See familiar and exotic animals at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere (3777 Nolensville Pike, 615/833-1534, www.nashvillezoo.org , adults $13, seniors $11, children 3–12 $8, children under 3 free). From April 1 to October 15, the zoo is open daily 9 a.m.–6 p.m. The rest of the year, opening hours are daily 9 a.m.–4 p.m. The zoo is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Days. Parking is free.
Many of the zoo’s animals live in beautiful habitats like Lorikeet Landing, Gibbon Islands, and Bamboo Trail. The zoo’s meerkat exhibit, featuring the famously quizzical and erect animals, is one of its most popular. The Wild Animal Carousel is an old-time carousel with 39 different brightly painted wooden animals. Two of the newest exhibits feature African wild dogs and Eurasian Lynx.
The zoo is located at Grassmere, the onetime home and farm of the Croft family. The historic Croft farmhouse has been preserved and is open for guided tours in October and December every year.