Long Awaited Zoo Opens in Palo Alto
By Kathy Chin Leong
After eight years of development and planning and fundraising, the new Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo has opened to the public, almost twice as big as its predecessor, and more importantly, designed to set a breakthrough standard in terms of innovation and accessibility for those with special needs. The $25 million zoo is designed for the baby to the toddler to the elementary school set with more than 15,000 square feet at their disposal.
Located on 1451 Middlefield Road, the space includes interactive art pieces and kinesthetic exhibits for hands-on fun and learning. The museum’s crawl logs let kids crawl from the museum directly to the center of the meerkat zoo exhibit. And yes, they can interact with the meerkats there.
Picture a tree house festooned with rope bridges, ladders, net tubes, and platform for a dynamic play experience. Over 50 animal species can be found here. Zoo animals include the American flamingo, African spurred tortoise, and raccoon in addition to a wide range of birds that roam freely.
Families with special needs children will feel extremely supported. Wheelchair accessible exhibits, Braille and large print signage and text, and calming zones for kids who cannot handle too much stimulus are among the many, many features that were intentionally designed to meet different needs and expectations. On Sundays, these families can come for free. Cost for admission is only $10.
When you come:
Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo
1451 Middlefield Road