World of Play: Now Open

From an Antarctic ice cave to the rainforest to the redwoods, kids can explore the world from their own backyard at Reid Park Zoo’s new “Angel Charity for Children World of Play,” an exciting, interactive nature play zone.

Located next to the Zoo’s Conservation Learning Center, World of Play features a variety of sensory exhibits where kids of all ages and physical abilities can climb, slide, swing and let their imaginations run as they learn about nature and biodiversity from the animals’ perspective.

Starting in frozen Antarctica, kids can waddle like a penguin as they chill out in an ice cave complete with cool lighting, inviting tunnels and a slide feature. At the next stop, they can discover the thrill of the South American rainforest and uncover animals that call it home, as they climb inside a field research hut, recreate animal sounds, or slither across a narrow rope bridge. They can experience the majesty of the North American redwoods from new heights – atop a towering 30-ft sequoia tree – climb a giant spider web, dig for fossils, or get their energy out through unstructured play on a variety of slides and nature-themed playground equipment. As their children play, parents can sit, relax and watch from a comfortable shaded pavilion.

At the nearby Conservation Learning Center, Zoo guests can experience close-up views and encounters with Zoo ambassador animals and enjoy special programs presented by Zoo educators.

“We know that play is an essential component to learning for children,” said Reid Park Zoo President and CEO Nancy Kluge. “World of Play is an engaging and immersive experience. We are pleased to bring this exciting new space to fruition that will enable kids to be kids and to learn about nature in a memorable way, inspiring them to be tomorrow’s protectors of wild animals and wild places.”

In addition to lead donor Angel Charity for Children and many private supporters, the World of Play capital project is part of the Future of Your Zoo initiative made possible by Tucson voters in the November 2017 election to bring improvements to the Zoo. The concept and exhibits were designed by Torre Design Consortium Ltd, an award-winning architectural and master planning firm which specializes in zoo, museum, botanical garden and theme park design. The exhibits were constructed by Lloyd Construction, headquartered in Tucson, along with a number of local subcontractors. Tucson’s Dixon Studios LLC, leaders in design and fabrication of educational exhibits and displays, created the interpretive graphics, and a tile mosaic donor wall featuring animals from each of the continents was created by local artists Colleen Conlin and Gail Roberts. Cemrock Landscapes, Inc. crafted and constructed World of Play’s iconic one-of-a-kind Antarctic ice cave and 30-ft Sequoia Tree.

World of Play is included in Zoo admission and is open during regular zoo hours.