I dated a man who had a four year old and we chose to visit the zoo as a family trip. The first zoo and the one from which the picture was taken was in Natural Bridge while the second was the Metro Richmond.
Each zoo offered us a great experience with the Natural Bridge allowing nearer proximity in most part while also a petting zoo, which Jacob loved. The Metro Richmond had a budgie cage and a chance to feed the giraffes.
All in all though Jacob loved the experience of both zoos while seeming to lean more towards liking the possibly more dangerous animals above some of the others. Although children can make a zoo trip hard, they can also bring to the parent the joy and wonder of seeing the world from such little eyes.