The Dallas Zoo is a grand attraction boasting 106 acres of land, more than 400 wildlife species, and 2,000-plus animals to date. In addition to having fun encounters with these captivating creatures, guests will find plenty of engaging and educational exhibits worth exploring all day long. From a professional photo safari to an African-themed monorail ride, here’s your guide to the Dallas Zoo and some of its most visitor-worthy attractions.
Half-Day Group Photo Safari
What’s better than spending a day at the Dallas Zoo? Touring the grounds and capturing the beauty of nature’s most fascinating creatures. The Half-Day Group Photo Safari offers you an up-close shot of the African elephant and surrounding views of flamingos, giraffes, mandrills, and others residing within the Wilds of Africa and Giants of Savanna exhibits.
You don’t need to be a skilled shutterbug to take part in the experience. Professional photographer Cathy Burkey will be on-site to teach you the best techniques for taking high-quality photos of animals and their habitats before wrapping up activities at noon. Adults 18 years and older can reserve a spot online, and tickets cost $65 for members and $75 for non-members.
Endangered Species Carousel
The Dallas Zoo is a pioneer for wildlife conservation, having introduced several campaigns thus far to help those animals with dwindling populations, including the Tarangire elephant, Texas horned lizard, and African okapi. The Endangered Species Carousel raises awareness for the cause. The carousel is a custom-built merry-go-round that opened in 2002 and sits at the Entry Plaza section of the zoo.
It features 30 hand-painted animal figurines, intricate embellishments, and a spinning bird’s nest, with rides available for $2 per person. The carousel is a rarity among its kind, as only a few attractions showcasing the natural beauty of these endangered animals exist in the country today.
Family Night Campout
Designed for children 5 and up and adults of all ages, the Family Night Campout is your chance to explore the Dallas Zoo after hours. You can tour the park’s enchanting exhibits, catch a Wild Encounters animal stage show, and explore the wild residents of the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo. In the evening you’ll sit around roasting marshmallows in front of a campfire and spend the night at Camp Okapi located in the Wilds of Africa exhibit.
In the morning you’ll be treated to a continental breakfast and all-day zoo access. Tickets for the Family Campout range from $65 for children to $80 for adults ($15 less for members) not including tent rentals. Spots may be reserved by calling or visiting the zoo’s Education Office.
Wilds of Africa Safari
Helping you explore the Dallas Zoo by rail is the Wilds of Africa Safari. This innovative attraction takes you on a 1-mile, guided loop past a cascading waterfall and various African-themed habitats showcasing the natural beauty of Ethiopia, the Great Rift Valley, Kenya, the Saharan Desert, and the Tanzanian Serengeti. You’ll see animals such as antelope, chimpanzees, crocodiles, hippos, meerkats, and more aboard the monorail, which you can purchase a $5 ticket for at the Wilds of Africa Safari Station.
Are you taking a trip to the Dallas Zoo? These top four exhibits can help you plan the perfect family outing!
Image by Crazycor3 via Flickr | CC BY-SA | Cropped from original