By Jodi Grundig

Franklin Park Zoo

One Franklin Park Road, Dorchester, MA
Cost: Kids under 2 free, ages 2-12 $10, over 12 $16, seniors $13
website and info

Are you planning to visit the Franklin Park Zoo? Although the zoo is open year-round, many visitors prefer to go when the weather is warm and you can spend a great day outdoors exploring the many things the zoo has to offer. Here are some insider tips to make your journey even better!

Parking and Admission

The Franklin Park Zoo is open year-round, seven days a week, with the exception of a few holidays. As you may expect, warm weather days and weekends are especially busy. Keep in mind that if you are visiting midweek during the school year, you are likely to encounter numerous school groups – especially when the weather is warm.

Rates for the Franklin Park Zoo range from $10 for kids aged two to twelve to $16 for adults. For a special bargain, visit on “Kid’s Priced Saturdays” (aka, the first Saturday of the month) when all guests arriving between 10am and noon are charged the kids’ rate. These days are especially popular, so I’d recommend that you arrive early to minimize the crowds you encounter.

Parking at the Franklin Park Zoo is free, but does fill up. Again, arriving early is a great way to make sure you get a closer parking spot. The zoo involves a lot of walking, so try to park as close as possible! Remember to take frequent water breaks and use sunscreen on your summer zoo visit – the zoo gets very hot in the summer.

Zoo Exhibits

The Franklin Park Zoo includes numerous popular exhibits, all of which appeal to people of all ages. Depending on the ages of your group, and the amount of time you plan on visiting the museum, you might want to map out your trip in advance to make sure that you don’t miss anything. Maps of the zoo can be printed online.

There are a few popular areas with limited hours. The Butterfly Landing, an enclosed area with hundreds of butterflies, is only open in the summer – from mid-June through mid-September. Also, the newer Aussie Aviary, in the Outback Trail, is open limited hours and days, weather permitting. Of course, the zoo also has the typical zoo animals – lions, tigers, zebras, and giraffes.

giraffes Exploring The Franklin Park Zoo

(Photo Credit: Zoo New

Zoo Facilities

The Franklin Park Zoo offers a zoo train and carousel during the summer months. There’s a gift shop, a restaurant that’s open year round, and a seasonal restaurant. Wheelchair and stroller rentals are available, but they are on a first come first served basis. I’d recommend bringing your own if possible.


The Franklin Park Zoo does offer zoo memberships for interested families. If you think you’ll be visiting more than once a year, it’s probably a good idea – not only will you save money and support the zoo, you’ll also have the chance to beat the crowds. Members are invited to a special members-only early opening once a month – a great way to see the zoo monthly without the crowds or lines.

Jodi Grundig is editor and publisher of Family-Friendly Boston and Mom’s Favorite Stuff.

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