Zoo Miami is a must visit attraction if you are traveling to Miami with kids. Filled with interactive opportunities there are lots of ways in which you can get up close and personal to many of the animals as you learn about their natural environments and about conservation.
We have been to Miami countless times and I can’t believe that we had never visited Zoo Miami! We had a fantastic time, my kids learned so much and we made some amazing family memories as we fed giraffes and tortoises together and learned about different species.
We have been to many Zoos around the US and in other countries and Zoo Miami is now one of our favorites. It’s no wonder that it’s considered among the top 10 zoos in the country! So what makes Zoo Miami so special? Here are our top reasons for visiting Zoo Miami and why the think it’s so unique.
Unique Variety Of Species
Miami is the only Zoo in the United States that enjoys a sub tropical weather, allowing in to house a variety of animals, more than 3,000 of them, from Asia, Australia and Africa, representing a broad mix of species that is unlike any other zoo in the country. My kid loved seeing so many species from Asian river otters, clouded leopards, tigers, giraffes, wallabies, and Komodo dragons. With over 750 acres and so many animal exhibits, more than a day is needed to fully appreciate Zoo Miami.
Animal Interactions And Interactive Experiences
Zoo Miami has so many opportunities for families to get up close and personal to the animals. For just a few dollars per person you can feed giraffes, camels, giant tortoises and lorikeets. At the Children’s Zoo you can pet and groom goats and other farm animals. For one of the rarest encounters of all, Zoo Miami offers visitors the opportunity to touch and feed Jaunpur and Suru, two male Indian Rhinos.
My kids love animals and they where thrilled to be able to touch and interact with so many different animals. They had never fed a giant tortoise and this was one of their favorite things about the zoo. We didn’t plan things right and missed feeding the rhinos so if you go be sure to arrive early and check the feeding times so that you can make it on time to all of them.
Feeding the lorikeets at the Wings Down Under: A Parrot Feeding Adventure exhibit is so much fun. You enter large free-flight aviary that houses over 300 brightly colored birds – including cockatiels, parakeets, and rosellas – all parrots native to Australia. You can buy food for them and the birds will fly and perch on your arms and even on your head to eat the treats. Make plans to go earlier rather than later in the day as we found that at the end of the day the birds are no longer that interested in the food as they have been fed by visitors all day long.
Zoo Miami has so many interactive experiences beyond the different opportunities to feed animals. There are quite a few playgrounds throughout the zoo in unexpected places as well as many interactive exhibits. My kids loved it when we would find alligators or water buffalos that seemed to emerge from the floor along the pathways.
When you get to the zoo be sure to grab a map and see the schedules for the wildlife shows and meet-the-zookeper presentation so you can plan around them. You can also join the tram tours where you will get to learn a lot about the animals and their environments.
Open Air Exhibits
Animals are kept in large open-air exhibits very similar to their natural habitats making you feel like you are in a safari. Our animals are grouped according to their geographic territories, with species that live together peacefully in the wild placed in exhibits together here at the zoo. Our trees, foliage and even our soil are matched as closely as possible to the native habitats of our animals. To cover the most ground at the zoo, consider the zoo’s Safari Tram Tour ($5.95), where experts shed light on the zoo’s creatures.
An Opportunity to Learn About Florida Wildlife
We loved the Florida: Mission Everglades exhibit which is the newest addition to the zoo. Here kids and adults can learn about local Florida wildlife and conservation efforts. This exhibit houses about 60 different species of iconic Florida critters including the Florida panther, black bear, burrowing owl, roseate spoonbills and alligators. My kids loved crawling through the tunnel at the crocodile habitat, sliding through the North American river otter exhibit and crossing the rope bridge over the crocodile infested waters.
Besides the animal interactions Florida: Mission Everglades was their favorite part of the zoo as it has so many different interactive opportunities that gave them a chance to see some of the animals in different ways and learn about them while having fun. This area also has a fun ride where you can travel via small boats through different Everglades habitats with some surprises along the way.
Florida: Mission Everglades provides a small glimpse into the world of the Everglades and really sparked my kid’s of curiosity. They now want to learn more about the state we call home and we’re planning a trip to the Everglades National Park.
Tips For Visiting Zoo Miami
- Get your tickets online and save money.
- Arrive early so you have time to see everything and take advantage of the shows and animal feedings and interactions. When you arrive early you also beat the heat and the crowds, specially if you are visiting on a weekend.
- Plan your visit to get the best out of your experience. Get a map as soon as you get to the zoo and look at show and animal feeding times to plan around the activities you don’t want to miss.
- Rent safari bikes to travel around the zoo. Zoo Miami is a large zoo with lots of winding pathways and if you have kids, specially small kids renting a bike for 4 is a great way to get from one exhibit to the next and prevent exhaustion.
- Pack swimsuits for the kids, specially during summer, so that they can get refreshed in one of the water play areas.
- Take the tram tour, or the monorail to move from one area of the zoo to another. The monorail costs $4 per person for an all-day ride, it’s air conditioned and gives you an arial view of the park beautiful canopy. The tram tour is $5.95 per person and you get an up-close and personal 45-minute, narrated tour of the park.
To plan your visit make sure to check out the Zoo Miami website, like Zoo Miami on Facebook to keep up to date with their latest offers and events and get critter inspiration via their Instagram at @ZooMiami.