Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Dave Forstate

Schedule some time to see and learn about fascinating animals and connect with nature, and while you’re at it, consider a donation. Any contribution goes a long way to help protect and learn about animals around the world, from right here in Pittsburgh.

African Savanna
Pittsburgh Zoo
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 665-3640
www.pittsburghzoo.org

The African Savanna exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo gives the feel of being in grasslands of Africa. There you can view all of the African animals in natural habitats and enjoy up-close encounters. The exhibit features the Saba Elephant Reserve where you can see and learn about African elephants. You will also spot African lions, Amur leopards, Grant’s zebras and a Masai giraffe or two (they are hard to miss).

Penguins
PPG Aquarium
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 665-3640
www.pittsburghzoo.org

Although admission to PPG Aquarium is included when you visit the Pittsburgh Zoo, you can easily spend a day just at the aquarium. The penguin exhibit at the aquarium is a must see. You can watch several species of penguins, such as gentoo penguins, king penguins and macaroni penguins. Watching them play and interact is certainly a happy way to spend an afternoon.

Cloud Forest
National Aviary
700 Arch St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 323-7235
www.aviary.org/cloudforest

The cloud forest exhibit in the National Aviary is a replicated rainforest where you can view plants and birds of this habitat. The exhibit features Wookie, the popular Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth who is a natural resident of the rainforest. The aviary is also home to a new baby sloth, Valentino, who will soon be an animal ambassador for visitors. Keep an eye out for these cute and cuddly creatures.

Related: Best Art Exhibits Coming To Pittsburgh In 2016

Water’s Edge
Pittsburgh Zoo
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 665-3640
www.pittsburghzoo.org

The Water’s Edge exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo is a replicated coastal fishing village demonstrating how wildlife and people can live in harmony. This cold northern climate is home to many animals that live both on land and in water. The village features underwater viewing tunnels and inside and outside windows for watching animals, such as the northern sea otter, polar bear and sand tiger shark. Water’s Edge is the perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.

Discovery Lab
Oglebay Good Zoo
465 Lodge Drive
Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 243-4000
www.oglebay-resort.com/goodzoo

Just a 40 minute ride from Pittsburgh is Oglebay Resort, which features many family activities. Oglebay is also home to the Good Zoo with a variety of fun exhibits and animals to enjoy. The Discovery Lab is an indoor exhibit where you can enjoy some hands-on experience with small animals, such as poisonous dart frogs and tamarin monkeys. The Lab is a great place to touch, explore and learn more about some very interesting animals.

Related: 5 Things In Pittsburgh That Exist Nowhere Else In The US

Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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