May 10

Abilene Zoo – Texas

Big or small it does not matter we like to go to zoos.  It has become our vacation ritual.  We had never been to the Abilene Zoo before and finding ourselves in the area decided to go.  Zoo trips with our kids does not get much better.  Our 4-year-old loves animals and has a head full of facts.  Our youngest wants to do whatever the oldest does so it usually makes for a pretty good outing.
The Abilene Zoo is a small zoo at just 13 aces.  Pretty much the ideal size for us when we are on vacation.  Does not take a whole day to visit.  We get up early anyway so we can be there when it opens.  Kids get up moving around and start the day off well before we need to hit the road again.  Even though it was small there were still plenty of animals to see.  The Abilene Zoo has over 1,000 animals from 250 species including several big attraction animals like rhinos, giraffes, and lions.
reptile house
We visited in March on chilly morning and not all the animals were on display.  For the most part that was to be expected.  Not that big of a loss for us because with a local zoo membership we get a pretty nice discount at most zoos we see.  The main thing is letting my girls experience seeing animals, learning from the informational signs, having a good time.  They are little so attractions do not have to have that wow factor yet.  Trying to keep the bored syndrome at bay for as long as possible.  As for my wife and I we like to have the “if we ran a zoo” discussion about the size and types of exhibits.  While we still enjoy seeing the animals it is becoming more interesting to see who does what with the space and money they have.  Almost every zoo we have ever visited has at least something that stands out and something that leaves us pondering on what they were thinking.  The Abilene Zoo was not the exception to that line of thought.
Caribbean Cove
A few areas of the Abilene Zoo that stood out to us were their Wetlands of the Americas area.  Nice collection of birds as well as a large 13-foot alligator.  Nice collection of reptiles in their reptile house.  Their North American area also had a nice variety of animals in relatively natural enclosures.   Our kids favorite area was the Caribbean Cove and their sand box area where they had a good time playing in the sand.
Now their best area is their large giraffe enclosure where you get a chance to feed giraffes.  This was also the most disappointing area for us.  Our girls have fed giraffes a few times so we don’t always pay the extra money for that experience.  However, like anybody that visits a zoo we like to get the best view of the animals that we can.  That is what we paid the zoo entrance fee for.  Unfortunately, when we went to the railing to get an unobstructed view of the giraffes we were sternly asked to back away.  The reasoning that the giraffes would be teased that we did not have food for them.  We were not pretending we had food.  Did not have our hands out.  Nor were there any signs up that said we could not be there or anything.  I know zoo operation costs are astronomical, but come on don’t take away the best views just to make few extra dollars.  There are many other ways to help with costs.  So we left that area with a bitter taste.
Giraffe Yard
Overall, the Abilene Zoo was a nice small town zoo.  They had enough variety of animals to make it interesting.  Great for little kids.  No wow exhibits but young children do not need that to have a good time.  We will probably never find ourselves back in that part of Texas so I’m glad that we saw it when had the chance.

To see our reviews of other Texas attractions, click here
M at the zoo
Abilene Zoo
Located At 2070 Zoo Ln, Abilene Texas
Hours of Operation 9 to 5 daily with extended hours Thursdays during the Summer
Cost as of this Posting Adults 13 to 59 $7 Seniors 60 and over $6 and children 3 to 12 $4.50
For more information visit their website at http://abilenezoo.org/

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