The Greater Vancouver Zoo is a pretty good zoo located about an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver. It has hippos, lions, tigers, bears, zebras and more.
SPRING BREAK CAMPS
The Zoo has Jr. Zoologist camps running during the School Spring Break in 2021. Sessions run from March 15th until the 19th and from March 22nd until the 26th. The cost is $300 per session.
To learn more see the Vancouver Zoo‘s website.
Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove
We recommend the Greater Vancouver Zoo as a best place to visit for families with young children. As far as zoos go, this one is definitely worth a visit. It’s not world-class, but still pretty good.
At the Vancouver Zoo, for the most part, the animals have large enclosures, which means it’s good for the animals plus good for visitors, as it results in lots of healthy walking!
There is a fine selection of animals at the zoo including creatures native to BC like the cougar, mountain goat, raccoon and grizzly.
On your visit you can also see varying numbers of hippos, African lions, Siberian tigers, zebras, camels, jaguars, ostriches, emus, baboons and many other animals. There is also a miniature train, plus educational Birds of Prey presentations from April to September. It’s a great place to take little people!
Zoo Hours and Location
In recent years the Greater Vancouver Zoo has been open between 9 am and 7 pm from April to September, and from 9 am to 4 pm from October to March. In 2020, however, perhaps because of COVID-19, hours of operation in the summer were 9 am until 6 pm (with last admission at 5 o’clock).
As of February 2021, the zoo is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm. Safety protocols include one-way paths, social distancing markers and increased sanitation. For the most up-to-date hours and information, see the zoo’s official website.
The zoo is located at 5048-264th Street in Aldergrove, just past Langley in the Fraser Valley, about a one-hour drive from Vancouver when traffic is good.
You’ll need a car to get to the zoo as there is no public transit, and you’ll want to avoid rush hour traffic going to and from Vancouver.
Below are the Greater Vancouver Zoo’s admission prices not including taxes as of December in 2020. (Note: Rates may vary and they sometimes go up in the busier summer season.)
- Adults (18-64): $28.00
- Seniors (65+): $21.00
- Students (18+ with ID): $23.00
- Children (ages 3-17): $21.00
- Babies & Little Tots (ages 0-2): Free
- Train Rides: $6.00
- Parking: $8.00 for the day
Admission to the zoo isn’t cheap, but not unreasonable compared to other attractions. If you take your time and spend most of the day there, it’s actually a fairly good value.
Sometimes you can find 2-for-1 coupons, like through the Vancouver Entertainment Book, which makes the zoo more affordable.
Also, the venue sometimes offers 50% off admission on most Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in February. That’s not always the case, but wasn’t in 2019, but it has been in other recent years.
Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
TIP #1: Take a stroller with you for young children as there can be a lot of walking, or even consider taking a bicycle for little people who can ride.
TIP #2: Strollers and wheelchairs are available for rent, as are quadra-cycles, which can be lots of fun.
TIP #3: If you want a full day of adventures (and you’re not too pooped after walking around the zoo), consider visiting Fort Langley on the same trip. It will make for a long day, but both places are in the same direction, and both are interesting and educational.
TIP #4: If you want something closer to town, and your kids are little and just as happy to see a chicken or a pig as they are a lion, then check out Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver.
TIP #5: As mentioned above, unless you’re with your family and the family pass works out cheaper, if you have an Entertainment Coupon Book be sure to use the 2-for-1 coupon inside. It’ll save you between about $20 and $25!
TIP #6: If you are hungry on your way back to Vancouver, have young children and want some extra stimulation, drop by Chuck E. Cheese in Langley for pizza and some kid arcade games.
For more information about the Lower Mainland’s best place to see exotic animals, check out the Greater Vancouver Zoo‘s official website.
For ideas on other things to do, check out the following:
- Best Places for Children
- Vancouver’s Top 2 Dozen Attractions
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- The Fraser Valley
- Festivals & Events Calendar