The cooler weather offers an exceptional experience at Nashville Zoo. This is our least busy time of the year offering opportunities for quiet walks along our pathways and special glimpses at animals that may be more active in the cooler environment.
Many of our animals have adapted to the Middle Tennessee climate and can be seen throughout our hours of 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Additionally, our Unseen New World offers indoor viewing of a wide array of reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and more.
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.
Below is a general temperature guideline to help with your planning process.
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, giraffes, ring-tailed lemurs and tropical birds (including lorikeets) will be outside.
Kangaroos, rhinos and most primates will not be on exhibit if it is 40°F or below. Other conditions, such as wind and precipitation, may cause our keepers to bring the kangaroos inside before the temperature drops to 40°F.
In addition to the animals listed above, red river hogs, Andean bears, clouded leopards and other birds may be inside or have access to their inside areas during the day.
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.
Looking for a place to warm yourself up? Our Unseen New World is always a welcome reprieve from chilly temperatures.
Our alligator exhibit, The Shell Station (tortoise experience) and Historic Home tours will be closed during the winter season. Our animal shows are also suspended until spring.
We are wrapping up renovations on our clouded leopard exhibit.
The Zoofari Café is open year-round. Snake Bites will close if temperatures are lower than 55°F or if there is inclement weather. BBQ Depot and Outpost will be closed on weekdays and if there is inclement weather. Carts will close if there is inclement weather or too cold of temperatures. Restaurants and concessions are more likely to open on warmer, sunnier days since most staff have to work outside.
During the cooler months, the Zoo will make daily decisions about operating the carousel, zip line and train. Weather permitting, all rides will open at 10am. Please ask a guest services employee about ride availability.
Whether you’re available for a day or are looking for a long-term volunteer opportunity – you can make a valuable contribution to the Zoo’s volunteer team!
Nashville Zoo relies on your support to continue providing extraordinary animal care and education programs for the community, as well as our critical conservation initiatives.