The Zoo Miami, formally known as Miami Metro Zoo is located southwest of Miami, in the former site of the Richmond Naval Air Station. It is situated in southern metropolitan Miami-Dade county. The zoo is the perfect day activity for families with young children as it houses over 2000 animals and over 100 exhibits on its massive 740 acre total land area. Zoo Miami is the largest and oldest free-range zoological garden in Florida, and the only tropical zoo located in the US, you can spend an entire day among the animals and playgrounds. You will definitely give your kids unforgettable experiences.
The zoo is divided into 4 major areas, which are: Asia, Australia, Africa, and Amazon and Beyond. Zoo Miami has the capacity to house several different kinds of animals due to its size and location. This is the place to see a white rhino and a Siberian tiger all in one zoo. The zoo doesn't just feature the world's most incredible mammals but they also house some of the world's most exotic and even endangered animal species. The Wings of Asia houses over 70 species of birds, and both kids and parents have the chance to feed the parrots if they wish.
Once your kids have seen the animals and the exhibits, they can cool down in the designated water play areas around the zoo. The water fountains and other water sources in the Playworld Playground allow your kids to splash around under the heat of the Miami sun. Buckets of water splash on kids, as well as mushrooms that sprout water are a favorite among little ones while shaded areas provide parents the break that they need from walking around the zoo. There are misters stationed around the pathways as well.
Other daily activities in the zoo include Humpy's Camel Rides where kids and adults can ride on the hump of the camels through guided paths; the Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station where you get to feed the giraffes yourself; the Rhino Encounter (where you can feed the rhino!); the Asian River Life that resembles an Asian river; as well as other places of interest such as smaller playgrounds, a petting zoo, picnic areas, and fun dining and retail options.
**Kids will love the elevated monorail train that takes you across this massive zoo in air-conditioned comfort. Be sure to stop by the Children's Zoo and see these neat features:
Wacky Barn: Open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Wacky Barn is home to farm animals such as goats, sheep, and horses. Families have the opportunity to interact with the friendly farm animals.
Toadstool: Open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Toadstool provides close encounters with ectotherms that live in naturalistic habitats. Kids have the opportunity to have fun and learn at the same time by observing Mexican blind cavefish navigate their enclosure without eyes and see a large Albino Burmese python.
Humpy's Camel Rides: Open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Rides are available for $5 a ride.
The Children's Zoo also features a Wildlife Carousel, Meerkat Exhibit, Butterfly Garden, and a Snack Bar. Stop by te main lake and rent an affordable duck or swan paddle boat. You can also try out the new "Float Balls" too.
A trip to the Miami Zoo is definitely a treat for the entire family and there is more than enough to do for the entire day. Be sure to come when it opens so you have all day to enjoy and explore! Most importantly, stay hydrated and bring some really comfortable shoes! Consider renting a family bicycle to get around or taking the 45 minute tram tour instead of walking! Please note the tram is NOT hop-on-hop-off.
Check out our Youtube videos to see footage from the Zoo!
COMING SOON: A brand new entrance is coming in 2016 as well as a "Mission Everglades" Florida exhibit!