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Unique Experiences at Jungle Island in Miami

Jungle Island is one of Miami’s most iconic attractions offering a wide array of exhibits, animal shows and unique animal interactions.

parrots at Jungle Island

I remember going to Parrot Jungle as a kid and watching the parrot shows, a lot has changed since then! Not only did Parrot Jungle change its name to Jungle Island, it also changed it’s location. Now this historic Florida tourist attraction is located in Watson Island between Downtown Miami and South Beach. There are still plenty of exotic and colorful tropical birds but now Jungle Island also houses many species of mammals, primates and reptiles.

Amazing Animal Interactions

While visiting Jungle Island you will have the opportunity to get up-close and personal all sorts of critters. Across the park there are many opportunities to interact with animals from feeding the parrots and flamingos to holding a baby alligator and petting red kangaroos at Kangaroo landing.

interacting with kangaroo at Jungle Island

My kids had never been to Jungle Island and although they where excited about the beautiful birds and loved the cute red kangaroos they where specially looking forward to the lemur and sloth interactions. Both of these have an additional cost: $29.95 for the sloth interaction and $39.95 for the lemur interaction but both are well worth it. Specially the lemur interaction which was one of the most amazing and fun experiences we’ve had at any attraction!

lemur encounter jungle island

We where led into a room where we all sat down on a low bench then a troop of lemurs where set loose. They immediately where jumping up and down from my head to the kid’s head and hanging out on our laps letting us pet them. They played with each other jumping all over us and using us as their jungle gym. They didn’t stop for about fifteen minutes. They where so playful and we had so much fun with them, it was amazing!

sloth interaction at Jungle Island

Hanging out with the sloths was really cool. We where lead into the sloth cage in pairs, Cesar and Sebastian went first and then it was my turn to go int with Ariane. We fed the sloths veggies with a wooden skewer and got to pet their soft fur. We had never seen a sloth from up close and it was so interesting to learn more about them. However visiting the sloths after playing with the crazy and wild lemurs was quite a contrast!

Fun Educational Shows

There are two shows Winged Wonders and Wild Encounter, both of them feature animals and focus on providing information about their habitats and conservation efforts. During Winged Wonders we learned about many of the beautiful birds that call Jungle Island home. Our favorite was the giant southern cassowary and the huge condor that flew over the audience.

During the Wild Encounters show we got to see a baby white tiger and a . This show was presented by a big cat conservation and education organization and we all learned so much about some highly endangered animal species. I loved that the shows where entertaining yet completely focused on education and conservation. They did not make the animals do any tricks or any behaviors that are not natural to them.

show at Jungle Island

Getting Immersed In Nature

Jungle Island provides a truly unique experience in a urban setting. The park showcases Florida’s Everglades ecosystem featuring much of the natural flora and fauna found in the natural environment. The entire facility was planted without the use of any artificial fertilizers or pesticides, making it one of the few entirely sustainable theme parks or zoos in the United States which is pretty awesome!

iguana jungle island

Sharing some shade with a local iguana.

You truly get a sense of immersing yourself in nature. And I love that thanks to the overgrown vegetation and the fact that most pathways are shaded walking around the park is very pleasant. The park is small compared with other attractions we’ve been to so the kids did not get tiered or cranky even if it was very hot and humid when we visited.

jungle island walkway with birds

Walking along the pathways with a group of ibis.

Exciting Things Are Coming To Jungle Island

Earlier this year Jungle Island was acquired by ESJ Capital Partners. ESJ will be enhancing the park through a three-part renovation and expansion, as well as opening a private beach club. The initial phase, to debut this summer, will include  zip lines that will allow riders panoramic views of the Miami skyline and the park, children adventures, water slides and crystal lagoon. Enhancements to the park’s popular banquet facilities and upgrades to food and beverage will also be realized. The phased multi-million dollar renovation, expected to take two years to complete, will focus on upgrading the park’s offerings and further re-focus Jungle Island as an eco-adventure destination.

Jungle Island playground

Happy but tired. Taking a break from the heat at the playground.

We can’t wait to go back an experience these new upgrades and we are looking forward to these new enhancements that are sure to make Jungle Island into an even more fantastic family attraction!

feeding parrots at Jungle Island

Summer Camps At Jungle Island

During summer Jungle Island offers its popular Summer Ed-Venture Camp. Beginning in June 12th kids attending this fantastic adventure camp will have the opportunity to enjoy animal encounters, learn the life of a zookeeper, create arts & crafts projects play games and much more.

The summer camp program is educational, fun, engaging and interactive. It’s a camp where kids will spend the day outdoors creating connections with and learning about endangered species and either environemnts and getting inspired to support conservation efforts.

Learn more about Jungle Island’s Ed-Venture Summer Camps and register HERE.

Jungle Island

About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula moved from her native Guatemala to SW Florida with her husband and two children and together they are discovering what it means to live life between two languages.

Paula studied architecture who now makes a living as a freelance writer, traveler and amateur photographer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on travel, food and bicultural and bilingual parenting .

When she is not on a plane or road trip she likes to create recipes inspired in the flavors of her native Guatemala.

Permanent link to this article: http://growingupbilingual.com/2017/latino-parenting/unique-amazing-animal-encounters-jungle-island-miami/


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  1. gilda campos

    Que bella experiencia y que bello lugar para acudir toda la familia.

  2. Laura Rodriguez

    Definitivamente tenemos que visitar este lugar la próxima vez que estemos en Miami. Gracias por la recomendación.

  3. Lilian Hurn

    wow amazing pictures. Thanks for sharing
    Lilian Hurn recently posted…GRATIS Ocean Spray Mocktails Juice Drink Kroger y AfiliadosMy Profile

  4. Silvia Martinez

    Wow, how much fun!!! My kids would love a place like this!

  5. S.Yissele

    Awww… que excelente lugar para ir con los chicos, muchas gracias por la info!

  6. Wanda Lopez

    That’s a great place to visit and get connected to nature and animals. I can see why kids like it. We are not so far away from Miami.
    Wanda Lopez recently posted…Horchata Tres Leches CakeMy Profile

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