Located just outside the city limits in West Fairmount Park is a Victorian Garden filled with rare, unusual and exotic creatures from all corners of the Earth. This may sound Picture 8like the beginning of a fairy tale, but we’re really talking about The Zoo. The Philadelphia Zoo is the nation’s first zoo, opened in 1874, and remains a touchstone of Philadelphia culture and tourism. The Zoo is easy to navigate and great fun for children – especially the Treehouse, which showcases larger-than-life habitats for kids to roam and explore (like the gigantic honeycomb to hang out in). The Children’s Zoo has a baby zoo for the tots and farm animals that like a little more interaction.

New exhibits include the PECO Primate Reserve with 11 different species, and the Carnivore Kingdom that houses the rare white lions, snow leopards and jaguars. The Reptile House and Jungle Bird Walk are both newly renovated and give up close and personal experiences.

Insider’s Tip: Parking is a hot commodity, so either get there early or choose a more overcast day to hang with the furry friends.