One of the most popular family-friendly attractions in Dallas is the Dallas Zoo. This beloved zoo is home to more than 2,000 different animals, representing more than 400 different species from across the world. People of all ages love to come to the zoo to see the animals, learn more about their ways of life and discover the animal conservation efforts that are being made by the zoologists that work on-site.
Those who are traveling to Dallas throughout the year will want to stay at a hotel that offers them convenient access to this wonderful zoo. Magnolia Dallas Downtown is located in the heart of the city and allows you to enjoy all of the best things to do at the zoo.
These are the top 10 things to do at the Dallas Zoo:
Have a Conversation with a Zookeeper
Keeper Chats are scheduled throughout the day every day that the zoo is open. Guests are able to obtain the Keeper Chats schedule and head to their favorite animal exhibit during the designated time to learn more about what the zookeepers do to care for those animals. These free encounters allow zoo patrons to learn more about the animals as well as the work that is being done by the zookeepers to protect them.
Interact with Birds in an Aviary
Travis and Zach’s Bird Landing is an interactive aviary located in the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo. Visitors are able to walk into an immersive aviary that is home to more than two dozen species of birds. Children, in particular, find this to be a magnificent sight, as the birds swoop and soar above their heads. For a $1 fee, visitors can feed the birds. This aviary is open for limited hours each day. It’s important to note that this exhibit is weather dependent, and may close unexpectedly based on the comfort of the animals who live inside it.
Catch a Show at the Wild Encounters Stage
Visitors who want to get up close and personal with the animals at the zoo will definitely want to head to the Wild Encounters Stage. Wild Encounters shows are scheduled on the hour and on the half-hour throughout the entire day. Each presentation is a completely different experience. Specialists are able to bring a variety of animal species onto the stage, such as porcupines or large reptiles. The shows are included as part of your zoo admission, but performances are weather dependent. At any time, a scheduled show may be canceled due to the comfort of the animal that will be on stage.
Plan a Birthday Party at the Aquarium
While you may not be able to host your child’s birthday party at the zoo itself, the Dallas Zoo does offer birthday party packages at its sister organization, the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park. The party package includes aquarium admission for up to 25 people as well as access to a private party room for 90 minutes. In addition, all party guests will get to enjoy a complimentary stingray feeding and encounter. It’s the perfect party for the tiny animal lover in your life.
Feed a Giraffe
For the most part, you aren’t able to feed the animals when you visit the zoo. However, the Dallas Zoo offers its guests the opportunity to feed the giraffe in its interactive exhibit. There are nine giraffes who call the zoo home, and all of them like to enjoy a treat from those who are visiting. Giraffe feeding takes place at the feeding platform on the Diane and Hal Brierley Giraffe Ridge. Feeding costs $5 per person. Those who want to view the giraffes without feeding them do not have to pay the extra cost.
Get in the Spirit of the Season During the Holiday Zoo Lights
During the holiday season, the Dallas Zoo twinkles and sparkles with more than one million holiday lights. The Dallas Zoo Lights is an annual event that takes place during November and December. In addition to seeing the lights and lanterns that decorate the zoo, families will enjoy musical performances, ornament making, photos and conversations with Santa, and plenty of holiday treats. Visitors typically have to pay an additional fee in order to add this event onto their itinerary in the evening.
Ride the Monorail, Train or Carousel
The Dallas Zoo has several rides inside of it for patrons of all ages to enjoy. The Adventure Safari Monorail is a unique zoo attraction that takes guests on a slow ride around a one-mile loop, giving them a bird’s eye view of many of the top exhibits. This ride costs $7 per person and is open seasonally. The other two rides are open year-round. The T-Rex Express Mini Train runs through the picnic ride and is perfect for the zoo’s youngest visitors. It costs $2 per rider. The Endangered Species Carousel is a carousel filled with hand-crafted animals to ride. It costs $2 per rider.
Try a Night Hike After Dark
Throughout the year, the zoo schedules special night hikes that allow patrons to check out the zoo after dark. The night hike is a guided tour that takes guests through specific exhibits. These hikes also include special activities and presentations that give further insight into the workings of the zoo. Night hikes cost $20 per person, and children must be at least 6 years old in order to participate. They take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on certain nights throughout the year.
Join Other Moms at the Zoo with the Stroller Buddies Group
Stroller Buddies is a class that local Dallas moms can enroll in. Each Stroller Buddies class is a six-week session, and there are two days for participants to choose from. The group meets up once per week for an hour and a half and enjoys a guided tour of the zoo. The class also includes special activities for parents, caregivers, and children. There is a discount available for members who are interested in enrolling in the class. It has become a popular way for parents and caregivers to connect with one another.
Enjoy the Wonders of the Wild Show
Wonders of the Wild is an interactive wildlife show that has become a favorite among zoo visitors. The show is scheduled on specific days of the week and runs twice per day. Interested visitors should verify the show schedule in advance before booking their trip to the zoo, so they don’t miss out on the opportunity. The show lasts for about 20 minutes and features a zoologist who will introduce visitors to a variety of the zoo’s animals, including a penguin or a capybara. This show is free with your zoo admission and is a worthwhile addition to your itinerary.
The Dallas Zoo is a special place for kids and adults alike. Throughout the year, there are a variety of zoo events and activities scheduled designed to appeal to people of all age groups. From concerts at the zoo to family-friendly activities for the youngest zoo visitors, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Book your stay at the Magnolia Dallas Downtown today in order to make the most out of your next trip to Dallas.