Lowry Park Zoo

lowry park zoo day trips sarasotaNamed the “#1 Zoo in the U.S.A.” by both Parents Magazine and Child Magazine, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo features more than 1,500 animals in 56 acres of lush natural habitats. This is a great day trip from Sarasota and Siesta Key, not just for children but for adults also.

This zoo is big enough for a family to spend most of a day here, but not so big as to exhaust small children.

The Zoo is comprised of seven main exhibit areas: Asian Gardens, Primate World, Manatee and Aquatic Center, Native Florida Wildlife Center, Free-Flight Aviary, Wallaroo Station Children’s Zoo and Safari Africa.

Asian Gardens: Malayan tapirs, tigers, komodo dragons, "Lorikeet Landing"  Aviary (feeding allowed), Indian rhinos, Sri Lankan sloth bears, babirusa pigs, Visayan warty pigs, Asian pythons, lowland anoa, the beautiful Sulawesi Aviary and clouded leopards.

Safari Africa: African elephants, giraffes (feeding allowed), Grant’s and Grevy’s zebras, African penguins, meerkats, warthogs, impala, white rhinos, and more. The "Ituri Forest" area in Safari Africa opened in 2007 and is named after a deep jungle in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This area features cheetahs, red river hogs, pygmy hippos, shoebill storks, greater African flamingos, great white pelicans and okapi.

Native Florida Wildlife Center: Bald eagles, whooping cranes, Key deer, Florida black bear, red wolves, skunks, Florida panther, American crocodiles, American alligators, Caribbean flamingos, river otters and more. The Zoo is the only wildlife center in the world where you can find the most comprehensive collection of Florida’s endangered native species.

tampa zoo day trips sarasotaWallaroo Station: The Zoo’s four-and-a-half acre Australian-themed children’s zoo features wallabies, ponies (Pony Trek ride), llamas, goats (petting zoo area), New Guinea singing dogs, flying fox bats, emus, laughing kookaburra and koala. This is the children’s area. Families can get hands-on at interactive exhibits like giraffe and white rhino feeding, Stingray Bay, the Kangaroo Walkabout, Lorikeet Landing and a petting zoo.

Manatee & Aquatics Center:  Has the famous manatee & aquatics center with manatees, aquariums, reptiles and stingrays. The Zoo’s David A. Straz, Jr. Manatee Hospital is the only non-profit manatee hospital in the world specifically dedicated to the treatment of sick, injured and orphaned manatees.

Free Flight Aviary: A sub-tropic rainforest with over 200 species of birds from around the world.

rides lowry park zoo day trips sarasotaPrimate World: Habitats include chimpanzees, siamangs, orangutans, colobus monkeys, marmosets, langurs, lemurs, mandrills and Guenon.

There are fun rides for every size like the behind-the-scenes Safari Ride, Jungle Carousel, Camel Safari, Tasmanian Tiger Family Roller Coaster, Overland Express Train Ride and Gator Falls water flume ride. Children always enjoy cooling off in the Zoo’s water play areas located at the Manatee Fountains at the entrance and at "the Billabong" in Wallaroo Station.