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Local Institutions


Be sure to plan your travel to visit one of the many AZA-accredited institutions close to Indianapolis!

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, Fort Wayne, IN
Approximately 2 hours from Indianapolis

Come explore the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  We’re not just for kids!  See why Parent’s magazine named Fort Wayne as the 5th best zoo for kids, and TripAdvisor named us as the 7th best zoo in the US.  Major exhibit areas include the African Journey, Indonesian Rain Forest, and the Australian Adventure.  With more than 1,000 animals across 40 acres, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo remains a fan favorite because of our small, intimate feel.  Come up to visit and while you’re here feed a giraffe, a stingray, or take a ride on our iconic train.

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is hosting a Post-Conference Tour on Thursday, September 14.  Tickets can be purchased with your registration for $45.


Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Dayton, OH
Approximately 2 hours from Indianapolis

The mission of the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is to be the premier regional provider of interactive science learning experiences which enrich the lives of children and adults, enhance the quality of life in our community, and promote a broad understanding of the world. To preserve, protect, and enhance the Museum's anthropology, geology, paleontology, and biology collections, and to make these collections available for exhibition, education, and research purposes.

Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati OH
Approximately 2 hours from Indianapolis

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is consistently ranked as one of the top zoo's in the country. Opened in 1875, it is the nation's second oldest zoo and a national historic landmark. The zoo's 81 acres house more than 500 animal species and 3000 plant varieties and has over 1.6 million visitors annually. This not-for-profit entity is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants, and engages in research and conservation projects around the world.

The Cincinnati Zoo is hosting a Pre-Conference Tour with the Newport Aquarium on Friday, September 8.  Tickets can be purchased with your registration for $75.

Newport Aquarium, Newport, KY
Approximately 2 hours from Indianapolis

Newport Aquarium highlights a variety of quality programs and exhibits 365 days a year. Twelve themed galleries feature underwater life at the state-of-the art facility located across the river from downtown Cincinnati at Newport on the Levee. The Newport Aquarium is home to thousands of animals in a million gallons of water.

The Newport Aquarium is hosting a Pre-Conference Tour with the Cincinnati Zoo on Friday, September 8.  Tickets can be purchased with your registration for $75.

Louisville Zoo, Louisville, KY
Approximately 2 hours from Indianapolis

The Louisville Zoological Gardens is dedicated to its mission to “Better the Bond Between People and Our Planet” and currently exhibits more than 1,500 animals on 134 acres of natural settings representing zoo geographical areas, specific habitat types or special education areas including: Glacier Run, Africa, Islands, New World Exhibits (North, Central and South America), Australian Outback, and the HerpAquarium.

The Louisville Zoo is hosting a Post-Conference Tour on Thursday, September 14.  Tickets can be purchased with your registration for $55.

Potawatomi Zoo, South Bend, IN
Approximately 2.5 hours from Indianapolis

The oldest zoo in Indiana, Potawatomi Zoo is home to over 500 animals on 23 acres. As the second largest cultural attraction in Saint Joseph County, Potawatomi Zoo has been a vital part of the community for over 100 years. Featuring exhibits that represent several different geographical regions and species, we also have a brand new Endangered Species Carousel, a train and an interactive Zoo Farm area. This summer Potawatomi Zoo opened one of our most exciting exhibits, okapi, who have quickly become a guest favorite! We are open 10-5 daily March through November.

The Potawatomi Zoo is offering free admission to AZA Conference attendees by showing their badge.

Miller Park Zoo, Bloomington, IL
Approximately 2.5 hours from Indianapolis

The Zoo features a walk through Wallaby exhibit, ZooLab exploration center, which includes an interactive bird exhibit, sun bear, snow leopards, red wolves, Sumatran tiger, and a new Children's Zoo which opened in 2001. A new Tropical Rain Forest opened in 2004.

Scovill Zoo, Decatur, IL
Approximately 2.5 hours from Indianapolis

Since 1967, Scovill Zoo has been an important part of the Decatur, Illinois community. The zoo houses 400 animals spanning six continents including cheetah, Bactrian camel, howler monkeys, flamingos, and more. You may ride the Endangered Species Carousel or Z.O. & O. Express Train and enjoy the community-built Project Play¬ground. The zoo contributes to the education, enjoyment, and quality of life of residents and visitors from across Central Illinois.

The Scovill Zoo is offering free admission to attendees before and after the Conference.

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden, Evansville, IN
Approximately 3 hours from Indianapolis

Situated on 45 acres of rolling hills on Evansville’s northwest side, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is home to 163 species from around the globe.  Featuring Amazonia, the Zoo connects people with the natural world. Visitors can start in the canopy of a South American rainforest or visit the African savannah 365 days a year.   Hours of operation are from 9:00 a.m. with gates closing at 5:00 p.m. 

The Mesker Park Zoo is offering free admittance to AZA Conference attendees by showing their badge (until September 17).


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