Rapperswil Kinder Zoo

The Rapperswil Kinder Zoo is small zoo designed for young children with shows, rides and playground, particularly good for the under-6 crowd. It’s very small, much much smaller than Zurich zoo, but it focuses on the animals that small kids are interested in and makes it easy to see them and get up close. We’ve been many times over the years and my kids always had a great time. But at about 8 years old, my kids became more interested in running around the playground with their friends than looking at the animals so we don’t go so often anymore.

Location: Zurich Region
Address: Oberseestrasse 36 CH-8640 Rapperswil CH
Car: ~40 mins from Zurich
Train: ~45 mins Zurich
Open: year round
Tickets (2016): Adult CHF 19, Child over 4 CHF 6, under 4 free
More info: www.knieskinderzoo.ch

The animals include elephants, giraffes, bulls, monkeys, meerkats, donkeys, goats, various birds, etc. You can purchase popcorn to feed some of the animals. Twice a day you can feed the camels and elephants (shown below) with the food (like apples) provided free of charge to all guests. It’s a mad rush, so get to the animal enclosure. On this bizarre page, you can pay the upkeep for one of their animals, for example, CHF10,000 for one year for one of their elephants.

The sea lion show (three times a day) is always a big hit, even if it’s small and short. The seats can fill up quickly, so go early if your kids want to sit in the very front.

Since the place is small, you can easily see all the animals in a hour, depending on your child’s interest. The older my kids got, the less time they spent with the animals and the more time they spent on the playground. The big playground has slides, water play, and lots to climb on. It can get crazy crowded on weekends and holidays and a little dangerous for very little kids. But still fun, in that dangerous Swiss way.

The animal rides are very popular and only run during specified time windows. So plan to line up 15 minutes or so before it opens to make sure you get in. Your kids (and you) can ride camels, elephants, ponies, and a tiny “train” that circles the park. This is a big thrill for the little ones. Each ride costs a couple francs in cash, so come with lots of change and set expectations with your kids beforehand to minimize the damage.

The Kinderzoo offers a few special tours and animal encounters, like “Breakfast with the monkeys.” See this page for details (German only). They also organize birthday parties. I’ve been told that unlike the Zurich zoo, the Kinderzoo will do parties for kids under 6 years old.

Picnics are allowed and there are plenty of picnic areas with tables. There are a couple cafes with the typical pricey fare.

Personally, I find the zoo a little sad because the enclosures are small and it’s a little run down. Also, it’s much more expensive than it was when I started going here in 2006, when an adult was only CHF10. In 2014, it’s CHF19/adult and CHF6/child 4+, creeping closer to Zurich Zoo prices. I find that price a little steep for the value. Also, the animal rides are a couple francs each, which adds up pretty quickly.

Getting There

The Kinderzoo is in Rapperswil, easily reachable by car or public transportation. There are a large couple metered parking lots directly across from the park. The park is a short walk from the Rapperswil train station, no need to take a bus.

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