A Day Trip to Southwick’s Zoo

Taking a day trip to Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, MA is a fun, family-friendly outing that has activities even for adults. From the Deer Forest to the Aviary Landing, they have a ton of interesting exhibits that get you up close and personal with the wildlife.

Deer in Deer Forest at Southwick's Zoo
Deer in Deer Forest at Southwick’s Zoo

Super Saver Tip:
In The Entertainment Book you can find a “buy one admission get one free” coupon, a great value as the admission tickets run $19+ for adults.

Inside the Zoo

When you first enter the zoo, you’re greeted by some interesting, exotic animals from Australia.  I found the Australian animals to be the more fascinating inhabitants of the zoo, check out the kangaroos, kookaburras and wallabies.

Past the Australian animals, you are met with the smell of fried food from the Zebra Café.  The prices aren’t bad, I paid about $4.50 for an order of onion rings which were actually pretty good.

Petting Zoo

I felt out of place going inside the petting zoo. Children love the petting zoo and I was the only adult actively interacting with the animals. Suffice it to say, I got out of there pretty quickly, but the animals are really cute.

The Petting Zoo at Southwick's
The Petting Zoo at Southwick’s


Wandering around the zoo, it’s easy to notice they have lots of large birds, mainly macaws; and while it was neat to see them all, these birds are often sold in pet stores so they’re a little too common to be excited for.

Macaws on their perches - Southwick's Zoo
Macaws on their perches – Southwick’s Zoo

The best bird exhibit is the Parakeet Aviary Landing.  You get to walk inside this large cage filled with parakeets and cockatiels and allow them to perch on you (don’t worry they’re gentle!).  For $1 you can purchase a treat stick and really draw over all the birds, it’s a neat experience even for adults.

Into the Sky

For an extra fee you can take the Skyfari, a sky ride over most of the zoo.  It’s a relaxing 15 minute ride and it’s interesting to see the habitats from above, but it’s not that great that if you skipped it you’d be missing out on anything.

A view from the Skyfari
A view from the Skyfari

The Forest…and Deer

By far the best part of the zoo is the Deer Forest, this 35 acre expanse gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with the deer.  It’s a big habitat with a path carved out where you can walk through the habitat and enjoy the serenity of the shady forest.  For $.50 you can purchase a handful of corn and feed them, most are skittish but they’re very gentle creatures.  When’s the next time you’ll get to be this close to deer?

Deer Forest at Southwick's Zoo
Deer Forest at Southwick’s Zoo

This zoo is big and there is much to see, they have a lot of “standard zoo animals” (Lions, Tigers, although no Bears…oh my!) and a few animals you’ve never seen; but all-in-all it’s a fun experience.  They have many activities for the children as well (they all seemed to be fascinated with the petting zoo), just be careful, the sidewalks are uneven; I saw quite a few children fall flat on their face while walking around.



  1. says

    I love this place! I grew up going to the zoo…the little park where you can feed the deer was always my favorite…that and the rare red bat exhibit. 😉

    • says

      Deer forest is definitely the coolest part of Southwick’s! As far as the red bat…I overheard a kid explaining it to someone else and that was the only way I figured it out, I feel dumb haha

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