Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park – Is it worth it?

giraffes at chattanooga zoo

Are you looking for reviews of the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park? The Chattanooga Zoo is one of my kids’ top picks of places to visit in the Scenic City. It’s small enough to not feel overwhelming, yet it has a variety of animals that make it a completely worthwhile visit. Plus, the zoo has an amazing giraffe exhibit that allows visitors to feed (for a fee) these tall animals.

In this post, I will discuss the animals and activities you and your family can experience at the Chattanooga Zoo. I’ll also let you know how long it typically takes to tour. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Chattanooga, continue reading all about the local zoo below!

Chattanooga Zoo Review

If you’re looking for a fun day out with the family, the Chattanooga Zoo is a great option. You’ll get to see all sorts of animals from around the world, and there’s plenty of activities to keep kids entertained. The zoo also offers educational programs, so you can learn more about the animals on display.

Admission is affordable, and parking is free, so it’s easy to make a day of it at the zoo. If you’re familiar with the downtown Chattanooga area, the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park is located near Erlanger Hospital on E 3rd Street.

giraffe statue with text overlay Things to do in Chattanooga- Zoo at Warner Park

Because of its convenient location to the popular downtown area, the zoo is a short, easy drive from the Tennessee Aquarium, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Chattanooga Lookouts stadium. However, even though the drive to the zoo isn’t far from these Chattanooga landmarks, you won’t want to attempt walking.


After parking your vehicle in the free parking lot, you will notice the gated entrance to the zoo. Here, you will find a ticket counter where you can purchase admission tickets. The Chattanooga Zoo is really reasonably priced for both kids and adults, and kids under age 3 may visit for free.

outdoor window hut with straw awnings
Chattanooga Zoo Ticket Window

Since we frequent the zoo many times throughout the year, I purchased a membership for my family. The Chattanooga Zoo’s membership passes are priced really well, and they are some of the cheapest annual passes you can buy in Chattanooga. If you do not want to purchase an annual membership, another great way to save money on zoo tickets is to purchase your passes online.

The Chattanooga Zoo is currently offering discounted prices to those who pre-purchase their admission tickets on the zoo’s website. You can visit the official site of the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park for full information on pricing.

Animals at the Chattanooga Zoo

As you enter the gates to the zoo, you can follow the signs along the pathways that will point you toward the different animal exhibits. These paths are all stroller friendly and well-shaded, which make visiting the zoo really pleasant even in the summertime. Right away, you’ll notice the giraffes exhibit. You can view the giraffes both inside and outside.

jaguar walking to glass at the zoo with two young children watching it

My kids and I like to start our tour in the Corcovado Jungle area. This is home to the jaguars, which are really beautiful. They also tend to come right up to the glass so you get a great view! Near the exit of the Corcovado Jungle is the Deserts and Forests area. Here you will see all kinds of animals including a sloth, meerkat, and Komodo dragon.

Chattanooga Zoo YouTube Video

Once you exit the Deserts and Forests buildings, you can follow the path to the bobcats, prairie dogs, and cougars. I love that the viewing area for the cougars is in a train car. My kids always get excited when they get to go inside too!

Red train car with words Cougar Express

The petting zoo, Warner Park Ranch, is usually the next stop of our tour. Here, you can pet and brush friendly goats of all sizes. We’ve also seen pigs, chickens, and miniature horses in this area.

two girls petting a goat

After leaving the Warner Park Ranch, you can visit the Himalayan Passage to see the red pandas and snow leopard. We always check out the Gambe Forest and the chimpanzees on our way out. These are my absolute favorite!

Chimpanzees at Chattanooga Zoo

They hang out by the windows a lot and usually try to interact with visitors. The one on the right was too busy nibbling on the other’s arm to notice us on this visit though.


Miracle League Playground Chattanooga Zoo

Inside the zoo, you will notice a small climbing area for kids to play near the petting zoo. However, if you are looking for a more elaborate play are, the Miracle League Playground is a super fun (and clean) park located next to the entrance to the zoo. This park provides plenty of climbing features, slides, and swings appropriate for kids of all ages!


Visitors to the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park are able to view and even interact with several different types of animals. In addition to the animal exhibits listed above, the zoo offers really fun rides for little kids. Guests can purchase tickets at the admissions counter to participate in the zoo’s riding activities. These super fun kid-friendly attractions include a carousel and a train ride. My kids especially love the train ride because you get to ride along the pathways throughout the zoo, waving at other visitors and animals.


restaurant called Wild Burger with small train in front

Near the entrance to the zoo, you will see the dining area called Zoo’s Wild Burger where you can purchase food and drinks. This dining area serves burgers, chicken tenders, hot dogs, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to name a few. Wild Burger is situated right beside the zoo’s carousel and near the entrance to the train ride.

Chattanooga Zoo Events

Throughout the year, the Chattanooga Zoo hosts multiple special events for visitors. Each special event requires guests to purchase special tickets outside your regular admission pass.

  • Boo at the Zoo – During certain days during the month of October, guests can attend the Boo at the Zoo event. During these Halloween themed nights, visitors can wear their costumes and participate in meet and greets with popular characters. The Chattanooga Zoo offers bouncy houses on the lawn, trick or treating at the animal exhibits, and pony rides during this festive event.
  • Asian Lantern Festival – Beginning in mid-November and running through mid-January, visitors can attend the Asian Lantern Festival. This event features impressive lanterns, including animal lanterns that are really a sight to see. If you are visiting Chattanooga during these colder months, you can check out our post on winter activities in Chattanooga for more fun experiences in the city.
  • Hug a Bunny – During the Hug a Bunny events, guests can enjoy photos with the Easter Bunny as well as interactions with real, live bunnies and tortoises. Also available during this even held each spring are crafts, an egg scavenger hunt, and bounce houses.

Is the Chattanooga Zoo worth it?

Overall, the Chattanooga Zoo is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an afternoon of fun. The zoo has a wide variety of animals, including giraffes, jaguars, and monkeys. They also have a petting zoo where kids can get up close and personal with some furry friends. Since admission is cheap and parking is free, this is an inexpensive way to enjoy a great time in Chattanooga.

While the zoo isn’t as elaborate as the Nashville Zoo or Zoo Knoxville, it’s still a great place to visit. The Chattanooga Zoo is really easy to navigate and provides a really stress free environment for families with kids. We highly recommend spending an hour or two here!

So, how long does it take to tour the Chattanooga Zoo?

All in all, you could tour the zoo’s animal exhibits within an hour. You will want to add on extra time if you plan on experiencing any extras like the carousel or train ride though. Since my kids also like to spend quite a bit of time playing at the Miracle League Playground next door, we typically allow for a good two hours when visiting the Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park.

You may also like my post about the best zoos near Gatlinburg, Tennessee!

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zoo animal with text overlay Fun Things to do with Kids: Zoo in Chattanooga

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