Nashville Zoo Opens New African-Themed Entrance on April 9
Join Nashville Zoo and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry for the grand opening of the Zoo’s new African-themed Entry Village on April 9 from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Activities will include live music, giveaways and snacks. The ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.
The Zoo’s Entry Village was created to enhance the experience of the more than 800,000 guests entering the Zoo annually. The new entrance includes dedicated ticketing and membership buildings, a 4,500 square-foot gift shop, restrooms, first aid, private nursing stations and more. The overall design of the new feature brings to mind an African village complete with steep-pitched thatch roofs, wood-carved signs and pavement resembling well-worn, mud pathways.
“It’s arguably one of the most beautiful zoo entrances you find in North America,” says Zoo President Rick Schwartz”. “Our guests will walk between two giant fire cauldrons before entering a large landscaped plaza setting the tone for the rest of their Zoo experience.”
Despite the rustic feel, the Zoo’s new entry is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to handle larger crowds at a faster pace. Guests will be able to purchase admission and other attraction tickets at six windows in the new ticketing building. New and renewing Zoo members now have a dedicated building where they can step inside to purchase their membership.
The new Zawadi Market gift shop features 4,500 square feet of new retail space under high pitched, thatch ceilings and theme similar to the rest of Entry Village.
“There was a lot of time and consideration that went into this store, down to the very last detail,” says Tony Smith, general manager of the Zoo’s concessions and retail operations. “In line with that, a lot of focus was put on sourcing eco-friendly and upcycled products to support the Nashville Zoo’s message around sustainability and conservation.”
Throughout the new entrance guest will see designs that welcome their arrival to Nashville Zoo. From giraffe silhouettes on hanging lanterns to a surprise exhibit in the men’s restroom, every aspect of Entry Village helps guests get ready for a great Zoo experience.
About Nashville Zoo Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Attracting more than 800,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership. For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit www.nashvillezoo.org.