The San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo is an excellent place for families and children to enjoy the outdoors in beautiful surroundings with wildlife from all over the world. With over 3,500 animals representing 600 species, the San Antonio Zoo is ranked one of the top zoos in the nation.
Visiting the San Antonio Zoo
Families have been enjoying the San Antonio Zoo for almost 100 years. This is a spectacular educational attraction for adults and children alike. The zoo is quite large and can easily take an entire day to go through if you visit and spend time at each exhibit. All of the animals have an accurate and thorough description (English and Spanish) displayed near their exhibit explaining facts about the animal, the animal's native country and about the animal's habitat. Some zoo exhibits have vending machines nearby with food that can be fed to the animals giving visitors an opportunity to interact with the animals in a safe environment. The 56 acres making up the zoo is beautifully landscaped with exotic and native vegetation, giant cypress trees, towering oaks and aquatic vegetation that adds realism providing zoo visitors with a wildly natural setting. Throughout the year, the zoo has specialized exhibits, animal learning classes and programs for educating adults and children alike on wildlife in a hands-on, entertaining, wild environment.
Zoo Animal Exhibits
The animal exhibits are presented in many different ways unique to the animals mobility and habitat. Many of the birds are in enormous exhibit settings enclosed by giant nets that give them freedom to fly around. Visitors go in through doors leading to a platform to observe the birds in their environment. This is fantastic for kids as they can see hundreds of colorful birds inside their enclosed habitat up close and personal. This would not be possible with the lions or tigers of course.
Dangerous animals requiring spacious exhibits, like the lions, tigers and bears are along the edges of the zoo with large sprawling habitats. The fronts of these exhibits are large sunken concrete pits that keep the animals safely secured within their zoo home. Other wild animals in the zoo are in spacious confined displays that let them freely move about and interact with the other animals within their zoo environment. These animals are very well cared for and their habitats are elaborate and lifelike. San Antonio Zoo has done an excellent job of placing the welfare of it's animals ahead of all else except the safety of zoo visitors.
San Antonio Zoo Train
Winding through the adjacent land of Brackenridge Park are the tracks of the San Antonio Zoo train. The trains run year round and can be caught at the depot just across the street from the entrance to the SA Zoo. Currently, the zoo has three operating trains and depending on the time of year, may operate just one of the small trains. The zoo train is great for children and because the trip is a short 15 to 20 minutes, it keeps the kids entertained without becoming too boring. The train tracks wind through the park under oak trees, through tunnels, over bridges and even through live railroad crossings with working stop gates keeping cars from crossing the tracks while the train passes. The zoo train is run by engineers that walk the track each morning prior to operation to ensure the tracks are safe for all passengers. Children love the San Antonio Zoo train and with prices under $3.00 for adults and kids alike, the zoo train is a real value for park and zoo visitors.
Zoo Admission and Membership
Zoo admission tickets are available at the front entrance. Adult tickets cost $9 and children ages 3-11 are $7. The San Antonio Zoo offers annual memberships which are beneficial if planning regular visits with your family. A yearly zoo membership for a family entitles two adults and their children under 18 free admission for an entire year. The basic family membership costs $60 with varying levels over that. Additionally, a membership gives members express admission through a designated entrance when visiting the zoo. When the zoo gets busy and the line is long, being a member of the San Antonio Zoo definitely has its privileges. The zoo also has a lengthy reciprocal zoo list with aquariums and zoos all over the country. Money collected through memberships keeps the San Antonio Zoo operational as well as provides funding for new projects and enhancements to animal habitats and exhibits. In my opinion, buying a family membership pays for itself many times over considering all of the benefits included. Open every day of the year rain or shine, this San Antonio wildlife attraction is well worth the admission ticket price.