Central Florida Day Trips
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 & Botanical Gardens
Situated within a natural wetland, along the shores of Lake Monroe, the Central Florida Zoo is a half day family adventure with something for everyone. With more than 350 animals, and an assortment of gardens and plantings, guests will surely get to explore, learn and be inspired to protect wildlife & wild places. Interactive animal experiences include keeper chats, Barnyard Buddies petting zoo, giraffe feedings and a rhino encounter. Cool off in the splash pad, visit our reptiles in the Zoo's Herpetarium, learn more about native species at our Florida black bear habitat and Bear Awareness Exhibit, enjoy lunch at our on-site concessions provided by Sonny's BBQ, and stop by the ZOOfari Gift Shop for a souvenir to remember your visit. After going wild in the Zoo, you can take to the trees, and challenge your body and mind, at Seminole Aerial Adventures. www.centralfloridazoo.org
Location: 3755 W. Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL
Admission: Adults: $19.50; Seniors (60+): $15.95; Children (3–12): $13.75; 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. 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