Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our Experience Visiting Central Florida Zoo Located in Sanford, FL

 Disclosure: Central Florida Zoo provided our family with free one day passes in exchange for our honest opinion about our visit.

Ready to go to the zoo on a super hot late July day!

We are very blessed that Central Florida Zoo is literally minutes away from family. They are located in Sanford, FL and we met up with my sister-in-law and our niece and nephew while we were there.

This is a Zoo unlike any other that I have previously visited. Check out what Central Florida Zoo has to offer:

Nestled in lush tropical foliage, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens boasts over 400 animals, an Insect Zoo, Amphibian and Reptile Houses, live animal encounters, and many educational opportunities. 

Bring your swim suit and cool off in our Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground, if you want to swing like a monkey, be sure to spend time in our KaBOOM! playground, or if you are adventurous, you can “ZOOm” tree to tree at ZOOm Air Adventures.   With something for everyone, the adventures are endless.

The Zoo is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Here's what we have to say about Central Florida Zoo:

Despite the intense heat of late July, we really enjoyed our time at the Zoo. We started our day off with a picnic lunch which is surrounded by the ZOOm Air Adventures which the kids enjoyed watching. After eating, the kids just "HAD" to get on the train and carousal! (Daniella is a HUGE train fan right now!) 

                              Daniella was super excited to see her cousins and go on the train with them!

This is the view of the Battlefield Live Orlando laser tag area that you can see while on the train!

After getting off the carousal, we went into the zoo! Because it was so hot though (especially being whereas it was early afternoon), some of the animals were just laying around, napping or in the shaded area of their exhibit.

There were several times throughout the zoo when we ran into a staff member who was more than happy to tell us more about the animals. We also saw a couple of animals who were brought out of their exhibit for a closer look! Since Brandon has been learning about zoology this year for homeschool science, this trip to the zoo was a great foundational activity. We have referenced back to several things we did or saw that day!

The Animal Adventure Children's Zoo was a HUGE hit! We probably spent about 45 minutes hanging out  here! I think it was $1 for a cup of food that they put on a tray for you. The kids LOVED feeding the animals!

I loved that they had a couple of sinks to wash up after. But their bathrooms were locked so we had to go elsewhere to find one - which there was one at out next stop - the KaBOOM! playground and the Butterfly Garden.

They had a blast running around and playing.

By the time we were done on the playground, the kids were really worn out from it being so HOT. We were disappointed to not see all of the exhibits but at this point, the kids were only interested in ONE thing - The Tropical Splash Ground!

What a relief it was for the kids to go run and get wet! Even us adults enjoyed the shaded seating area and cool breeze from the water while we chatted.

I wish we had the opportunity to have seen more of the exhibits but being whereas 3 of the kids were less than 6 years old, their attention spans only went so far, especially in the dead heat of the summer. I even commented to my sister-in-law at one point asking how she tolerated living there in the summer when it was so hot. Her answer was simply, "We just don't go outside. If we do, we stay outside for less than 20 minutes." Bare in mind that we still spent over 3 hours here! It could be a full day's adventure if you saw everything!

More info about the Central Florida Zoo:

They offer an on-going discount for members of AAA of 20% off admission and 10% off annual zoo pass, teachers receive 10% off annual zoo pass, Fire department, paramedics, EMT, military (active or retired) and all branches of law enforcement  receive 10% off admission and annual zoo pass.    

Go Hog Wild for Warthogs!  The Zoo has recently opened a new African warthog exhibit that is the home to two female warthogs, Almond and Joy.   

Night Hike at the Zoo! September 21, 2013 Experience the sights and sounds of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens at night during this exciting nocturnal adventure! Reservations required.  For more information please call 407.323.445 ext. 123 or email

Storytime at the Zoo! Enjoy animal stories from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Rainforest Pavilion along with a special visit from one of our Zoo animals. Programs will be presented by the Orange County Library System storytellers October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30. This free program is designed for pre-school age children.
ZOO Boo Bash, October 19, 20, 26, 27 -Trick-or-treat in the wildest neighborhood in town during ZOO Boo Bash. It’s safe, fun, and not-too-scary event for young and old alike. Kids are invited to bring goodie bags and wear costumes for trick or treat stations. If you forget your costume, face painting will be available for an additional charge. Walk on Water Balls will also be available for an additional charge. Take a haunted hayride or learn about the myths and realities of some misunderstood animals.  For more information please call 407.323.440 ext. 128

Connect with Central Florida Zoo:
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