Frank Buck Zoo is a nice little children’s zoo that will keep the five and under crowd entertained. As we were traveling south into Texas we saw signs for the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville and decided it might be a good place to get out and stretch our legs. We did not have high expectations going in knowing that Gainesville is a small town, but were pleasantly surprised at their nice little zoo.
Located in Leonard Park, which has a lovely little playground area and a swimming pool for the hot summer months in Texas, the Frank Buck Zoo is nice capstone to a great small town park. The park and zoo even have a train ride. It made for a nice little place to get out of the car, stretch our legs, eat our lunch, and take a walk through the zoo. All-in-all we were quite pleased with our decision to stop.
The Frank Buck Zoo is laid out in a small circular path which is just the right size for small children. Pre-teens and older might not like it, but my two year old did. There were enough animals of different types to keep her entertained and she was just as delighted to see bunnies or Shetland ponies as she was to see the more exotic giraffes, zebras, and flamingos. Seeing her smile and talk about the different animals that she saw made it a fun visit for us. Besides the animals already mentioned some of the other animals you can see at the Frank Buck Zoo are black and brown bears, camels, American alligators, kangaroos, and a variety of farm animals you can hand feed.
Now obviously one cannot compare the Frank Buck Zoo to zoos located in much bigger cities, but there were a few things that they did have that we found quite nice. We liked the fact that giraffe and zebra yard was nice and big and had an elevated platform to give a great view of the animals. Karen and I also thought the flamingo and alligator habitats were well put together. Another thing that we noted was that they seemed to be doing some new renovations to exhibit areas which shows they are looking to improve their zoo. The only downside to the Frank Buck Zoo that really stood out to us was the size of the black and brown bear areas hopefully that will be something that they can change in the future.
Overall, we enjoyed our visit to Leonard Park and taking a stroll at the Frank Buck Zoo. It was the perfect little hour or more stop on our long road trip through Texas. Our girls enjoyed there time there and a contented little girl sure makes for a much better travel companion than one that is grumpy.
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Frank Buck Zoo
Located at Leonard Park 1000 W California St, Gainesville, Texas
Hours of Operation Spring and Summer 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fall and Winter 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost as of this Posting Adults 13 and over $6.50, Seniors 55 plus $5.50 and Children 1 to 12 $4.50
For more information visit this website at http://www.gainesville.tx.us/index.aspx?nid=108
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