We took on the summer heat with 2 little ones at the Fort Worth zoo, and here is our review. The Fort Worth Zoo is what I will now refer to as the Animal Kingdom of Texas. Our family had the pleasure of going last week, and I have so much to tell you about it! Let’s get started.
Where is the zoo located?
Fort Worth Zoo is not far from downtown Fort Worth, in fact, it might just sneak up on you! General Admission tickets range from $14-18. There are other extras you can add on as well as discounts available. Discounts include $1 off each ticket when purchased in advance. Wednesday is half price admission for everyone! Parking was only $5 per vehicle, and if you get there early enough, you might be able to snag a shady parking spot. The zoo is open 365 days a year with hours varying based on the time of year. The exciting extras include feeding giraffes, feeding stingrays, a carousel, and even a rock climbing wall!
Are FWZ and AK related?
The main entrance is where I was getting Animal Kingdom vibes! They had music playing like what you hear when walking about AK. The buildings, décor, and overall aesthetic was more like AK than I have seen at any other zoo. The train reminded me of Rafiki’s Planet Watch and would transport you to the other end of the zoo.
We spent an entire day, nearly open to close, and we still did not have a chance to do and see everything. MOLA, Museum of Living Art, has many reptiles, amphibians, and even fish. Even this one section of the zoo was large and most importantly inside, I mean educational! The exhibits are truly a work of art. Here is where we saw an animal that was new to me. I was completely fascinated by them, and we all enjoyed learning about them together.
We loved seeing a baby elephant and a baby giraffe! They were ADORABLE, and a huge highlight from our visit. They were both very new at the time of our visit and so small standing next to their mothers. Haelyn was in awe of them, and I have to admit so was I!
Handling the Texas Heat
Mid July at any zoo will be hot, however, the Fort Worth Zoo really has it figured out! There were many activities and exhibits inside with air conditioning. I would say that the giraffe and elephant section of the zoo was well shaded, but the hottest. I suggest starting here early morning or late afternoon if you are visiting during a time of year when temperatures are high. The zoo also provided misters all along the tails which we nearly all shaded! The misters were a great refresher for everyone, including the girls. There is a great play area for the kids located inside one of the buildings with educational play based on farm animals and harvesting crops. If you are still in need of a cool down, there is an ice cream parlor right across the path surviving up Blue Bell. One main reason I had the idea to go and visit mid summer was so that I could write a Fort Worth Zoo review for parents like us. We knew it was going to be hot while we were in DFW area (100+ degrees!) We almost didn’t go due to the heat, but I am so thankful that we did.
Dining Options are spread throughout the zoo. Closer to the entrance of the zoo was a small quick service option with outdoor seating all around. A little further into the zoo we found a few places in one building that had burgers, a grill, and even ice cream. There was a seating inside with a wall looking into the gharial. The girls had a lot of fun watching them, the turtles, and the fish swim around while we enjoyed our lunch. Up next was a restaurant that was also inside and provided Dickey’s BBQ, Pizza hut, and a grill. There are an assortment of snack and treat stands sprinkled throughout the zoo as well.
PSA: No lids or single use straws are allowed on property for the safety of the animals!
The Fort Worth Zoo will also allow guests to bring food and drinks into the zoo for lunch. You are allowed to bring a small ice chest in so that you can prepare lunch and stay hydrated during your stay. There are restrictions, no lids or straws as mentioned, no alcohol, and a few others. Be sure to check the Fort Worth Zoo website for a full list of rules.
Safari Splash Pad
Once we finished seeing all the animals we headed over to the splash pad to play until the zoo closed. Did you know that Fort Worth Zoo has a splash pad? I am talking about a water park quality splash pad! I knew instantly I would be writing a review on the Fort Worth Zoo to spread word. This place was huge! It was only $5 per person to get into Safari Splash, and 100% worth it! There are cannons, slides, fill buckets, and lounging chairs for the parents. Our children are still little, so my husband and I were kicking ourselves for not bringing ourselves a pair of spare clothes. The water was so cool and refreshing, and Haelyn absolutely loved it!
Pro tip: We learned toward the end of our day that you can ask for a glass of cold ice water and the stand inside the splash pad area. We were not able to test this out in the rest of the zoo, so if you do please let me know!
Peppa Pig World and The Dallas Aquarium are 2 more places you should visit with young children in the DFW area.