A Guide to Your Cold Weather Zoo Visit

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A Guide to Your Cold Weather Zoo Visit

If you’re looking for a different way to celebrate this season, winter offers an exceptional experience at Nashville Zoo. Picture long quiet walks along wooded pathways and special glimpses at animals that are generally more active in the cooler environment.

Many of the Zoo’s animals have adapted to the Middle Tennessee climate and can be seen throughout the day. See below for general temperature guidelines to help you plan your visit!

This season, you’ll be singing Joey to the World as you wander through the Zoo’s Kangaroo Kickabout and get an up-close view of a dozen female red kangaroos, and several joeys in their mom’s pouches or hopping around the exhibit.  Warm-up inside the Zoo’s Tiger Crossroads and Expedition Preu: Trek of the Andean Bear exhibits. Both of these award-winning features are a must-see with incredible architecture landscaping and décor. Ladies, be sure to check out the restroom near the Andean Bear indoor viewing area for a special exhibit of cotton-top tamarins. 

Check the weather before you go. Our animal care team will make daily decisions on some species depending on temperature and other factors. If you’re hoping to see a particular animal during your visit, we recommend contacting us in advance to see if it will be available for viewing.

Restaurants & Concessions:

Quills Café & Grill, Coffee & Cones, and SnakeBites are open year-round. Other outdoor concessions are more likely to be open on warmer, sunnier days when temperatures are above 50 degrees. Screaming Gibbon Pizza Kitchen will be open Fridays-Sundays during winter hours.


Nashville Zoo will make daily decisions about operating the Wild Animal Carousel, Soaring Eagle zip line, and Wilderness Express train. Weather permitting, all rides open at 10 a.m. Rides will not operate if the temperature is below 42 degrees. You can ask about ride availability by calling the Zoo or asking a guest services attendant at the ticket counter.

Temperature Guidelines:

Below 55°F

When conditions are in this temperature range, our keepers will look at other conditions. Is it sunny? Is there a cold or warm wind? How old is the animal? These conditions will determine if and how long primates, ring-tailed lemurs and tropical birds (including lorikeets) will be outside.

Below 40°F

Kangaroos, rhinos and most primates will not be on exhibit if it is 40°F or below. Wind and precipitation may cause our keepers to bring the kangaroos inside before the temperature drops to 40°F, and allow the babirusa to have access to their heated indoor area.

Below 30°F

In addition to the animals listed above, red river hogs, babirusa, Andean bears, clouded leopards and other birds may be inside or have access to their inside areas during the day.

Extreme Cold

It is also important to note that on days of extreme cold, even our most cold-tolerant species will have access to their heated indoor holdings.

Posted by Nashville Zoo at 11:47

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