Soar Above the Zoo with WildWorks
This new ropes course brings high-flying adventure for all ages to the Philadelphia Zoo.
When you enter the Philadelphia Zoo, you may notice the beloved but beleaguered ZooBalloon is conspicuously absent. But never fear, zoo guests, you are not confined to stay on the ground! In its place, a fantastic, high-flying adventure course has risen up: WildWorks!
WildWorks offers fun for kids of all ages—and their parents—with two courses designed for different ages and skill levels. Strap in and climb 34 feet above the zoo to experience crossing bridges, balancing on ropes, climbing through obstacles, and even ziplining! And don’t worry, you’ll be harnessed and tethered safely to the ropes course and zipline the whole time—if you do “fall,” it isn’t far, and you remain dangling from the upper track in your harness.
Much like the incredible Zoo360 system of trails and tunnels that allow animals like tigers and monkeys to roam above the zoo, WildWorks gives people the chance to see the zoo from a new aerial perspective!
Choose Your Own Adventure
WildWorks invites multiple visits because each experience is unique, as guests explore at their own pace and pick their own path. And as you get better, there are different levels of challenges with varying degrees of difficulty for adults and children.
No one is left out, because the littles get their own section! The WildWorks “Sky Tykes” system—for kids under 48 inches— mimics the larger “Sky Trail” used by bigger kids and adults.
Our team member Mel Nielson took her kids, and tells us that you may want to go up with your kids. This is especially recommended for kids who exceed the 48-inch threshold, but may be on the younger side of that. As she explained, those taller kids can’t opt to do the Sky Tykes course because they could hit their heads on the overhead track, but the Sky Trail may be a little intimidating due to their younger age.
WildWorks is the fourth new development at the Philadelphia Zoo this season! The new adventure course comes on the heels of the return of the ZooKey, the life-sized LEGO exhibit “Creatures of Habitat,” and the new food marketplace and play area Urban Green. You can read all about these other developments in our preview.
“This is such an exciting time for Philadelphia and the Zoo,” the Zoo’s Chief Marketing Officer Amy Shearer said in a press release. “WildWorks is one of four new exhibits and attractions we are proud to debut in less than eight weeks…There is literally something new around every corner of the Zoo this spring and summer.”
Know Before You Go
WildWorks is open from 10 am—4 pm every day the zoo is open, weather permitting. WildWorks admission is not included with the cost of zoo admission, and zoo admission is not required to do WildWorks. Admission ranges from $4 to $10, depending on which course you choose and your Zoo membership level (by the way, Philly Family Supporting Members get 15 percent off membership at the Philadelphia Zoo, along with many other discounts around town!). Alternatively, you can buy an unlimited attractions day pass for $18 to $20 per person upon visiting the zoo, which includes access to the swan boats, rides (carousel and train), and WildWorks.
There is no time limit, but they estimate about 20-25 minutes for the course. For us, the experience took about an hour once you include buying tickets, the “onboarding process” (signing releases, learning the safety, and getting harnessed in), and doing the course. So make sure you leave enough time to experience it all. Also, be sure to use the bathroom before you get harnessed in, because if your kids inevitably decide they have to go when you finally get up there, you have to get unharnessed and then come back and get hooked up all over again (but won’t have to wait in line a second time, thankfully)!
WildWorks participants must be in good health and under 300 pounds. To ride the Sky Trail, you have to be at least 48 inches tall—littles can use the Sky Tykes course. Before you go on, you have to empty your pockets of loose objects (including phones, sorry!), and make sure you don’t wear flip-flops, Crocs, or any other shoes that can fall off while you are in the air! The posted rules also say shoes must be closed-heel.
The Philadelphia Zoo is located at 3400 W. Girard Avenue in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Admission is $24 for adults, and $19 for children ages 2-11. Kids under 2 and zoo members get in free. Zoo admission is not required to do WildWorks.
Photographs and video by Mel Nielson.