We recently had the opportunity to visit Salt Lake City and we were excited to visit some of the area’s attractions.  I asked around for the must-see places to visit in Salt Lake City with kids, and Utah’s Hogle Zoo was the top of everyone’s list.  For our visit, we received Salt Lake City Connect passes which allowed us to visit several locations around town, and Utah’s Hogle Zoo was our first stop.

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Visiting Utah’s Hogle Zoo with Your Family

Utah's Hogle Zoo African Savannah

We arrived at Hogle Zoo as soon as it opened and were some of the first people in the park.  I highly recommend getting there early if you attend in the summertime.  All of the animals were active and we loved being greeted by playful lions, baby giraffes, and even a baby orangutan! (He was the CUTEST!!)
Utah's Hogle Zoo Baby Orangutan

Plus, by going early in the day, weather was nice and cool, which was a fantastic break from our southern Nevada heat, and it was not very crowded.  Our kids were able to have the best spots to see the animals.

Hogle Zoo Feature Exhibits

African Savannah

Utah's Hogle Zoo


The African Savannah is the zoo’s newest exhibit and includes several types of animals that you would find in Africa including giraffes, zebra, lions and even ostriches.Utah's Hogle Zoo African Savannag

There are some wonderful viewing areas that let you get a good look at the animals and even get up close to the lions. (Through the glass of course!)

Utah's Hogle Zoo Lion

We loved watching the lions playing ball and relaxing in the sun.

Utah's Hogle Zoo Lions

While you are in the African Savannah, hop on the Zoofari Express train for a ride around the Savannah.
Zoofari Express Train at Hogle Zoo

Elephant Encounter

The Elephant Encounter brings the Serengeti to Salt Lake City with Elephants and White Rhinos.  There are daily demonstrations of how the animal care staff takes care of the elephants and keeps them healthy and happy.  Check the African Lodge for times.

Elephant Encounter at Hogle's Zoo

The Elephant Encounter contains educational exhibits and even the chance to see how much you weigh in comparison to an elephant. And you can learn more about the White Rhino.

Rhino at Hogle Zoo

Rocky Shores

One of my personal favorite places to visit in the park was Rocky Shores.  In Rocky Shores you can get up close and personal with sea lions, seals, otters and even bears!

Hogle Zoo seals

If you can time your trip just right, the polar bear will be playing in the water.  He was taking a nice little nap so we got to enjoy watching the seals and sea lions instead.Seals at Hogle Zoo

Plus you can see the bald eagle next to the exhibit, and you might see a few eaglets in the nest. 😉
Utah's Hogle Zoo

Asian Highlands

You can see many of Asia’s big cats in the Asian Highlands exhibit.  Most of the cats were sleepy for us, but I have heard that they can get pretty active at certain times of the day.

Hogle Zoo

Other exhibits include the small animal exhibit (perfect place if you love SNAKES and other creepy crawlies! And don’t miss the crocodile.), the Primate forest and the Great Apes.  My boys loved watching the gorilla.

Utah's Hogle Zoo

And they liked seeing how big they were compared to a gorilla!

Hogle Zoo Gorilla

Must-See attractions at Utah’s Hogle Zoo

One of our favorite parts of our visit was attending the World of Flight Bird Show.  This show was absolutely incredible!  But make sure to get there early because it is very popular.  I had a friend give me a tip to try and sit towards the front in the middle and it was amazing! We had birds swooping right above our heads.  My boys loved it!

World of Flight Bird Show Hogle Zoo

Eagles, hawks, owls, parrots, macaws, cockatoos and so many more types of birds put on an amazing show.  Plus you learn about each of the species of birds and have the opportunity at the end to get a picture with a bald eagle as a thank you for a small donation to the show.  It was worth it to us!

World of Flight

Some other must-see attractions include the public giraffe feeding, pachyderm programs, and the seal and sea lion demos.  Check with guest sevices when you arrive for times.  All are free except for the giraffe feedings.  Tickets to that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more information visit hoglezoo.org.

One of our favorite things to do was ride the Conservation Carousel.  You’re never to old to ride a carousel, although I think I was the only adult enjoying the fun. This cutie loved riding the Gorilla!


We had a wonderful time visiting Utah’s Hogle Zoo and my boys can’t wait to go back.  

drinking fountain zoo

For hours, admission, calendar and other information, visit Hoglezoo.org

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