Tucked into Franklin Park, the zoo features a half-dozen different habitats, as well as special exhibits devoted to birds and butterflies. The highlight is the well-designed Tropical Forest pavilion, complete with lush vegetation, waterfalls, lowland gorillas and over 30 species of free-flight birds. The Australian Outback Trail allows visitors to walk among red kangaroos and wallabies.
Several exhibits are devoted to life on the savannah, showcasing an African lion, as well as giraffes, zebras and wildebeests. The Franklin Farm lets kids get up close and personal with sheep and goats. In addition to the many animal exhibits, the zoo has a wild and wonderful 10,000-sq-ft playground.
Tickets and other practical information
Timed-entry tickets should be bought in advance, although some day tickets are released intermittently. The zoo closes for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, but is otherwise open year-round. Take bus 22, 28, 29 or 45 from Ruggles station. It's free to park at the zoo.
Boston Lights at the Zoo
Franklin Park Zoo plays host to Boston Lights: A Lantern Experience where the night sky is lit by many different hand-crafted lanterns. The displays show illuminated sunflowers and cherry blossoms, as well as a huge Tyrannosaurs Rex. The event runs every evening from July through to October, and tickets must be bought in advance.