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The Brandywine Zoo, a small treasure in the Small Wonder

Zhanna, the beautiful Amur tiger at the Brandywine Zoo
Zhanna, the beautiful Amur tiger at the Brandywine Zoo

Living in the Brandywine Valley, you get the benefit of living within an hour’s drive of some fantastic zoos. The first that comes to mind is, of course, the Philadelphia Zoo, which is the nation’s oldest zoo and a destination for visitors to the area. But if you are solely visiting the beautiful Brandywine Valley, there is hidden gem just down the road: the Brandywine Zoo.

While the Brandywine Zoo is on a much smaller scale than it’s counterpart in Philly to the north, it offers many of the same unique attributes. Located towards the northern end of the Wilmington city limits on the banks of the Brandywine River, the zoo covers 13 acres.

The zoo offers a bevy of exotic animals that are sure to wow everyone from young to old. New to the zoo this summer is the distinctive, beautiful red panda, native to the Far East. The zoo’s animals range from bobcats to tigers to pythons and almost anything else in between. The great thing about the Brandywine Zoo is that with its small feel, all of these animals are close together. It is definitely a wonderful experience to go from seeing an animal such as an iguana so close to where animals like foxes, for example, are.

The zoo also has a variety of programs and events to appeal to many different age groups. Fantastic events such as Breakfast with the Beasts allows families to enjoy breakfast at the zoo and have the run of the zoo to themselves before being opened to the general public. There are also several live animal demonstrations such as Animal Close Encounters and Birds in Action, which features a free flight show. This is just a small snapshot at the events the zoo offers.

For those that want to visit a zoo but don’t want the hassle of having to drive into Philadelphia and don’t want to deal with the large crowds there, the Brandywine Zoo is a must-visit destination. All the zoo has to offer once you arrive here will pleasantly surprise you.