This post is part of our Hot Summer. Cool City. series, where you can discover great family getaways and even WIN a getaway for your family in our Fort Wayne Photo Contest. Learn more here. facebook-highlighted-post The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is consistently ranked one of the top children's museums in the country and is a great activity for families and visitors of all ages in the summer.  Here are our picks for the hottest exhibits at the zoo and the best ways to stay cool during your visit.

African Journey

The African Journey is the newest part of the zoo.  With its renovation in 2009, the exhibit now has more animals and ways to get up close to them than ever before.  You can ride on the Sky Safari and get a bird’s eye view of the animals from thirty-eight feet in the air.  Take a walk around the 20-acres in this part of the zoo to see different animals and learn from education stations and volunteers.  Interact with lions, zebras, ostrich, and other African animals.  You cannot miss the opportunity to feed the giraffes.

Australian Adventure

The Australian Adventure at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is the largest collection of animals from Australia outside of Australia.  Ride down the river on the log ride to see animals—kangaroos will even come up to you as you ride or walk through this area of the exhibit.  Learn about fish, sharks and the Great Barrier Reef.  On Wednesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m., you can even ask a SCUBA diver questions about the animals while she’s underwater.  Another great feature of the Australian Adventure is the nocturnal animals in the Australia After Dark building.  You can see bats, possums, echidnas, and other animals in a darkened building—it’s dark during the day so visitors can see the animals when they’re active.

Indonesian Rain Forest

The Indonesian Rain Forest is in the heart of the zoo and has a great collection of unique animals.  You can see a Komodo dragon, pythons, and other snakes at Dr. Diversity’s Research Station.  Not a fan of reptiles?  Check out exotic bees and butterflies or see monkeys and apes.  Kids love watching the orangutans swing around in the Orangutan Valley.  Don’t forget to see the majestic Sumatran tigers.

Insider tips for staying cool at the zoo

--Check out the zoo in the morning before it gets too hot.  Just like humans, animals are less likely to be awake and out in the open during the hottest parts of the day.  The zoo opens at 9 a.m., so try to get there early.  You can get your hand stamped for reentry later in the day if you need a break from the heat. --Try out some of the great cool treats and eats at concession stands located throughout the zoo. -- Bring a suit or change of clothes for the kids - there are several splash pads and cool-off stations throughout the zoo!