The award-winning Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park is one of the most popular zoos in the Southeastern United States and is Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Encompassing over 56 acres, Zoo Tampa emphasizes endangered, threatened, and vulnerable species from climates similar to that of the Tampa Bay region.
John and I explored the zoo with our 5-year-old grandson, and his reaction to everything that this fantastic zoo had to offer was priceless. The memory of this day will most surely last a lifetime.
We arrived when the gates opened at 9:30 am and spent the day, leaving around 3 pm, and still, we did not make it to all the attractions within the zoo. You know you have had fun when you leave an attraction exhausted without having seen it all.
Zoo Tampa has areas devoted to Asia, Africa, Australia, and Florida and it is home to over 1,100 animals.
One of the zoo’s priorities is teaching conservation and explaining how to be better stewards of our environment, and they do it in such a way that makes it fun for children of all ages.
A Children’s Zoo and amusement area invites children to play as they learn about and view the animals.
During this time of Covid 19, safety precautions are being taken. Attendance is being limited, and reservations are recommended.
On that note, I would like to mention the Safari Tram ride in the Africa area. Due to Covid 19, the zoo does not fully fill every seat on the trams, making the wait time longer. I saw no advantage to the ride other than getting a view of the veterinary buildings. We viewed the animals just as well on the walking path as the tram. We waited about 45 minutes to ride the tram, and it took away from precious time. If the line is long, you may want to think about skipping the attraction.
If you have children in your party and are visiting on a warm day, you may want to pack the kids extra clothes. There is a water play area for the kids, and what child can resist water play?
Ticket prices are 42.95 for adults and 32.95 for children ages 3 – 11. (at the time of this post’s writing, visitors can take advantage of the pay for a day ticket and receive a pass to return free through December 2021. Some blackout dates do apply). The nice thing about the year pass is that it does include the special events that the zoo puts on throughout the year, such as Christmas in the Wild, a nightly event going on right now through the month of December.
There are up close signature encounters that are at an additional cost. These encounters, such as the Giraffe meet and greet, can be arranged at guest services upon arrival.
Zoo Tampa is located at 1101 West Sligh Avenue in Tampa and parking is Free.
Regular operating hours are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, 7 days a week.
Christmas Eve hours are 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. ZooTampa is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and may have extended hours for special events.
Zoo Tampa takes great pride in caring for guests with special needs and offers specialized assistance. If you or someone in your party requires additional services to enjoy the Zoo Tampa experience fully, the staff ask that you please call 813-935-8552 to make arrangements.
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