- If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney
Visit Old Zoo Picnic Area
The Abandoned Zoo enclosures offer a perfect place to experience the other side of the bars.
The site of the first Los Angeles zoo, it opened in 1912 with 15 animals. Many of the enclosures were built in the 1930s by Works Progress Administration crews and were made in the iron bars/pacing animal-style that was standard for zoos of that era. The zoo was abandoned in 1966 when the current LA zoo opened.
Today the cave enclosures are outfitted with picnic benches and grills. A trail leading up from the caves gives you a zookeeper’s view of the lion’s den and leads to ever more abandoned cages, offering an eerie feeling of what it is like to be on the other side of the bars.