Visit Jacksonville Zoo!

Jacksonville Florida Zoo

I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I am one of those rare people who was born and raised in Florida!  Anytime I hear of a fulltime family planning on visiting or asking questions about this great state of ours, I always have to chime in – I just can’t help it!  Most recently I have encountered questions about Jacksonville, Florida.  (I find this a little ironic because the tourism in Jax has been declining so much over the years.) Nonetheless here it goes, my favorite place to visit in Jacksonville is:

Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens

We love this zoo! They are always offering some sort of special deal to bring us in.  In January, they generally offer $2 Tuesdays, $3 Wednesdays, and $5 Fridays!  This February they were offering B1G1 Free Admission for Valentine’s Day through Valentine’s Day weekend.  For Mother’s Day in May, Mommas get in for FREE!  Every month is something.  Stop by their website and see what they have going on while you are in town before you go.

Map of Jacksonville Zoo

We started bringing our kids to the Jacksonville Zoo when our bigger bunch was only toddlers.  On Mother’s Day of 2003 we brought our little ones to see the monkeys and have been going back every year since!  Our favorite exhibits have changed over the years, as our children have grown and changed too.  One year the gators stole the show, another it was the elephants, the year before last was the visit of the giraffes, and our visit this past year the parrots were the talk of the ride home- they were all over our friend’s daughter!

One thing that has been consistent with every trip was that no one went home disappointed, everyone had a wonderful time, and we never felt it was a waste of our time or money!

Feeding Giraffes, Riding Trains, or Playing in the Splash Ground & Play Park!

What we love about the zoo is all of the extra activities they offer.  Many kids will get bored after watching the animals for too long.  Each area offers a little something extra.  Our favorite free options are playing in the Splash Ground and Play Park.  You will want to visit this portion of the zoo near the end of your journey – when you really need a good break!  When we go as a group, moms will block the exits and the bigger kids are able to play freely together.  We normally spend an hour (or more) in the play park alone!  (Not including the splash ground when the weather permits.)

Jacksonville Zoo, Florida

Unfortunately, not everything they offer is included with your park admission.  We generally allow the kids one extra [paying] activity per visit.  Our favorite extra activities are the train ride and feeding the giraffes.  We pair an older sibling with a younger one to feed the giraffes (one price- two kids!).  They like this because they are so high up on the platform they feel a little scared, and then to have a silly looking animal taking food from your hand – it is memorable.

Other great extras are feeding the sting rays at Stingray Bay, the DinoTrek Exhibit, or taking a Carousel ride!  (*Prices range from $2-$4 per person for extra activities.)

Birthday Party on the Cheap!

Last year Jasmine’s birthday was on a $2 Tuesday, so we had a few friends meet us at the zoo for the day.  It was such an inexpensive birthday party! For lunch we had pizza delivered to their outdoor picnic area.  This area offered plenty of tables, restrooms, and even a playground.  There wasn’t a fee for “reserving” tables, and since it was outside of the zoo we didn’t have to worry about lugging around gifts.

My total expense for this birthday party was roughly $100!  This included admission to the zoo, cupcakes, snacks, drinks, pizza,  party supplies and even a few extra cost activities!   Did I mention, we had over twenty friends in attendance?!!

Cheap Birthday Party

Visit the Jacksonville Zoo online for more information.

What is your favorite Zoo animal?

19 thoughts on “Visit Jacksonville Zoo!

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    I love taking my daughter to the zoo. Ive never been to the jacksonville zoo, but we recently went to the North Carolina Zoo. Even though she is a grumpy teenager, she still loves seening all the animals. Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, FL is also pretty cool but it looks like you guys had fun at Jacksonville.
    One of the things that I love about going to the zoo is that so much learning can be done, while kids and adults have loads of fun.

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      Hi Shanee,

      You missed out when you were down here by not visiting the Zoo in Jax. I think the main reason why we went so often was because their deals were so hard to ignore- ha!

