Opened in 1935, the Knoxville Zoo, located at 3500 Knoxville Zoo Dr, Knoxville, TN 37914, is a charming home to not only rare and non-indigenous animals to the Tennessee or U.S. areas, but also fond memories for most of the Knoxville residents.

I still remember all of the trips I took as a child and the few field trips I was a member of that made their way over to the zoo.

There was always a sort of natural and at-home feeling the zoo always gave me. Perhaps because I could be one of the animals put on display from how I eat, but that is an argument for another place and time.

In all seriousness, I never felt a big and daunting feeling of awe whenever I went to the zoo as a child, nor do I now.

If anything, the friendly and informative staff coupled with the easy to navigate layout of the zoo and inviting enclosures makes every trip to the zoo just as inviting and refreshing as the time before it.

While the activity of going to the zoo and the availability of zoos across the country may be pretty common and ubiquitous commodities, however, the Knoxville Zoo is a special place.

I still have my plastic molded animal figurines from the old machines at the zoo. From time to time I pick them up and feel a rush of nostalgia wash over me and run over me from head to toe taking me back from the days I was given them.

For all of its charm there is also a great utility to the Knoxville Zoo.

Whether you’re looking to take a date out, visiting with your out of town family or just feeling a bit swarmed with life and work during these trying times, you can always go to the Knoxville Zoo and feel multitudes better.

In addition to the great memories and opportunities for great experiences at the zoo, the Knoxville Zoo also has firmly engrained itself into the community with numerous events open to the public.

For instance, the Knoxville Zoo opens its doors after hours for a special annual Halloween “Boo at The Zoo” event where families and children are able to socialize and trick or treat at the Knoxville Zoo in the evening.

Additionally, the Knoxville Zoo also has a cycling event which starts and ends at the front gates of the facility. The event is playfully called, “Ride for the Wild Side” and sees cyclists choose from one of three selected distance rides through the surrounding Knoxville areas. Upon completion of the race, cyclists are offered food as well as refreshments.

All of this as well as the countless donations the Knoxville Zoo has received over its near 100 years of existence shows yet again just the level of love the Knoxville community has for the zoo.

So if you are in need of a good long stroll through a well landscaped space for exotic and beautiful animals that are both in safe and enriching enclosures, then look no further than the Knoxville Zoo.

Best of all, if you are looking for a bite to eat but don’t want gazelle or another herbivore, check out the multiple options for food and restaurant located within the park for more “tame” meal options.

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