A few years back I stumbled upon a zoo while traveling with my kids through Melbourne, Florida on a family road trip. As we drove up to the entrance we weren’t sure what to expect since we hadn’t heard of this place before, however after entering through the gates we couldn’t believe how amazing this zoo was. The amount of interaction with the animals and with the staff was beyond that which we had seen before. Today, fast forward three years and have found ourselves back in the same area. Can you guess what the first place on my list to visit again is? Yep! The Brevard Zoo.
Yesterday we headed into Brevard County, Florida which is only about a 51 minute drive from Orlando to visit our friends at the Brevard Zoo. It is an easy drive over and one that was a definite decision for my family after our last visit many years ago. There are so many things that we loved about this zoo, but one of the most memorable points is the zoo’s open air design. Most of the animals in this zoo are not placed behind cages but able to roam wild within their designated areas, which are conditioned as closely as possible to their natural habitats.
|The walk through the zoo is tropical and beautiful.|
At the Brevard Zoo you wont find a polar bear or penguins, but what you will find is an array of exotic and indigenous animals which thrive in the warm weather climates presented here in Florida.
Throughout the zoo we were able to come in close contact with beautiful birds of all kinds, like this beauty. He even squawked to me as I walked up as if to say “Hello, Welcome!”.
Throughout the center of the zoo is a large flamingo play area.
There were even places where we could buy nectar and feed the birds right out of our hands!
I loved being able to get an up close look at the bright and stunning colors of the birds. They were also quite friendly, but did scare my kids when they landed on their hands because of the feeling of their feet. They much rather wanted to look at them as we fed them instead of feed them themselves.
After feeding the birds, we were able to try a hand at feeding something just a little bit bigger.
This beauty was the most graceful animal as she moved. When we stuck out a cracker she would gently use her tongue and lift the cracker back into her mouth and then wait patiently to see if we had any more.
Right behind the cafe area is a small train that we couldn’t wait to take a ride on. This train, which can be included in the price of your entrance ticket for a small additional amount, took us on a ride behind the scenes of the camel, ostrich, and a few other animal exhibits. At times the animals would walk right up to the train or over the path causing the train to stop and wait.
This buddy watched me as I rode by him. Not moving, just starring.
Some other great features at the zoo are the keeper talks, the high ropes courses and the ziplines.
I didn’t get a chance to do the high ropes courses over the zoo this time, but it is definitely on my to do list for when the kids get a little big bigger. At one point in this journey, you get to zip line over the alligator swamp! How awesome is that?
The Paws On section of the zoo is all about interaction and play. If you plan ahead, there is a small kids wade pool in this section where little ones can cool off from the warm Florida heat. We didn’t get a chance to enjoy it, but it looked amazing! There were little waterfalls to splash under and a docked boat to play on.
Even though we didn’t get to play in the splash pad, my kids were enthralled with the small touch pool area where they were able to cool their hands and feel some underwater creatures.
For some dry fun, there is also a large sandbox area and a large tunnel play system. I have to admit, I got right in there and played with these things too.
A few helpful tips when visiting the Brevard Zoo:
– Plan to buy your food and drink within the zoo. No outside food or beverage is allowed.
– Bring sunscreen and comfortable shoes. It took us about five hours to visit everything.
– As ahead of time about tickets for the train ride or the feed the animals, they have a package deal available which will save you money if you plan to do it all.
For more information, visit the Brevard Zoo on their website at https://brevardzoo.org/