The Franklin Park Zoo offers over 1,000 animals in its well-kept facility that brings entertainment to locals and tourists alike. There are nearly 165 employees that help to operate this zoo in the heart of Boston. The zoo was founded in 1913 and recently faced financial issues due to the nation's economy. At one point there was talk of closing the zoo and euthanizing its animals.
The zoo is open year round with special camps and projects offered in the warmer months. Day camps are available for children ages 6-11 and provide a hands-on experience for kids to go behind the scenes and see how a zoo operates. The camps are generally one week long and teach children about ecosystems, animals and habitats.
Franklin Park Zoo offers an indoor themed Giddy-Up Southwest Grill concession stand that is open all year round and offers delicious fare for the whole family. The Arre Grill serves a fine selection of wraps, sandwiches, salads, pizzas and many other child friendly foods. The zoo's guests can find burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and other fresh from the grill as well. Also of note is the ample amount of picnic tables outside, where visitors can bring their own food to the zoo for a picnic. Most zoos and parks do not allow food to be packed in, but Franklin Park allows an exception to the rule.
There is a large gift shop located on site where visitors can purchase a wide variety of items in the Wild Things Gift Shop. Plush toys, games, clothes, and souvenirs are offered all year long. Seasonal items are available at different times of the year. Post cards and zoo books are also available.
The Franklin Park Zoo is handicapped accessible. Guests who rely on service animals are welcome to bring them into the zoo. The service animals should be kept under the control of the guests at all times. Guests are solely responsible for the care and control of their own animals. At the Franklin Park Zoo, wheelchairs can also be provided as needed. The wheelchairs are available in the admission office and given out on a first-come, first serve basis. Borrowers are required to submit current photo identification. To ensure availability, reservations are recommended.
Other than service animals, pets are not allowed on zoo grounds in order to protect the health and safety of the resident animals. It is also recommended that visitors do not leave their own pets in their parked vehicle during their visit to the zoo for safety reasons.
An annual support fund and donation options are available at the zoo. Individuals may make donations and corporations may set up annual contributions to be made to the zoo on their company's behalf. The funds donated help to maintain the conservation, education and recreation of the facility. Annual funds, In honor or memory funds, and In-Kind donations may be made.