      Happy travels,

      Victoria

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    I was born in Orlando but raised in Juneau, Alaska, however; my sister and I spent summers in Gainesville with our dad. Inadvertently, we also spent a lot of time at the Jax Zoo and Crescent Beach just south of St. Augustine. Last March, we took our family to the Jacksonville Zoo for our son’s first birthday! It was a lot of fun and my favorite exhibit is the Giraffe exhibit. I love how they get close and you can feed them leaves. It’s a ton of fun. We bought the full-on everything pass, and it was worth every dime.

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      Hi Summer! Lucky you! We have talked/joked about moving to Alaska but I think our Floridian blood would not be appreciative of that decision! lol.

      Their Giraffe exhibit is a show stopper – we love it!

      I hope you enjoy your vacations in Central Florida – It sounds like you and I have the same playgrounds. 🙂

      Happy Travels,

      Victoria

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    Next year will be the first year that my boyfriend has gotten vacation time. I think we’ll be discussing Jacksonville as a vacation destination! The zoo looks like a TON of fun!

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      Hi Melody,

      We love visiting Jacksonville but I have extreme dislike for their traffic. We normally visit the Zoo or MOSH… anything else… I could do without. lol

      Happy travels,

      Victoria

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    Looks like a blast ! We were thinking about taking the kids on Sunday to the phoenix zoo 🙂

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      Hi Michelle,

      Please let me know how your trip goes. We will be out West next winter and would love to keep it in mind!

      Thank you for stopping in.

      Happy travels,

      Victoria

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    The best thing about the NC zoo in my area is the Tram, because after we finished walking the entire area, then we can hop on and ride back to the start. Ha! I think my favorite zoo animal to go see is the elephants though.

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      Hi Nicoyle,

      Yes, that is what we love about the Jax Zoo as well is their train ride. The first time we went we didn’t purchase train ride tickets. Our little ones (all toddlers at the time) fell asleep in the stroller. My husband and I were so exhausted that we barely made it back to our car! Our legs were killing us!

      So yes people – purchase the train ride tickets! Save your legs! 🙂

      ~ Victoria

      P.S. The elephants are awesome – one of my favorites too!

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    My brother and his family live in Savannah, GA, and they love visiting the Jacksonville Zoo. I’m hoping that we can visit them and the zoo soon. It looks like a really fun outing! And as for my favorite animal, I love the monkeys.

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      TaMara,

      Lucky them! I have never been to Savannah but I am looking forward to it. When we leave the fist week of April I am not sure where we are going yet. It is our anniversary week and we haven’t decided if our first stop will be Savannah or the Keys…. very torn. We want to go to the Keys with the kids but don’t look forward to the drive back out of Florida.

      Ask them what we should do in Savannah when we go!

      Happy Travels,

      Victoria

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    The Jax Zoo is awesome!! We had year passes when we lived up there. And that was before the splash pad – that really adds a lot of value. The tickets are a bit pricey but the zoo is really outstanding!!

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      Hi Mindy,

      lol, we only go when the price is so low to get in that we can’t refuse it! I have never paid full price to get in before and doubt that I ever will. If we lived in Jax – we’d have passes! Most definitely!

      Happy Travels,

      Victoria

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    I’m just jealous of the fact that you guys can visit the zoo in the winter months without parkas.

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      Hi Monique,

      You know, my brother lives in Ohio and was posting amazing pictures of an indoor water park he took his family to this past weekend. I wish our water parks were open year round but most of them are closed until Spring Break or later.

      See, everyone has something that the other doesn’t. 🙂 I’ll trade you the beautiful summer weather for our 98+ deg. scorchers here! lol

      Happy travels,

      Victoria

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      Hi Debi,

      I love them too. I have been watching “Feeding Time” with the kids on Netflix and we have a few great zoo’s on our list to visit while we are traveling. I am looking forward to finding new favorites!

      Happy travels,

      Victoria

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    Hi Debi,

    I love them too. I have been watching “Feeding Time” with the kids on Netflix and we have a few great zoo’s on our list to visit while we are traveling. I am looking forward to finding new favorites!

    Happy travels,

    Victoria

    Reply

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