Information on:

Norristown - Elmwood Park Zoo

1661 Harding Boulevard

Elmwood Park Zoo was founded in 1924, when a private landowner donated a small piece of property and a handful of white-tailed deer to the Borough of Norristown. Run by the Borough as a division of Elmwood Park, the Zoo exhibited a collection of animals throughout the 1920s, including monkeys, bears, peacocks, deer, raccoons, and rabbits. Popular for its exhibits, the Zoo was also a destination because of the natural spring that provided clean water to borough residents.

The Zoo expanded and changed over the decades. Advances in animal care changed exhibits from bare wire-cages (which was the standard in the 1920s) into more naturalistic exhibits that would give comfort to the animals. The Zoo developed a focus on North- and South-American animals, and though ownership and operation continued to come from the Borough, the Zoo was supported by the Norristown Zoological Society, a group of community-minded citizens who oversaw programs, and donated their time and money to support the Zoo.

Today, Elmwood Park Zoo welcomes over 130,000 visitors annually for an educational adventure in a fun, clean, and family-oriented environment.

A new 20-year master plan was approved by the Norristown Borough Council in 2003. In it, the Zoo will expand from its present 16 acres to over 42, adding South- and Central-American themed exhibits that would more than double the Zoo's present exhibit space, expanded parking and concessions areas, and a state-of-the-art Animal Care and Conservation Center where the Zoo's veterinary staff will treat their patients, and interactive exhibits will teach visitors about animal medicine.

The new master plan comes with a price tag of over $60 million, which must be raised from community, government, and corporate donations, and is in addition to an annual operating budget of more than $1.5 million. You can help the Zoo achieve its vision; any donation, from one dollar to one million dollars, will push the Zoo closer to accomplishing its mission.


Edward Gleason

Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018
A wonderful, smaller zoo that is still tons of fun. Much easier to get to than the Philadelphia Zoo, the Elmwood Park Zoo has free parking and a ton of great animals. The jaguar exhibit is a real standout, but there really isn't a weak link in the whole zoo. We took our 18 month old daughter this afternoon and had a blast. There are a bunch of great food options, and plenty of space to sit and eat. The price of admission easily pays for itself in enjoyment, especially during the winter season when tickets are almost half off. Definitely worth the trip.

Adam Wan

Saturday, April 7, 2018
Not too big. Alot of stuff for kids to do. Feed bison, feed birds, feed barn animals, feed giraffe but all for a cost. Minimal though. They are still under construction in the middle section but hopefully complete it soon. Children's playground is large and can occupy kids for a while. Relatively clean. Free parking. Would recommend if you don't feel like driving to Philadelphia zoo all the time and dealing with traffic.

Erika Juarez

Sunday, March 18, 2018
Great little zoo to visit. They offer a free entry option for Norristown residents usually once a month on specific dates. Very kid friendly as there are a few rides/activities for them to experience. There’s a carousel, caterpillar train, and a full playground as well as a kid friendly zip lining course. There are also adult level courses available. All of those activists, excluding the playground, are an extra fee. There are also a lot of options for food including water ice and ice cream. The zoo is definitely worth a visit if you’ve never experienced it.

Jeff McCann

Monday, Feb. 5, 2018
Always a great experience. The staff are very knowledgeable and friendly and the zoo is the perfect size that you can see all of it in a few hours with the kids. Where else can you walk up to stand within a couple feet of huge bald and golden eagles outside a cage? We love it!

Jillian Ryan

Monday, March 19, 2018
There’s more room for zip lining than there is for the jaguars to live. The cats pace in circles in their small enclosure, panting and upset. Their outdoor space is no better. People are paying to watch animals go insane. Why is their zip lining at the zoo? To make more money? Get rid of the zip lining and take care of your animals.

Elmwood Park Zoo is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media