dime. The 2½-acre Primate Reserve is home to 11 species from around the world. Notable attractions include Big Cat Falls, where you'll find leopards, jaguars, mountain lions, tigers, and lions; the McNeil Avian Center, the state-of-the-art nest for some 100 birds; and African Plains, stomping ground of giraffes and zebras. The new children's zoo, KidZooU, has a goat bridge, where kids can test their climbing skills against live goats, a duck pond, an outdoor grooming area, a butterfly habitat, and more. You can get a bird's-eye view of the zoo and Fairmount Park on the Channel 6 Zooballoon, a 30-passenger helium balloon anchored by a high-tensile-steel cable.