Zoo Exhibits & Special Features
Alex & Ani Farmyard
Designed to look like a typical Rhode Island farm, the Alex & Ani Farmyard celebrates the diversity of farms found around the state. This exhibit is home to a variety of domestic farm animals including goats, sheep, alpacas, and chickens as well as the non-domesticated barn owl.
Explore & Soar
Make every Zoo visit an adventure for the whole family! For something slightly out of the ordinary, visit our new Explore and Soar area (located adjacent to Hasbro’s Our Big Backyard) offering an exhilarating zip ride and a train excursion through the woodlands. (Note: zip and train rides close November – March)
Fabric of Africa
Go on safari right here in Rhode Island! Learn how the people, land, and animals of Africa are all interconnected and interdependent while watching zebras, cheetahs, red river hogs, and more in action. Observe elephants swimming in a waterhole and Masai giraffes reaching high into the trees for a leafy snack at the Robert F. Stoico / FIRSTFED Charitable Foundation Jambo Junction. Or head into the Textron Elephant & Giraffe Pavilion. Inside you may catch an elephant bath or training session in progress.
Faces of the Rainforest
Journey to the Amazon rainforest!
Discover fun and fascinating creatures in this all-immersive exhibit. Whether you are interacting with scarlet ibis inside the exhibit’s free-flight aviary or viewing an anaconda and endangered giant otters, this wildlife experience will take you on a journey to the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. Adults and children will discover how these diverse species, big and small, create the complex ecosystem rainforests thrive on, and learn what we can all do to ensure they survive.
Feinstein Junior Scholar Wetlands Trail
Relax, unwind, and enjoy nature on this beautiful ¼ mile walking path through Rhode Island’s most endangered habitat, the wetlands. On any given day, you may encounter a variety of native wildlife including great blue herons, wood ducks, and snapping turtles. You may even catch sight of an osprey or bald eagle! Wetlands are critical habitats for animals and provide many services to people. The Wetlands Trail is open daily, with the exception of September through mid-November for the annual Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular setup and breakdown.
Hasbro's Our Big Backyard
Come play and learn as a family in the Zoo’s own immersive, fully accessible nature play space. Features an indoor activity space and The Nature Swap, a special place to trade items that you’ve collected when out exploring in nature. Make the most of the Drip Drop Water Garden, Sticks & Stones Building Zone, and Creativity Corner. Play giant musical instruments, and guide a boat down a waterfall. Next, build forts, climb, and swing on ropes in the Beyond the Fence Naturescape. Then make your way to the CVS Health All Kids Can Treehouse to explore a giant color wheel, telescopes, and much more.
Marco Polo's Adventure Treck
Follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo, the famous explorer, and see some of the animals that he may have encountered as he traveled through the extreme environments of the desert and high mountains. Maybe glimpse one of our moon bears climbing or playing in the pool. See the beautiful red pandas and impressive takin. Can you find the secretive snow leopard? Look carefully – they blend in perfectly with their surroundings!
Discover some of the amazing creatures that call North America home. Watch the bison graze, and pronghorn demonstrate their speed. See if you can spot the shy endangered red wolf or learn about the bald eagle’s conservation success story! You can even spy the only two venomous snakes in New England – the northern copperhead and timber rattlesnake and learn about their important role in the ecosystem.
World of Adaptations
Surviving in the natural world is really hard. Challenges animals face include not only finding shelter and enough food, but also avoiding predators and finding mates. Animals have adaptations which increase their chance of survival. Adaptations can be physical; the tail of the wallaby helps it balance and change direction as they hop. Adaptations can also be behavioral; gibbons vocalize in the morning to announce their presence to other animals in the area. Come and explore a World of Adaptations and learn just what it really takes to survive in the wild.
Seasonal & Special Features
The Nature Swap, located within the Hasbro’s “Our Big Backyard” exhibit, is a special place to trade items that you’ve collected when out exploring in nature. To participate in Nature Swap, bring in natural “found” items to collect points for swapping with items in our collection. You can trade things commonly found in nature like shells, rocks, acorns, leaves, and pine cones. Learn more at natureswap.rwpzoo.org
Open daily – Just look for one of our Zoo crew in blue to participate!
Closed for fall/winter season
Animal Ambassador Encounters are BACK! Get up close with our nine-banded armadillos and radiated tortoises in their new custom designed play yard, Connection Corner. This hands-on experience runs all summer long and is no extra charge (weather permitting) from 10am-3:30pm. Come make a new friend!
Children and adults can interact with live animals in the contact yard. Visitors can also feed the goats and sheep from just outside of the Farmyard along the fence.
Open daily (weather-permitting) – Hours may vary depending on weather and time of the year.