Best Zoos in Florida
Looking for something fun to do with your children this summer? Or perhaps you are just an animal-lover yourself. If either of these ring true for you, Florida zoos are a great way to experience fun for all ages! Below is a list of five of the best zoos in the state:
Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Garden
This zoo offers entertainment, education, and relaxation, along with over 400 animals. If you want to see the zoo from an animal's perspective, you can try the new ZOOm Air Adventure Park. This is an aerial adventure course where you can explore the tree tops using rope bridges, zip lines, and other systems. Or maybe you would rather cool off at the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground. Between the raining trees and water tunnels, kids of all ages will enjoy this part of the zoo on hot Florida days. This zoo even offers an Animal Adventure Children's Zoo and Herpetarium. You can also take a ride on the Little Florida Coastline Train.
Location: 3755 NW Hwy 17-92, Sanford, FL
Admission: Adults: $12.95; Seniors (60+): $10.95; Children (3-12): $8.95; Children (2 and under): Free
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Interested in the only walking safari in Northeast Florida? At the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens you can encounter wildlife through educational and interactive experiences. Home to more than 2,000 animals and 1,000 varieties of plants, this is a perfect zoo for those who want to see it all. At the River Valley Aviary you are able to watch birds flying freely. The African Loop is a boardwalk where you can venture around the Plains of East Africa. There is even a wetlands area, a South American exhibit, a themed Pocket Garden, Giraffe Overlook, and much more. You can also go on a Behind-the-Scenes Tour with an expert zookeeper. And, of course, there is a Play Park and Splash Ground for the kids.
Location: 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, FL
Admission: Adults: $14.95; Seniors (65+): $12.95; Children (3-12): $9.95; Children (2 and under): Free
Home to more than 2,000 animals representing over 500 species, this zoo has a lot to offer. There is the Wings of Asia Aviary with over 70 species of birds. This is actually the largest open air Asian aviary in the Western Hemisphere. Children will enjoy the Children's Zoo, which hosts a barn full of familiar barnyard animals. Children also have the opportunity get close to small ectotherms, experience rides like Humpy's Camel Rides, and the Wildlife Carousel. The whole family can also enjoy the new Amazon & Beyond Exhibit, where you will find yourself in immersed Central and South American sounds and colors.
Location: 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami, FL
Admission: Adults: $15.95; Seniors (65+): 25% off; Children (3-12): $11.95; Children (2 and under): Free
Lion Country Safari
Lion Country Safari is Florida's only drive-through safari and is also home to a walk-through amusement park. At Lion Country, you will be able to encounter over 900 animals. There are also animal feeding experiences, a water sprayground, and animal displays and encounters. On the drive-through safari you will be able to see a South American-themed area, an African wilderness, an area resembling India, as well as Serengeti Plains and much more. The walk-through safari offers rides, giraffe feeding, a petting zoo, and Lory Bird Aviary, among other activities. Overall, this zoo is great for safari lovers of all ages.
Location: 2003 Lion Country Safari Road, Loxahatchee, FL
Admission: Adults: $27.50; Seniors (65+): $24.50; Children (3-9): $20.50; Children (2 and under): Free
Tampa Bay's Lowry Park Zoo
With 56 acres of natural habitats, this zoo houses a diverse collection of over 1,500 animals. The Lowry Park Zoo also offers interactive exhibits where visitors can come into close contact with many of the species in the zoo. If you like birds, the free flight aviaries allow you to enter a rainforest environment where you can watch birds soar overhead. You can also see the daily birds of prey show â€œSpirits of the Sky.â€ In the Safari Africa and Ituri Forest habitat areas, guests can see a wide variety of animals such as elephants, giraffes, and zebras. They are also able to take a Safari Ride to receive a behind-the-scenes view of the animals. Beyond this, there is an Australian exhibit, a water play area, a primate exhibit, and an aquatic center where you can observe manatees and other sea creatures.
Location: 1101 West Slight Avenue, Tampa, FL
Admission: Adults: $23.95; Seniors (60+): $21.95; Children (3-11): $18.95; Children (2 and under): Free