The Baton Rouge Zoo is quite a drive for most folks -- unless you're one of the lucky ones who live in North Baton Rouge, near the Baker area. Coming from Denham Springs, it's a 45 minute to 1 hour drive, depending on traffic...and that drive gives my kids quite a long time to get keyed up in anticipation...but they are NEVER disappointed!
The Baton Rouge Zoo has all of the exotic animals you'd expect -- giraffes, elephants, zebras, all sorts of monkeys -- and they have some other relatively new additions, too. The Aquarium is cool (thankfully, in the blisteringly hot Louisiana heat), it's dark (the lighting comes from the many tanks built into the wall), and there are lots of varieties of fish, snakes, and other reptiles to see...plus my favorite, the stingray!
Another new addition is the Otter Pond. You may remember the old otter pond, a little round pool to the left when you entered the zoo. Now, in the center of the zoo next to the aquarium, the otters have their own entire habitat built, with a glass wall that lets you see the otters swim underwater as well as above.
There is new equipment in the kids' playground, and it's very nice, durable hard plastic. My kids, age 5 and 9, both have a blast there. The playground is next to the petting zoo, which is also a favorite.
The zoo has a food area that sells burgers, fries, popcorn, and the like. Prices are about average.
If you have a family of 4 and you plan to visit the zoo more than twice in a year, the annual pass is a great value at $35. You can choose from other membership options that allow you to bring more guests or have a caregiver bring your kids in your absence.
For an additional charge, you can ride the train, rent strollers, or visit the (very nice!) gift shop.
If you're looking for a fun way to spend a few hours with the family, don't forget the Baton Rouge Zoo!