Philadelphia Zoo awarded for children’s zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo has added various new features such as Zoo360 and KidsZooU. These new exhibitions allow visitors to experience the zoo and its animals in more exciting ways, and helps the mission of educating the public while encouraging them to participate in worldwide conservation.
Recently, the Philadelphia Zoo had been recognized for its new displays. The zoo's new children’s zoo, KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo & Faris Family Education Center, has received Top Honors for the 2014 award for exhibit design from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). This annual award is the highest honor for new exhibits and recognizes excellence in live animal display and exhibit design.
“The most effective way to connect our zoo and aquarium visitors to the wild is through dynamic and immersive habitats that engage and inspire our guests,” said Rick Barongi, Executive VP of Conservation at the Houston Zoo and Chair of AZA’s Honors and Awards Committee. “The Philadelphia Zoo has raised the bar to new heights, for all AZA institutions, with this incredible animal experience.”
KidsZooU opened in 2013, replacing the old petting zoo. This year-round exhibit offers children hands-on learning and interaction with goats, sheep, chickens and ducks. The outdoor exhibit includes a barnyard and stables where kids can pet and brush sheep, a "goat bridge" built above the KidZooU entrance and a goat tower to climb, as well as a parallel structure for children. The indoor exhibit includes activities that focus on conservation.
KidsZooU also features universal design elements such as signage in Braille, sign language, a QR code to scan with smartphones for other languages, and elements for children with autism.
Philadelphia Zoo has received AZA awards in the past. The zoo holds the AZA’s Exhibit Award for the McNeil Avian Center in 2010 and First Niagara Big Cat Falls in 2007.