The Fort Worth Zoo is one of the largest attractions in FW, and definitely something you shouldn’t miss! We’ve been members since my children were small, and after countless trips, I’ve got quite a few Mommy Tips to share to help you make the most of your visit, including those on the Fort Worth Zoo’s newest addition, Safari Splash!
Know Before You Go
COVID-19 Please check the Fort Worth Zoo for the latest updates, as information may have changed.
How to get there:
Most people take University, but there can be a lot of traffic, especially on weekends, Wednesdays and Spring Break. I exit from I-30 on Forest Park Blvd, go South on Forest Park Blvd (this is called the Mistletoe Heights neighborhood of Fort Worth, one of it’s oldest neighborhoods and I LOVE it!) to the light at Park Place Blvd. Look for the two large stone markers on the corner. Turn right, and just as Park Place turns, veer right onto Colonial Pkwy. The zoo entrance will be on your left.
When to go:
If you are going on a weekday, later in the afternoon is better. The zoo welcomes MANY schools on field trips, but most of the buses leave about 1pm.
Wednesdays are half price day.
Weekends are busier in the afternoons.
If you go during the summer, GO EARLY! The zoo has misters allocated all around the park, and many trees for shade, but the animals just aren’t very active after about 11am.
Consider becoming a member. In addition to FREE admission and parking, members receive discounts on activities such as the Yellow Rose Train and discounts to the Safari Splash and Stingray Cove.
You can request $1 off coupons from the zoo to be mailed to you. My son had an animal themed party at home when he turned four, and I requested coupons from the zoo for the goody bags, which they happily sent.
Parking is $5. a car. IF you get there early enough, some people park at the playground parking lot on the west side of the zoo, which is FREE, and walk the short distance to the zoo.
Outside food, drinks and coolers are allowed. There are also shaded picnic tables near the parking lot if you don’t want to carry one through the zoo.
There’s nothing quite like hearing the King when he roars!
A walk thru aviary where you can purchase a feed stick and feed the colorful birds, mostly parakeets, while they perch on your stick, finger or even your head. Sticks are $1 each.
In the Land Down Under, you’ll see fish from the Great Barrier Reef, including sharks! They also have several kangaroos on exhibit.
Tasmanian Tower is a rock climbing wall, available for an additional price.
There are four different types of penguins living at the Fort Worth Zoo.
In the Texas portion of the FW Zoo, you’ll find different animals that are characteristic of Texas’ different areas; The Piney Woods of East Texas, The Gulf Coast, Brushlands and Mountains and Deserts.
The Carousel and the Train are found in Texas Wild. The train will take you close to the front of the zoo, but you’ll miss a lot on the way! Sit back and enjoy the roundtrip!
Don’t miss the Texas Hall of Wonders, with interesting and interactive exhibits about Texas. There is also a very cute, short film!
The Old Texas Town offers a gift shop, petting farm, ice cream shop, food court, climbing area for younger children, shooting gallery and a leaky water tower to cool off on hot days!
A huge alligator awaits you in the Piney Woods section of Texas Wild! You can also watch as otters frolic and see two black bears! Try to make the black bear keeper daily keeper talks.
In the Gulf Coast, you can view a sea turtle, pelicans and redfish. Touch starfish and horseshoe crabs in the touch tank. Watch how the ducks move their feet to help them dive to the bottom of the lake.
Brush Country has a bald eagle, a mountain lion, and even a jaguar!
Mountains and Deserts section showcases animals in far South and West Texas. There is a tunnel for kids to crawl through, bats flying in a simulated night, rattlesnakes, and even a room from the Caverns of Sonora!
By the way, the actual Caverns of Sonora are amazing. Click HERE to read more about them, then add them to your Texas Bucket List!
Texas Nature Traders
At the end of TEXAS WILD is a nature trading post, where you can bring in items and earn point to trade for other items. Don’t have anything to trade, you can also earn points simply by coming in and learning something!
The Trading Post is very hands-on, as kids can touch EVERYTHING! In addition to nature items, there are nature based games…. and air conditioning!
Museum of Living Art
MOLA takes all the beauty of the wild reptiles, amphibeans, and lizards and has created a breathtaking space to showcase them.
Located inside MOLA is a cafe, which looks out onto the crocodile tank! It’s my favorite place to eat!
The Safari Splash opens daily on May 2nd, 2016! It’s a fun splash area, with no standing water, for kids and parents to cool off!
Although it’s designed for children ages 3-12, the Safari Splash is open to all ages.
Admission is charged to Safari Splash, in addition to your zoo admission. Members save $1/person.
There are changing/restrooms available. There are also tables and chairs under umbrellas, as well as lounge chairs.
There is a snack bar, and outside food and drinks are allowed.
The Zoo Run is held each Spring!
Scout Overnights: My daughter’s Girl Scout troop did an overnight at the zoo. We were given an after hours tour of the zoo, had dinner, did a craft and played a game. In the morning after breakfast, we were treated to an animal encounter. The girls really enjoyed it, they did a great job of combining fun and education.
Wild Wonders: The preschool I work for has had the Wild Wonders program out several times, and our students (and staff) love it! The brought out a large frog, a penguin, a crocodile and even a huge dog!
Zoo Summer Camp: All my kids have done a week long summer day camp at the zoo and LOVE it!
The Fort Worth Zoo is located in Forest Park, which also includes the Log Cabin Village, Forest Park Pool, Forest Park Miniature Railroad and runs along the Clear Fork of the Trinity River, with access to the Trinity Trails. Forest Park is also bordered by the Colonial Country Club to the West of University.
I hope these tips help you to have a wonderful day at the zoo!
Fort Worth Zoo
1989 Colonial Parkway
Fort Worth, TX 76110
Click HERE to visit their website
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