If your kids love animals and exploring then the Jacksonville Zoo is the place to go. Our family recently made several trips there and had discovered something new each time. We are a family that loves the outdoors and the kids are always fascinated by animals. That is why we basically visit every zoo we can get to. We always have a lot of fun checking out the various exhibits and cannot wait any longer to share our experiences with you.
The Jacksonville Zoo is a few hours drive from our home but we don’t mind making the trip. We have been several times this last year. We always pack a lunch to save a little money. The interstate can be a bit congested but getting there is easy enough. The thing the kids wanted to see more than anything was the Jaguar exhibit. With the Jaguars being the local NFL franchise it made sense that the Jacksonville Zoo would have this animal on display. Our friend wasn’t feeling up to it on this day but it was still awesome to get so close to such a good looking cat.
Great weekend getaway!
The great thing about zoos is that they are designed for kids and families. The Jacksonville Zoo takes this to the limit. They have several things in addition to the animals. There is the Splash Ground water play area, the Wildlife Carousel, Jungle vines to swing on, and a goat petting area. Family themed restrooms are also quite useful for visiting with small children. Not to mention the wide eyed discovery of the awesome zoo creatures!
Things to know about the Jacksonville Zoo
- November is FREE admission for kids 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket! I’ll say it again, Jacksonville Zoo is FREE in November for kids!
- Fort Frederica National Monument on St. Simons Island, Georgia, is within an hour of Jacksonville and it is FREE ADMISSION! If your family is vacationing in Jacksonville this would make for a great day trip from your base.
- Scavenger hunt sheets are available for little kids and teens alike. It’s fun, you should try it. Download here and enjoy the hunt!
- There is plenty of parking. Don’t fret. Parking is FREE!
- There are no bathrooms outside the main gate. Go before you arrive. A long line may be a part of getting in and this could pose a problem for small kiddos.
- We always pack lunches. Zoo prices for our family of six to eat can escalate quickly. The zoo does have some tasty treats. We have splurged on dippin’ dots on hot days.
- Field Trips and Homeschool programs and deals are available.
- There is a great playground right off the Garden Maze and Goat petting area.
- You can take a train ride through the zoo for an additional fee.
- College students can get $10 general admission tickets with college ID. This is a great deal!
- We live withing a few hours so we did not stay in Jacksonville. However, being such a large city, Jacksonville has every imaginable restaurant and hotel possible. Even some rare finds.
- If staying in Jacksonville, Florida for a few days. Consider spending a day at the Museum of Science and History, located in the heart of the city. MOSH, as it’s called, is a great place for kids to learn and play.
- Pet the stingrays! It’s FREE and my kids thought it was the most amazing part of our visit!
- Climb on an Elephant! No really, climb on. It isn’t a live elephant, so go for it!