Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets to visit the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, one of the best family zoos in the US for families. However all opinions are sincere and are my own.
Just a couple of hours away from Southwest Florida the Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is considered one of the best family zoos in the US, which doesn’t come as a surprise to us. We loved the Lowry Park Zoo from the first time we visited some 4 years ago. It’s small size and wonderful array of animals habitats from penguins to pigmy hippos is enhanced with educational animal talks and shows, animal interactions and rides for children of all ages. There is even a water play area for kids to cool off during the hot summer months, or really anytime since Florida is always pretty warm.
One of the things that really sets the Lowry Park Zoo apart from other zoos we’ve been to is the countless opportunities kids have to interact with the animals. There is a petting zoo area with goats and other farm animals and you can feed the giraffes, lorikeets, buschland budgies , stingrays and even the white rhinos!
One of my children’s favorite things to do is ride the ponies and on this occasion my little guy was able to ride a llama for the first time! There are some height and weight requirements though, specially for the llamas that can only carry smaller children but this is something we had never done before and the kids just loved the llamas.
My daughter, an avid animal lover who hopes to become a Vet when she grows up, could not get enough of the animals. She was a thrilled and amazed by both the animals in the Zoo habitats as well as the local wildlife roaming around the Zoo gardens like this giant Eastern lubber grasshopper or the countless birds that roam freely from ibises and herons to sanhill cranes.
My little guy could not get enough of the rides. From bumper boats to the tiger roller coaster and the fun animal carrousel there is something for everyone and although there are height restrictions on some of the rides they are all kid friendly, unlike other parks.
The Lowry Park Zoo operates the only non-profit manatee hospital in the world and you get a chance to see these gentle creatures from above and from below sea level at their Florida Manatee and Aquarium Center’s observation pools. The Aquatic Center also hosts lots of reptiles, fish and other aquatic species.
At the Darrell Discovery center kids will enter into the world of frogs and toads and get the opportunity to learn more about these interesting and colorful amphibians. Many of the aquariums that house the frogs have a listening component and my children had really enjoyed listening to the different sounds the frogs and toads make.
Did I mention you can even feed the white rhinos? I was not kidding! Both my kids thought that was super cool and none of us had ever been that close to these magnificent creatures, it was quite an unforgettable experience.
So if you are planning a trip to Tampa or just looking for a fun weekend activity visiting the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo is a great idea for families. Visit the Lowry Park Zoo website to find out more about them, see the show and feeding schedules and purchase your tickets. You can also like the Lowry Park Zoo on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @LowryParkZoo to stay up to date with their latest news and upcoming events.
This is part of a series of articles: Tampa with Kids , you can read more articles in the series HERE. #TampaWithKids
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