Attractions Where Animals are the Main Attraction
Central Florida offers plenty of Zoo’s, Trail Rides, Eco Tours, Petting Farms and other places where the animals are the main attraction. Take a trip on the wild side!
AVIAN RECONDITIONING CENTER: live birds of prey and environmental education: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays; 323 W. Lester Road, Apopka; donations; 407-461-1056. For more information visit their website at arc4raptors.org.
BREVARD ZOO: with hands-on area, railroad, “Paws On” kid’s area: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday (with Brevard Symphony Orchestra String Trio performing 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday); 8225 N. Wickham Road, just east of Interstate 95 (Exit 191 off Interstate 95), Melbourne; $13.50 adults, $12.50 age 60 and older, $10 ages 2-12 (free admission 5-8 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 28); 321-254-9453. For more information visit their website at brevardzoo.org.
CACTUS JACK’S TRAIL RIDES: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; Florida Horse Park, 11008 S. Highway 475, Ocala; $45 per hour; 352-978-7656. For more information visit their website at cactusjackstrailrides.com.
CENTRAL FLORIDA ZOO: native and exotic animals, Tropical Splash Ground, Zoom Air Adventures course: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; 3755 N. U.S. Highway 17-92, 1 mile east of Interstate 4 and 41/2 miles west of Sanford; $11.95 adults, $9.95 seniors, $7.95 ages 3-12, free age 2 and younger; 407-323-4450. Read our Spotlight Review or for more information visit their website at centralfloridazoo.org.
ECO-TOUR GUIDED SAFARIS: kayak and boat tours of Central Florida rivers: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays; disembarks at various locations through Orlando; $35; 321-543-4031. For more information visit their website at alligatorsafaris.com.
EXOTIC ANIMAL EXPERIENCE: a privately-owned facility stretching over 7 acres. Don’t just see animals; pet and hold them too. Enjoy up-close and personal interaction with everything from sloths to sheep, kangaroos, and more. For more information visit their website at exoticanimalexperience.net
FLORIDA AUDUBON SOCIETY’S CENTER FOR BIRDS OF PREY: conservation, education and raptor rehabilitation facility: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (except holidays); 1101 Audubon Way, Maitland; $5 adults, $4 ages 3-12; 407-644-0190. For more information visit their website at fl.audubon.org.
FLORIDA ECO-SAFARIS: coach, horseback and zipline tours: departure times vary; 4755 N. Kenansville Road at Forever Florida, St. Cloud; $28 adults, $22 children for coach safari, $40-$80 for horseback safari, $85 for zipline safari; 1-866-854-3837. Read our Spotlight Review or for more information visit their website at foreverflorida.com.
GATORLAND: Gator Wrestling show, Gator Gully Splash Park, white leucistic alligators: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando; $22.99 plus tax age 13 and older, $14.99 ages 3-12; 407-855-5496 or 1-800-393-5297. Read our Spotlight Review, or for more information visit their website at gatorland.com.
GREEN MEADOWS FARM: tours, train ride, barnyard animals: continuous tours 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily; 1368 S. Poinciana Blvd., Kissimmee; $21 adults, $17 seniors, free ages 2 and younger ($19 Florida residents); 407-846-0770. For more information visit their website at visitgreenmeadowsfarm.com.
JUNGLE ADVENTURES: with animals, Native American Indian Village Tour, Jungle Swamp Boat Ride: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily (with “Dinner and Adventure Tour” featuring boat ride and storytelling at 6:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday); 26205 E. State Road 50, Christmas; $19.95 plus tax age 12 and older, $16.95 plus tax age 60 and older, $12.95 plus tax ages 3-11, free ages 2 and younger ($39.50 for “Dinner and Adventure Tour”); 407-568-2885. For more information visit their website at jungleadventures.com.
LUKAS BUTTERFLY ENCOUNTER: butterfly nursery and habitat: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily; 1909 Slavia Road, Oviedo; $5 general, free ages 3 and younger; 407-365-6163. For more information visit their website at lukasnursery.com.
MARINE SCIENCE CENTER: with artificial reef aquarium and marine exhibits: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday; 100 Lighthouse Drive, Ponce Inlet; $5 adults, $4 seniors, $2 ages 3-12; 386-304-5545. For more information visit their website at marinesciencecenter.com.
REPTILE DISCOVERY CENTER: educational center, museum and reptile farm: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2710 Big John Drive, DeLand; $8.50 adults, $5.50 seniors and ages 4-17, free ages 3 and younger; 386-740-9143. For more information visit their website at reptilediscoverycenter.com.
REPTILE WORLD SERPENTARIUM: 60 specimens of reptiles: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (with venom programs at noon and 3 p.m.); 5705 Highway 192, east of St. Cloud; $6.75 adults, $5.75 ages 6-17, $4.75 ages 3-5, cash only; 407-892-6905. For more information visit their website at reptileworldserpentarium.com.
UNCLE DONALD’S FARM: barnyard animals, tours, hayrides, pony rides, wildlife exhibit: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 2713 Griffin Ave., off U.S. Highway 27/441 north of Lady Lake (Lake County); $10.50 plus tax adults, $9.50 plus tax children and seniors, $2.50 for pony rides (cash only); 352-753-2882. For more information visit their website at uncledonaldsfarm.com.
WILD FLORIDA – known for their airboat tours, this attraction also includes ranch buggy nature tours, an animal park, restaurant and gift shop. Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Sundays. Located at 3301 Lake Cypress Rd., Kenansville, FL 34739; Phone: 407-957-3135. For more information visit their website at wildfloridairboats.com.