Thank goodness the Fort Worth Zoo is open 365 days a year because there are so many things to do with kids here that you probably won't get to see and do it all in one day.
She Is Dallas info: The Fort Worth Zoo is located at 1989 Colonial Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76110. You can reach them at (817) 759-7500. Parking is $5.00 – cash only! Admission: Adults 13+, $12, Children 3-12, $9, 2 and under free, Seniors 65+, $9. Wednesdays are half price admission day and you can also save money with an annual membership. You can rent single and double strollers for $7 and $9. No coolers allowed. No smoking allowed.
The zoo has 12 permanent exhibit areas which include all the basic zoo critters and then some:
- Penguins “ My kids love the underwater viewing area where they can see the penguins swimming beneath the surface. It's always hard to pull them away, especially my toddler who has an affinity for putting his mouth all over the glass panes. Eww! Maybe he's trying to kiss a penguin?
- World of Primates “ Step into this tropical rainforest and enjoy watching chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, mandrills, and colobus monkeys. Kids especially enjoy watching the gibbons swing through the exhibit with their long arms.
- Asian Falls – Asian Falls is home to six Asian elephants, white tigers as well as Malayan tigers, sun bears, and hoof stock. These animals are majestic and beautiful but they didn't move around much so my kids weren't nearly as impressed with them as I was.
- Raptor Canyon “ Swoop! Watch overhead as birds fly right over your head in this exhibit. Raptor Canyon is definitely a cool exhibit. It houses four species of raptors, crowned eagles, Andean condors, milky eagle owl, harpy eagles, and a pair of bateleur eagles.
- Cheetahs – The cheetahs were all sleeping under trees when we visited so we didn't see much of them. But the bongos and warthogs were fun to watch.
- Flamingo Bay “ Did you know that flamingos get the pink color from the food they eat? In Flamingo Bay, you can watch 3 different species of flamingos, over 70 birds total, as they eat, preen, rest, and repeat, all day long.
- Meerkat Mounds “ One of our favorites! Meerkats are adorable little social animals than run around a lot and like to pop up on their hind legs unexpectedly. They really crack my kids up and they are almost addictive to watch.
- Australian Outback/Great Barrier Reef “ Watch the kangaroos bounce around with the wallabies at the Australian Outback exhibit which also houses an incredible aquatic exhibit full of 500 vibrant fish, coral, and sharks found around the Great Barrier Reef. Of course, my children especially love the Coral Reef Play Area.
- African Savannah “ The boardwalk in this exhibit allows for great viewing of the animals. You can watch black rhinos wallow in the mud and graceful giraffes stroll amongst the trees. You ™ll also find swans and ostriches here.
- Parrot Paradise “ Your kids will love this one ¦unless it scares them to death like it did mine at first. This exhibit is an fun interactive aviary. Hundreds of colorful parakeets and cockatiels fly all around you. If you buy a little stick of food, they will most certainly land on it if you hold it out for them. This might scare little ones at first and my son dropped his stick many times at first because he didn't know what to think of that bird flying up so close to him.
- Texas Wild! “ Learn about unique and diverse animals of Texas in this exhibit.
- Museum of Living Art “ See exotic and endangered amphibian and reptile species in this beautifully designed Herpetarium complete with pools, rock formations, and even hand-painted murals. My son's favorite is the giant saltwater crocodile which, at more than 15 feet long, is the largest in North America.
If all of those exhibits aren't able to wear down your kids enough to take a good long nap for you, then head on over to the other kid-friendly attractions. There is a carousel, movie house, petting corral, and playbarn. Of course, there are plenty options for food and drinks within the zoo. But watch out for the souvenir shop! There are some really cool toys, rocks, books, and stuffed animals for sale there and if you aren't careful you just might come home with a few bugs, snakes, and monkeys in tow ¦not that I know from experience or anything.
The Fort Worth Zoo also offers incredible classes, camps, overnight stays, and even birthday parties to further enrich your child's education.