4 Reasons to Visit ZooAmerica in Hershey PA

You have likely been to a zoo at least once in your life. If you’ve been to more than one, then the experiences were likely quite similar. Often, there’s a petting zoo, monkey cages, river otters, peacocks, etc. ZooAmerica, located in Hershey, is a different animal. Not only do they feature some incredible creatures, but they also offer unique, behind the scenes tours. This summer is a great time to plan your Hershey getaway, where chocolate and fun await. Just be sure to add ZooAmerica to your itinerary. Why? Here are 4 reasons to visit ZooAmerica in Hershey, PA.

#1 – Endangered and Impressive Animals

Like most attractions in Hershey, ZooAmerica was founded by Milton S. Hershey in 1910. The man is commonly associated with Hershey Chocolate Bar, and for good reason. But he did so much more. Not only did he create the town of Hershey for his workers, along with schools and gardens, but he also created a zoo that featured a few animals, such as bears, birds, and deer. Like all things Hershey, the Zoo has grown.

Today, ZooAmerica covers 11 acres of land to accommodate 75 species and 200 individual animals native to five regions of the North American continent, as well as native plants and landscaping. Some of the critters are rare and endangered, offering visitors and a chance to see them, hopefully before it’s too late. This one-of-a-kind, walk-through zoo features Gray Wolf, American Alligator, Arizona Mountain King snake, Common Vampire Bat, Black Bear, Mountain Lion, Canada Lynx, Gila Monster, Bobcat, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Rattlesnakes, friendly River Otters too, and many more.

#2 – Behind The Scenes Tours

Another important reason to visit ZooAmerica in Hershey, PA is the opportunity to take one of their Behind The Scenes Tours. Rather than being limited to following the crowds from exhibit to exhibit, these tours take you to non-public spaces where you can observe the animals up close, and gain a deeper understanding of their world. These tours take place rain or shine, so be prepared. Choose one (or more) of these unforgettable tours.

Early Bird Tour

After a delicious breakfast at Westwynd Farm, head to ZooAmerica, just a 7-minute drive, to take part in their Early Bird Tour. You will gain access to the Zoo before it opens, so you can get an up-close and personal look at various animal species in their outdoor habitats. An experienced guide will share interesting facts about the animals’ history. You’ll even be allowed to feed some of the animals, like the wolves. At the end of the tour, you will have an opportunity to hold a bird of prey and touch one of the reptiles. After the tour ends, you have the entire day ahead of you to stroll the zoo on your own.

Cost & Availability of Early Bird Tour

  • Available Tuesdays, Fridays or Sundays from 8-10:00am
  • $75 per person (includes same day admission to the Zoo)
  • Must preregister and prepay at least 72 hours in advance
  • Limited to 10 participants

After Hours Tour

Spend the afternoon browsing the exhibits before taking advantage of this two-hour, behind-the-scenes adventure. As soon as the Zoo closes, a knowledgeable naturalist will guide you through select areas, including the animal buildings, and an insider’s look at the Animal Health Center. You will be given the chance to feed both the bears and otters, hold a bird of prey, and touch a reptile. Since it will be dark, flashlights will be available. You may visit the Zoo on your own before the tour starts.

Cost & Availability of After Hours Tour

  • Available select Wednesdays or Saturdays (time varies)
  • $75 per person (includes same day admission to the Zoo)
  • Must pre-register and pre-pay at least 72 hours in advance
  • Limited to 10 participants

Photography Tour

Whether you’re a novice or professional photographer, get your camera ready. This unique tour experience offers access to select habitats for taking incredible up-close photographs. For this guided Photography Tour, choose from three exhibit animals and two ambassador species (subject to change due to availability). Since this tour takes place in the morning, you can spend the rest of the day touring the Zoo.

Cost & Availability of Photography Tour

  • Available Thursdays or Saturdays from 8-10:00am
  • $75 per person (includes same day admission to the Zoo)
  • Must preregister and prepay at least 72 hours in advance
  • Limited to 4 participants

#3 – Food & Gifts

The third reason to visit ZooAmerica is access to refreshments, snacks and the gift shop.

Timber Treats

You will definitely work up an appetite and a thirst while browsing the exhibits, especially on warmer days. So head to Timber Treats to fill up on your choice of hot dogs, nachos, and soft pretzels. Then, wash it down with Dippin’ dots and ice cold beverages.

The Gift Shop

ZooAmerica’s gift shop features a variety of cute items to purchase. Commemorate your stay or purchase a gift for a loved one. You’ll find stuffed animals, souvenirs, games, gifts, and more.

ZooAmerica Location & Contact Info
201 Park Ave, Hershey, PA 17033
General Tel: 717-534-3390
Tour Tel: 717-534-3391
Map of ZooAmerica

#4 – Inn at Westwynd Farm

The fourth and final reason to visit ZooAmerica in Hershey, PA is the Inn at Westwynd Farm. Located only 7 minutes from the Zoo, our B&B offers comfortable and luxurious lodging for a Hershey getaway. Beautifully situated on an equestrian farm, you’ll admire the views of acres of gently rolling terrain and horses grazing in the grass. Choose from one of our beautiful guest rooms where you can enjoy some R&R. After a day out and about, you’ll relish the opportunity to relax on the private patio or balcony, soak in the jetted tub, and then warm up in a plush robe in front of the fireplace. The king size bed with fine linens will lull you to sleep in no time. Each morning, you’ll wake up to a delicious and filling home-cooked breakfast. Check availability and plan your stay today!