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Attractions Across Virginia

Mill Mountain Zoo

A zoo on top of a mountain? Only in Virginia.

If you have small children and are heading up to check out the Roanoke Star on Mill Mountain, it will be worth your while to check out the Mill Mountain Zoo. Visitors have been enjoying this hometown zoo for more than 60 years.

More than175 creatures call Mill Mountain home, 35 different species in total. While you won’t find lions, tigers, and bears here, you will find a host of exotic creatures you don’t see running around every day. Residents include endangered animals like the red panda, the snow leopard, the white-naped crane, and the black hornbill.

Other features include a reptile house, a Canadian lynx exhibit, and the Eurasian black vulture exhibit.

This zoo is the kind of zoo you visit with children in mind. The Zoo Choo train, a mini Model G-16 train engine, runs a daily double loop around the zoo, weather permitting. It leaves from the station every half hour. Tickets are $2 per person.

Kids can also enjoy various “breakfasts with the animals” scheduled throughout the year. The zoo provides a light breakfast for the wee ones and then offers a presentation on the specific diet of the animal of the day. Guests get to see the animal’s breakfast being prepared during the presentation, and everyone makes a small craft or keepsake item to take home as a souvenir.

As part of its education and outreach programs, Mill Mountain encourages school field trips, birthday parties, and zoo camps that are offered as day camps during spring break and summer vacation.

The zookeepers do “keeper chats” with visitors during animal feed times. This is a great way for kids and adults alike to get to know more about the job of the zookeepers and the animals in general.

The Mill Mountain Zoo has received accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums—only two other zoos in the state have this accreditation thus far. The AZA is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and global preservation.

Hours and Location

Hours: Open daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Grounds close at 5 p.m.
Location: Roanoke
Address: J.P. Fishburn Parkway, 24034
Telephone: 540-343-3241
Web site:
Cost: $7.50 for adults $5 for children ages 3 to 11 years old. Free for children under 2. 10% discount is available for seniors and military. Zoo members get in free.
Latitude: 37.249929
Longitude: -79.933549

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