Searching for zoos in Dallas? Look no further than the Dallas Zoo, which is an enormously entertaining experience, and well worth the visit. Situated on 95 acres, the Dallas Zoo is now one of the most popular zoos in the state. Founded in 1888, it has been through a major expansion in the last decade, and now earns national awards.
Located at 650 South I-35E (also called South R.L. Thornton Freeway), you’ll know you’re almost there when you can spot the Zoo’s 67-foot giant giraffe, which is the tallest statue in Texas.
Free – Children ages 2 and under
$ 7.00 – Children ages 3 - 11
$10.00 – Adults ages 12 – 64
$ 7.00 – Seniors ages 65 and up
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$5.00 per car
Hours of Operation:
Daily: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Winter: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed on Christmas Day
The nationally-recognized Wilds of Africa at the Dallas Zoo (named the Best African exhibit in the United States) contains the following attractions:
• Gorilla Conservation Research Center – watch nine gorillas roam and interact on two acres which have been created to resemble their native forest. Viewing can be done from camouflaged viewing blinds and from behind bunkers.
• Chimpanzee Forest – get up close and personal with the Zoo’s many chimpanzees, thanks to their large viewing window – or watch from the open air viewing station.
• Monorail Safari – the monorail ($3.00 for adults, kids 2 and under free) provides up-close access to many of the exhibits during its 20-minute, narrated tour. Animals seen along the monorail include zebras, ibexes, and a wide variety of African antelope and birds.
• Nature Trail – as you wander at your own pace through a wooded section of the zoo, keep an eye out for meerkats, rare okapi, saddle-billed storks, and numerous other animals.
• Crocodile Isle – from behind the zoo’s viewing glass, watch crocodiles swim around, lounge in the sun, and even devour their dinner at public feedings.
• African Penguins – having arrived directly from the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, you can observe these entertaining creatures in their new home.
• Saddle-Billed Storks – check out these tall, long-legged, interesting-looking birds take flight in their spacious habitat.
• Forest Aviary – with a wooded landscape, rock cliffs, and tranquil stream as your environment, you can walk among dozens of exotic birds native only to Africa. There are even observation points and telescopes for you to get close-up views.
• Acacia Springs Aviary – here you can view such unique African birds as the lilac-breasted roller, cobalt-blue vulturine guineafowl, the rare buff-crested bustard, and the African pygmy falcon.
Zoo North, which includes most of the original sections of this Dallas Texas Zoo, many of which have undergone renovations and make-overs, contains the following attractions:
• Children’s Zoo – this very popular attraction features interactive, educational exhibits, a petting zoo, pony rides, the Nature Exchange (a unique swap shop for natural items you bring in), and Birds Landing (where you can feed dozens of colorful, people-friendly birds).
• Endangered Tiger Habitat – set in an expansive, one-acre habitat resembling a rain forest, you can view endangered Indochinese and Sumatran tigers.
• Bird and Reptile Building – representing more than 120 different species and containing more than 500 creatures, the Dallas Zoo has one of the best reptile and amphibian collections in the United States.
• Wings of Wonder – recently remodeled and expanded, this exhibit is home to many large-winged vultures and other birds of prey.
• Otter Outpost – you can observe the Zoo’s many Asian small-clawed otters from an underwater viewing window and watch as they swim, eat, dig, and groom themselves.
• Primate Place – spread amongst six different exhibits, you’ll find primates from around the world, including colobus, mona monkeys, swamp monkeys, spider monkeys, gibbons and langurs.
• Large Mammals – always popular with Zoo visitors, here you’ll find the large creatures like giraffes and African elephants.
• The Hill – this section contains the Zoo’s endangered cheetahs and black rhinos, as well as some of Africa’s wilder animals like the Arabian oryx, warthogs, desert bighorn sheep, antelope and llamas.
• Australian Outback – you’ll think you’re Down Under as you walk through these exhibits and see kangaroos, wallabies, and Perentie monitors.
• Bug U – discover all you ever wanted to know about insects and creepy crawlies. There are interactive activities, crafts and science demonstrations which are conducted by the Zoo’s bug experts.
• Cat Green – here you’ll be able to spot bobcats, lions, ocelots, an Asian fishing cat, and more birds of prey.
• Snout Route – this exhibit contains a collection of interesting creatures with distinctive and unusual noses, like giant anteaters, tapirs, hornbills, dik-dik antelope, fossas and peccaries.
• Rhino Iguanas – check out these big lizards which get their name from their one-of-a-kind, horn-like outgrowth on the end of their nose.
• Galapagos Tortoises – you’ll want to see for yourself what the world’s largest tortoises look like.