Some 100 animal species from around the globe — kangaroos from the Australian outback, African elephants and Masai giraffes, red pandas from China, North American bison, and monkeys from the Amazon rain forest — have long drawn visitors to Roger Williams Park Zoo. Situated in historic Roger Williams Park, which also offers a natural history museum, planetarium, and old-fashioned carousel, the zoo is one of the oldest in the country.
New this summer is Hasbro’s Our Big Backyard, an indoor-outdoor play area where children can explore, build, climb, and create. Trade treasured items collected on outdoor explorations in the Nature Swap; build a fort in the Sticks and Stones Building Zone; design a waterway in the Drip Drop Water Garden; stage or watch a puppet show in the Creativity Corner. Then follow the trail to the CVS Caremark All Kids Can Tree House, packed with things to touch, hear, smell, and see.
This summer the zoo welcomed Inara, a baby giant anteater; two takin, large, hoofed mammals from the Himalayas; and two king vultures native to Central and South America — all said to be the only ones of their ilk in the Northeast. 1000 Elmwood Ave., Providence, 401-785-3510, www.rwp
zoo.org. Adults $14.95, 62 and over $12.95, children ages 3-12 $9.95. under 3 free.