Blank Park Zoo, located in Des Moines, Iowa is a standard for wildlife conservation, education, and family-friendly entertainment. With its diverse array of animal exhibits, interactive experiences, and commitment to environmental stewardship, Blank Park Zoo captivates visitors of all ages, offering a memorable journey into the fascinating world of wildlife.
A Brief History
Blank Park Zoo traces its roots back to the 1960s when it began as a small children’s zoo within Blank Park, operated by the city of Des Moines. Over the decades, the zoo expanded its facilities and collections, evolving into the modern zoological park it is today. With a focus on conservation and education, Blank Park Zoo has become a vital institution in the Midwest, engaging visitors in the importance of protecting our planet’s biodiversity.
One of the highlights of Blank Park Zoo is its diverse range of exhibits, showcasing animals from around the globe. Visitors can embark on a safari adventure through the African Boardwalk, where they encounter majestic creatures like giraffes, lions, and zebras roaming in spacious habitats reminiscent of their natural environments. The Tropical Rainforest offers a lush oasis teeming with colorful birds, playful primates, and exotic reptiles, providing a glimpse into the rich biodiversity of tropical ecosystems.
For those fascinated by aquatic life, the Aquarium of the Discovery Center immerses guests in the mesmerizing world beneath the waves. From graceful sea turtles to shimmering schools of fish, the aquarium invites visitors to explore the wonders of marine biodiversity and learn about the importance of ocean conservation.
Blank Park Zoo goes beyond traditional exhibits, offering a variety of interactive experiences that engage and inspire visitors of all ages. The Discovery Center serves as a hub of hands-on learning, where guests can touch stingrays, observe insects up close, and participate in educational presentations led by knowledgeable zookeepers. Children especially enjoy the opportunity to feed farm animals at the Red Barn petting zoo, fostering a deeper connection with the natural world.
For those seeking adventure, the Zoo’s Sky Trail ropes course provides an exhilarating challenge high above the ground, offering panoramic views of the park below. With zip lines, suspension bridges, and thrilling obstacles, the Sky Trail promises an unforgettable outdoor adventure for the whole family.
Conservation and Education
At the heart of Blank Park Zoo’s mission is a commitment to conservation and education. Through innovative programs and initiatives, the zoo inspires visitors to become stewards of the environment and advocates for wildlife protection. From community outreach events to on-site educational programs, Blank Park Zoo empowers individuals to make a positive impact on the world around them.
The Blank Park Zoo Conservation Fund supports vital research and conservation projects both locally and globally, working to preserve endangered species and their habitats for future generations. Through collaborative efforts with conservation partners and accredited zoological institutions, Blank Park Zoo continues to lead the charge in wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability.
Blank Park Zoo Details
Blank Park Zoo
7401 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50315
Telephone: (515) 285-4722
Hours of Operation
Spring – Summer Hours
Daily: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Fall – Winter Hours
Daily: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Final admission and Discovery Center exhibit closes 30 minutes before the zoo closes.
Adults (13-64): $18.00
Children (2-12): $12.00
Seniors (65+): $16.00
Coming from the east using Interstate 80 West:
Take Interstate 80 to exit number 141 (Highway 65 South) just west of Altoona. Stay on the BYPASS (Highway 65 becomes Highway 5) until you reach SW 9th Street. Exit onto SW 9th St. Turn north onto SW 9th St. Drive approximately 1 mile north. The Zoo will be on the right side of SW 9th St.
Coming from the west using Interstate 80 East:
Take Interstate 80 to the Interstate 35 South exit. Head south on Interstate 35 as if going to Kansas City. Take Exit #68. Take Hwy 5 to the SW 9th St. exit. At the bottom of the exit turn left onto SW 9th St. Take SW 9th St. to the Zoo. The Zoo will be on your right.
Blank Park Zoo In a Nutshell
Blank Park Zoo stands as a testament to the power of conservation, education, and community engagement. From captivating animal exhibits to interactive experiences and conservation initiatives, the zoo offers a wealth of opportunities for visitors to connect with nature and learn about the importance of protecting our planet’s biodiversity.
Whether you’re strolling through the African savanna, marveling at tropical wildlife, or embarking on a high-flying adventure, Blank Park Zoo invites you to embark on a journey of discovery and inspiration. As a beloved cultural institution in Des Moines, Iowa, Blank Park Zoo continues to inspire generations of visitors to appreciate the wonders of the natural world and take action to safeguard its future.
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