Among a canopy of native trees and the natural beauty of a Central Texas landscape sits a zoo that celebrates not only the world’s animals, but its southern roots. Parents and children alike will be delighted by the atmosphere and the variety of attractions.
Upon entering the zoo’s grounds, visitors are greeted with a smile and a map. They are then sent on their way toward the sprawling African savanna, the Brazos River country, and many other exotic places.
Here you’ll meet some swinging Gibbons and come face-to-face with our country’s national bird. Along the way you’ll meet mud-covered Galapagos tortoises and some chattering Macaws.
And if you venture into the El Rey De La Montana (South American Habitat), you’ll see some of the continent’s most alluring wildlife like the slow-moving sloth, the beautiful Scarlet Ibis, and the cuddly-looking capybaras.
Much of the walkway in The Meadows is covered by a colorful canopy of multi-colored tarps, and is adjacent to a garden full of life-sized butterflies and ladybugs, and a playground that makes your children feel as if they are part of an exhibit. The playground even becomes a splash pad in the hotter months. It's a perfect place to take a break from walking around the zoo if you have little ones with tired feet.
Upon entering this realistic safari-themed area, you will be greeted by a flurry of African birds and some majestic antelopes grazing for their dinner. As you go deeper into the savanna you will find everyone’s favorite African animals—giraffes, rhinos, elephants, flamingos, and lions.
The best time to see these animals out and about is when the weather is warm, but not hot (over 100 degrees). During extreme temperatures the animals might be tucked away or escaping the heat. If you want the chance to see a giraffe grabbing a branch with his tongue or a lion roaring for his meal, then head to the zoo when the weather is nice.
When you enter this section of the zoo, you will find that you have been transported across the globe to Asia. The Sumatran tigers are the first to emerge along the path, and their cuddly appearance and funny antics will have your children smiling from ear-to-ear.
Further into the exhibit, you’ll find a friendly orangutan, some long-tongued Komodo dragons and some comedic lemurs. The foliage in this area makes it one of the shadiest spots in the zoo. And with life-sized animal statues around every corner, you will have more than one photo opportunity.
Brazos River Country
While the Cameron Park Zoo is full of animals from almost every continent in the world, the park celebrates its Texas roots with a sprawling area dedicated to the animals that would be found right here in Central Texas.
Exhibits include a marine aquarium that features native fish, an extensive aviary that patrons can walk through, mountain lions, black bears, and the stars of the exhibit—the river otters. These furry comedians are entertaining to watch as they dive and swim through their underwater exhibit. And the best part is that children can feel like one of the otters as they go through a see-through slide that is fixed to the side of the tank.
There are countless other animals that are not only fun to watch, but will steal your heart. And when you’re finished seeing everything the zoo has to offer, you can have lunch at the Plaza Café or buy a souvenir at the gift shop.
For more information you can visit www.cameronparkzoo.com, call 254-750-8400 or email the zoo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.