Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are sharing some great zoos and aquariums your family should visit.
When I first moved to the Phoenix area, I had already visited the Phoenix Zoo and was familiar with its programs and exhibits. It’s a great zoo and my family still loves to go there, but in the years that I’ve lived here, the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium has grown and now easily rivals (and beats out) the Phoenix Zoo for my family’s attention.
Since it’s a zoo, let’s start with the animal exhibits. One of the things we love about the animal exhibits there is that it feels like we are able to get up close to the animals. The habitats are built in such a way that we can easily see the animals. Plus, it appears that the food is placed toward the front of the exhibits so the animals hang out there more. For example, the zebras always seem to be just on the other side of the barrier from us, and if you want up close with a giraffe, simply bring quarters to purchase food for them. They will reach out to get it from you with their long black tongues! If that’s not close enough for you, head to the kangaroo walkabout. You get in their habitat with them!
Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium also has some animals on exhibit that one doesn’t see many other places. I think white tigers are beautiful. They have them there! They also have a nursery where visitors can view the baby animals. Who knew baby warthogs were so cute? I didn’t until I saw them on one nursery visit. There’s also a white alligator that’s been in residence for a number of years.
One part of the zoo where we spent a lot of time when my son was younger was the petting zoo and the playground right next to it. He loved being able to touch the goats in the petting zoo, but I think his favorite part of that area was simply being allowed to run around on the playground. It’s a great way to expend that toddler energy.
A few years ago, Wildlife World Zoo became the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium. There are three buildings housing aquatic life. There’s everything from adorable waddling penguins to fierce looking sharks. If one wants more interaction, visitors can touch starfish and horseshoe crabs in the tidal pools or feed the stingrays in their Touchtank. Be sure to catch the sea lion show at Shipwreck Cove. They are amazing. This is also a great respite from the summer heat in the afternoon making it possible to enjoy this zoo year-round.
Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium has become even more than a zoo, though. There are rides! First, the oldies, but goodies. There’s an old-fashioned carousel one can take for a spin. There’s also a log flume ride, which is a great way to cool off. It even goes through one of the aquariums. The African Safari Train goes through the plains of Africa exhibit and it’s narrated so riders learn a little about the animals as they go. There’s also the Australian Boat Ride, which is another great way to see the kangaroos and wallabies. Our family’s favorite, though, has long been the Skyride. We love the birds’ eye view of all the animals. Just be sure to wear tight shoes, though. We have seen a flip flop (not from our family) end up in the camel exhibit, which isn’t good for the rider or the camels.
Recently, Wildlife Zoo & Aquarium added the 15-acre Adventure Land. In addition to animal exhibits including three indoor exhibit buildings, there are more rides. They’ve added a family roller coaster, flying scooters, Vertigo (a swing ride), and a zip line.
If all of this activity has made you hungry, don’t worry, Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium has you covered. There are the typical zoo food stands such as the Congo Cooker for pizza or the Skyride Café and Safari Grill for burgers and chicken fingers. They’ve also recently opened Zooberto’s, which serves Mexican Food. My family usually goes to Dillon’s, though. Dillon’s is known for its BBQ at its four locations around Phoenix, one of which is in one of the aquarium buildings. We often eat there even if we’re not going to the zoo (there is a public entrance with no zoo admission required) because it has a huge tank full of sharks to watch while dining.
Because costs regularly change, please check their website, www.wildlifeworld.com, for the current rates. Since the aquarium opened, there is a charge for the zoo and aquarium full day admission, but there is also a less expensive evening option just for the aquarium after the zoo has closed (usually around 5pm). They do give senior and AAA discounts. We’ve also found coupons in a number of magazines and mailers. Rides are at an extra cost. For those in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend an annual pass, which pays for itself in four visits and also comes with 10% off in the gift shops and a complimentary pass for each adult pass purchased that you can give to a friend.
For more great zoos and aquariums,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Blogorail Peach | Family Adventure | Zoos & Aquariums
- 1st Stop – Mousekatools Mom | The Aquarium of the Bay
- 2nd Stop – Adventureland Pam | Georgia Aquarium
- 3rd Stop – This Roller Coaster Called Life | Zoo America
- 4th Stop – Magical Memories with the Mouse | Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium (you are here)
- 5th Stop – Family Travel Escapades | Louisville Zoo