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A Guide To DFW Zoos

Looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon with the family? Here is a solution. DFW Zoos have lots of fun activities for you and your family to enjoy. So get the family together and check out this guide to help you get the most out of your trip to the Zoo.

Bowie The Elephant
Bowie the elephant was born August 5 at the Fort Worth Zoo. (credit: Fort Worth Zoo)

Fort Worth Zoo
1989 Colonial Parkway
Fort Worth, TX 76109
(817) 759-7555

Finding yourself home with the kiddos with no place to go? The Fort Worth Zoo is awaiting your visit. With all the activities and unique displays, you are guaranteed to see a smile on everyone's faces. So, gather up the family and take this guide with you to the Fort Worth Zoo today.

Admission times and pricing may vary throughout the year, so be sure to check the website before your visit. Toddlers two and under are free and parking is $5.

Your first stop must be the biggest babies in town, featured only at the Fort Worth Zoo. Meet Bella and Bowie, the latest additions to the elephant family. There are now three generations of Asian elephants totaling seven altogether. Although you won't see the new moms pushing their babies in a stroller, you will certainly be able to watch the little ones as they get acclimated to their new surroundings. This exhibit is unique only at the Fort Worth Zoo; so don't go home without at least getting a glimpse.

Related: Fort Worth Zoo Welcomes Another Baby Elephant

Next on your list should be the African Savannah. At the far west end of the zoo, you will find the black rhinos, whose horns are large enough to startle any on-looker. Watch as they roam and cool off in the mud. You will also find giraffes that share their exhibit with whooper swans and ostriches. No need to worry about the pounding heat that DFW is so accustomed to. Misting fans are available to cool you down as you walk by. Don't worry, no mud, just water.

Related: Smart Animals Do Tricks At The Fort Worth Zoo

One of the biggest attractions you will see is the World of Primates. It is towards the entrance of the zoo, which usually catches a lot of attention. This exhibit features the gorillas who feel right at home in their rainforest habitat. Just around the edges you will find the black and white colobus monkeys leaping with joy at all the excitement. Just outside the World of Primates, you will find a habitat for orangutans, mandrills and white-cheeked gibbons, not to mention a second exhibit of gorillas. There's so much to see that you won't want to be monkeying around so you don't miss a thing.

Related: Baby Elephant Cools Off In Kiddie Pool

Animals aren't the only thing you'll find at the Fort Worth Zoo. One of the really fun attractions is Tasmanian Tower. Next to the Australian Outback is a 25-foot rock-climbing wall. For only $3 per person, your kiddos can experience a true adrenaline rush by simulating a real daredevil experience. Always wanted to know what it would be like to climb the face of a mountain? Here's your chance to live the experience. A parent release form is required.

Not sure what you want to see just yet? Head on down to the Safari Train Depot and hop on board the Yellow Rose Express Train. For only $2 per person, you get to see the sights while comfortably sitting in an old-fashioned steam engine. It travels between the Train Depot and the Wild West. So, if you're just a little tired from all that walking or haven't even started yet, have a seat and enjoy the whistle of a happy engine.

If you're starting to get a little hungry, there's good news ahead. The new Crocodile Café has recently opened for your convenience. It is a spacious food court with many different places to choose from. The café is located on the zoo's main path and features hot dogs, chicken strips, ice cream and more. But that's not all. The Crocodile Café also offers meals for vegetarians and guests who are on the go. So if you don't want to run around town looking for a place to eat, you're in luck. No crocodile hunter needed here, just great eats for the whole family.

Dallas Zoo
650 S. R. L. Thornton Freeway
Dallas, TX 75203
(469) 554-7500

The Dallas Zoo is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Pricing will vary, but parking is $8 per car. Make sure you check the prices before heading out. Children under age two are free as well as Mmembers of the Dallas Zoological Society.

You won't want to miss Elephants on the Savanna. This relatively new habitat was opened in 2010. This heard of female elephants has been offered the nickname of The Golden Girls due to its advanced ages. The exhibit is arranged so that the elephants will move around freely, over hills, reaching up to the trees to pick out selectively places treats and finally over to the waterholes. You won't want to visit the Dallas Zoo without saying hello to the ladies.

Another really fun exhibit is the Giraffe Feeding at the Diane and Hal Brierley Giraffe Ridge. Talk about getting up close and personal. For only $5, you can feed the giant giraffes some leafy treats. Remember to be gentle because although giraffes are quite large, they can be a bit skittish when it comes to contact. And never bring your own food to feed the animals. They are on a strict regimen and you will want to make sure they stay healthy.

Once you've walked around a bit, you may be a little tired and need to rest. Now it's time to hit the Monorail Safari. This 20-minute narrated train tour will take you through six different habitats. For only $3, you will be swept off through the forests, deserts and other habitats, some of which can only been viewed from the monorail. The monorail times change seasonally, so call ahead to get specific information.

If you've got a few little ones along for the ride, make sure you stop by Simmons Family Pony Trek. There's nothing like getting your little one on a pony and watching his/her face light up with joy. Riders must be at least one year old and weigh no more than 80 pounds. The cost for this fun in the sun is only $2. Get your kids out to the pony rides and create some memories today.

Related: Dallas Zoo Names Giraffe After Cancer Victim


632 S. R. L. Thornton Freeway
Dallas, TX 75203
(214) 946-1413

If you're looking for somewhere to eat but don't want to spend a lot of money, head to the zoo themed-McDonald's. McZoo is on the same road as the Dallas Zoo for your convenience. Get yourself some burgers and fries. With its large play area and familiar menu, you can't go wrong. It has many fiberglass animals to bring a smile to any child's face. Go to McDonald's and have a zoorific time.

Judy Serrano writes romantic thrillers at She graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a BA in English. She is also a freelance writer for She lives in Texas with her husband, four boys and five dogs.

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