Elmwood Park Zoo

1661 Harding Boulevard
Norristown, PA 19401


Elmwood Park Zoo was founded in 1924, when a private landowner donated a small piece of property and a handful of white-tailed deer to the Borough of Norristown. Run by the Borough as a division of Elmwood Park, the Zoo exhibited a collection of animals throughout the 1920s, including monkeys, bears, peacocks, deer, raccoons, and rabbits. Popular for its exhibits, the Zoo was also a destination because of the natural spring that provided clean water to borough residents.

The Zoo expanded and changed over the decades. Advances in animal care changed exhibits from bare wire-cages (which was the standard in the 1920s) into more naturalistic exhibits that would give comfort to the animals. The Zoo developed a focus on North- and South-American animals, and though ownership and operation continued to come from the Borough, the Zoo was supported by the Norristown Zoological Society, a group of community-minded citizens who oversaw programs, and donated their time and money to support the Zoo.

Today, Elmwood Park Zoo welcomes over 130,000 visitors annually for an educational adventure in a fun, clean, and family-oriented environment.

A new 20-year master plan was approved by the Norristown Borough Council in 2003. In it, the Zoo will expand from its present 16 acres to over 42, adding South- and Central-American themed exhibits that would more than double the Zoo's present exhibit space, expanded parking and concessions areas, and a state-of-the-art Animal Care and Conservation Center where the Zoo's veterinary staff will treat their patients, and interactive exhibits will teach visitors about animal medicine.

The new master plan comes with a price tag of over $60 million, which must be raised from community, government, and corporate donations, and is in addition to an annual operating budget of more than $1.5 million. You can help the Zoo achieve its vision; any donation, from one dollar to one million dollars, will push the Zoo closer to accomplishing its mission.

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster
Please use "Flag This Place" to alert us about content that is inappropriate or needs immediate attention. Nothing you submit will be shared with other site visitors.

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Norristown
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner