If you know me then you know I am a huge animal lover, not just small humans! And my family is a huge fan of the Austin Zoo. I love that their mission statement is to assist animals in need through rescue, rehabilitation and education. The Austin Zoo started as a goat ranch taking in animals that needed a home. As time went on the ranch began to take in exotic animals in need. Eventually the ranch became the nonprofit Austin Zoo. The Austin Zoo currently has over 300 animals - some are from other facilities that were retired due to age/health/or other issues, animals that were seized in animal cruelty cases, retired laboratory research animals, individuals' exotic pets, etc.
I snapped this photo at the Austin Zoo on our last visit.
I am personally super pumped about their new Homeschool Nature Series. The Homeschool Nature Series is designed for kids ages 7-13 and has kids learning about biology and participating in exciting labs. For more information check out the Austin Zoo's website!
David and the kids and I enjoyed a trip to the Austin Zoo just before the new year. We had a blast! Check out our photos below and see for yourself.
The kids outside the Austin Zoo
It was a bit chilly on the day we went. We arrived right when they opened which was awesome. After getting our tickets we also purchased two bags of animal food as the kids wanted to feed the goats, deer, llamas, sheep, etc. There are plenty of signs to help you know who to feed and who to not feed. If you are not familiar with the Austin Zoo you will learn right away that there are birds that roam free around the zoo - mostly chickens and peacocks. My kids enjoy them a lot.
D with the first animal we saw after entering the zoo, a chicken.
A loved feeding the deer.
I love feeding the goats.
The "littles" feeding the animals.
I love that all the animals are so gentle. They love to be fed!
We really enjoyed seeing some of the bigger animals - the mountain lions, lions, bears, tiger, etc. The male lions were very playful while we were there. They were fun to watch.
the mountain lions (or cougars)
Watching the lions play and rest
I have mentioned this before in previous posts about the Zoo but they have lots of photo opportunities scattered around the zoo. My kids really enjoy them. If you are looking for fun photos you shouldn't have a problem finding places for them.
My Baby G duckling
A fun mural
A peacock mural
There is a small house that holds reptiles and amphibians. F and C really enjoyed the various critters.
F with a turtle
C learned that this snake with legs as he called it is actually a skink.
There is a great area set up near the front of the zoo that you can eat and have a picnic. The food truck concession stand is sometimes open (you can check the website for dates and times). It was open on our visit. You can also bring in your own food and beverages!
There is a great hand washing station set up just outside the bathrooms near the picnic tables.
Baby G chillin' at the Austin Zoo - love those eyes!
I love that they have a few areas scattered around that you can rest if you need to.
The Austin Zoo is also very good with signs. When you are visiting the animals look for signs about Keeper Talks. Zoo Keepers will be back to tell you more about those animals and you might get to watch them eat - the signs let you know when they are happening.
We were able to watch some of the tortoises enjoy their food.
Disclosure: Thanks so much to USFamilyGuide and the Austin Zoo for providing my family with 3 complimentary tickets in exchange for this review. We purchased the rest of our tickets on our own :). All opinions are my own.