8 Fun Activities at the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina

Are you considering a visit to the Greenville Zoo? My family and I just returned from a summer vacation to the Greenville, SC area where we had a blast in this adorably quaint community.

During our visit, my kids and I enjoyed some quality time at the Greenville Zoo AND at its neighboring playgrounds.

In this post, I will review our morning at the zoo in Greenville, including what animals we saw and how long it took us to tour.

Greenville Zoo Tickets

Since the Greenville Zoo was limiting visitors due to the pandemic, I purchased our tickets on the official zoo website.

You can check the website before your visit to see if they are accepting walk ups.


Ticket prices for the zoo in Greenville are super reasonable at $12 for adults and $9 for kids. Children 2 years old and younger are admitted for free.

You can also find deals and special prices for seniors and military families.


If you are planning to visit the zoo during the spring or summer months, it is typically opened from 9:00-5:00.

Those traveling to the Greenville Zoo during the fall or winter months will find the hours decreased just a bit at 10:00-5:00 daily.

Greenville Zoo entrance sign

Note that the zoo is closed for some major holidays like Christmas Day, so be sure to check their calendar before your trip!


Although I couldn’t find any coupons or discount codes for our planned visit, the Greenville Zoo does take part in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

flamingoes in water at Greenville Zoo

Since I have a membership to the Chattanooga Zoo, the Greenville Zoo discounted our tickets by 50%.

If you are a member of your local zoo, make sure you check out the list to see if your membership can get you 50-100% off your Greenville Zoo ticket.

You can find the list of Association of Zoos and Aquariums here. You will notice that Zoo Knoxville is also on the list if you are located near that fantastic zoo as well!


If you plan to visit the Greenville Zoo multiple times throughout the year, you may want to consider purchasing a membership.

At just $90 annually, my entire household can visit the Greenville Zoo an unlimited number of times in a year.

This means that the membership basically pays for itself after your second visit. Plus, you can get hefty discounts at other zoos and aquariums as mentioned above.

lions sleeping on rocks at the zoo in Greenville

If you do not need a membership for your whole household, you also have the option of purchasing an individual, grandparent, or friend membership.

What’s near the Greenville Zoo?

Since the Greenville Zoo is located in downtown Greenville, it sits in a prime location that is close to many hotels and restaurants.

We stayed at the Springhill Suites Greenville Downtown during our vacation, and we could actually walk to the zoo from the hotel.

Although some of the roads you pass are heavily traveled, they all had sidewalks for pedestrians. The walk is just over a mile in length, so I do suggest a stroller for smaller kids.

8 Fun Things to Do around the Greenville Zoo

You will find lots of really fun things to do in and around the Greenville Zoo.

map of the Greenville Zoo
map of Greenville Zoo

Since the zoo is on the smaller side (as seen in the map above), it allows plenty of time to enjoy some other family friendly activities nearby.

View the Animal Exhibits

Although the Greenville Zoo isn’t huge, it does provide many animal exhibits that kids will love.

My little ones particularly enjoyed seeing the lions! Below is a list of some of the animals you will find while visiting the Greenville Zoo:

  • lion
  • flamingo
  • giraffe
  • tortoise
  • spider monkey
  • red panda
  • orangutan
  • leopard
  • lemur

plus many more! I will caution you to watch your step as you tour the Greenville Zoo. We happened to see a snake crossing the path just in front of us at one point.

After this encounter, I noticed several signs throughout the zoo stating the Rat Snake is common in the Greenville area and that you may see some during your visit. Luckily they are completely harmless!

Play on the Playgrounds

The Greenville Zoo is located in Cleveland Park, so you will notice trails and playgrounds right outside the entrance.

playground at the Greenville Zoo

My kids loved swinging, climbing, and sliding on the playground equipment on the two separate play areas outside the zoo.

For additional ideas for outdoor fun in Greenville, check out this post:

Cool off with Shaved Ice

During our visit to the zoo, the Kona Ice truck was parked right outside the gates near the playgrounds.

Kona Ice Truck parked outside the Greenville Zoo

Visitors could order all sorts of delicious flavors of shaved ice to cool off from the hot summer sun.

Pet Animals

The Greenville Zoo has a really cute section near the front called the Farmyard. Here, you can pet and interact with different animals like goats, pigs, and chickens.


The Greenville Zoo has a small food stand inside the gates where you can purchase kid favorites like hotdogs and chicken fingers.

I also noticed a lot of families ordered pizzas to enjoy on the picnic tables outside the gates near the playgrounds.

Stroll along Swamp Rabbit Trail

As you spend time inside the zoo and outside on the playgrounds, you will notice a lot of bikers and joggers utilizing Swamp Rabbit Trail.

You can stroll along this scenic path all the way into the heart of downtown Greenville.

Ride the Trolley

Unfortunately, the Greenville Trolley was not operating its zoo stop while on our trip. However, you can typically climb aboard the trolley in downtown Greenville and ride it to the zoo for free!

Secret Safari

Be sure to check out the Greenville Zoo official website before your visit as you may see clues for the Secret Safari. This scavenger hunt type activity is super fun for even older kids!

Final Review of the Greenville Zoo

Overall, I had a blast at the zoo in Greenville with my two little girls! They particularly loved the Farmyard area, lions, and giraffes.

It took us less than an hour to walk through the entire zoo, but we did choose to spend time on the playgrounds outside.

As mentioned in the above linked post, Lake Keowee (just outside Greenville) is one of my family’s top picks for best lakes in the United States! Regardless of where in the state you choose to visit, we hope you have a fun time on your South Carolina family vacation!

What is your favorite animal at the Greenville Zoo?

Comment below to share with us!

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Greenville Zoo with text overlay Review of the Zoo Greenville SC

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