In October, we took a weekend trip to Jacksonville, Florida for the Blue Angels Air Show at the Sea & Sky Spectacular. We stayed in a hotel on the beach from Friday through Monday and had so much fun (stay tuned for those amazing photos!). The Air Show was on Saturday and Sunday, so we wanted to find something fun for all of us to do on Monday before going home. We immediately wanted to check out Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens when we were deciding on someplace to go while on our trip. We thought the kids would love it, it would hopefully tire them out to sleep on our ride home, and Brett could use his fancy new camera lens.
Are you guys ready for a ton of photos?! Let’s go!
We went on a Monday, and the entrance was a breeze – there was one other family going through, so I would definitely recommend taking advantage of weekdays if you have little ones.
We were greeted by this fella.
There is a train that circles the zoo that looked really fun. We didn’t go on it because we saw it just as we were walking and wanted to see some animals first. Plus, we didn’t want to deal with the stroller fold-up with the gazillion things we had in it from the weekend.
The rhinos had a big open field to roam around in that they shared with a handful of other animals, including a huge ostrich!
This next photo should totally be a meme of something. Like “Pumpkin Spice is gone??”
We spotted a bunch of turtles while walking over a bridge.
There was so much room for the kids to run around in.
There is a reptile house that had some fun little glass exhibits.
I’m pretty sure this is the largest snake Trent has ever seen.
He could swallow Trent whole!
Aubrey and Trent ran from exhibit to exhibit. That’s right babies, tire yourselves out! Mwuahahaha! (in other news, my baby girl is running…make the time stop!)
Everyone’s looking in different directions, but still a pretty cute family photo…minus the photographer. 😉
Aubrey was so adorable peeking through the gates to see the animals. She truly was interested in looking at each one.
My absolute favorite exhibit was the lion exhibit…because they were RIGHT THERE!
At Animal Kingdom in Disney World, you kind of get a glimpse of them during the safari ride, but you almost never see their entire body and it’s only for a brief moment. Here at the Jacksonville Zoo, we saw several lions together, walking around, playing, and, dare I say it, posing for Brett.
This next one was about to POUNCE!
I kept saying this one was so proper because of how he had his paws. Can I pet him?
“Kitty says meow.”
The giraffes were also incredibly close!
This one was eating just 10 feet from us!
Follow the yellow brick road?
They were so sweet together…he would point out fish when he saw them so Aubrey would look.
“Where’s the fishy, Aubrey?”
We may or may not be normal.
The penguins were in the Halloween spirit!
As if they hadn’t been running around enough, then it was time to slide!
The zoo has a fun little play area for kids with slides and a jungle gym.
There’s 2 spots to pretend you’re either caught by a spider…
…or a sleeping baby bird. Trent took his acting very seriously.
While Trent was playing, we visited these guys just a few feet away.
Aubrey made a friend. They must have been here for at least 5 minutes interacting through the glass. There was just so much cute going on.
There is a carousel to ride to a small additional fee.
After the carousel ride, we continued around the path to see more animals.
This structure is a sky path for tigers to walk along. We didn’t see any walking up there, but that sure would have been exciting to see one above us!
Dragon lizard wrangler.
When to looked like it was going to start raining, we started to hustle a little so we could let them play in the splash area for a little bit. But it was closed Good thing we didn’t tell them about it beforehand!
Another thing we couldn’t do was the Spongebob Squarepants 4D Ride since Trent didn’t meet the height requirement, but it looked like it would be fun!
Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens has Halloween parties on certain days and we could see all the decorations throughout the zoo. One section had a Nightmare Before Christmas theme…I bet this Zero looks awesome at night!
We love taking photos in photo booths! Maybe one day they’ll pose and look at the camera!
We all had such a great time! The kids were entertained and super active. We drove home right from here and it was only 2 hours from the zoo to Tallahassee! This would be a perfect day trip from Tallahassee or addition to your family trip to Jacksonville. To learn more about the zoo, such as prices, maps, and special events, head to the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens website.
Also, like them on Facebook to see specials – they have a post announcing kids 3-12 are free this month!
Thank you for having us Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens!