We went to the Brevard Zoo today because it was too chilly to go to the beach! Our three kids, ages 12, 10 & 6 enjoyed the zoo quite a bit. They loved the aviary - feeding the lorikeets was a special treat, as they landed on us, drinking fruit nectar from the little cups we purchased for $1.00 each. We also purchased a "seed stick" for $1.00 to feed the cockateels. (Our 6-year-old daughter enjoyed this more than her brothers, who preferred the more colorful and vocal lorikeets.)
The paths through the zoo are a series of boardwalks that meander through dense foliage. Very nice, and shaded, so the sun is bearable. Various animals are situated in large cages on either side of the boardwalk, and the zoo is divided into sections by geography/habitat. The cheetahs, wolves, jaguar, and marmosets were the favorites of my family.
Kayaking was closed in the Florida section when we were there, but the Africa section kayak station was open, but we didn't have time to partake.
The best part of the zoo, in my opinion, is new the Paws on Play section. My kids loved it, and so did we parents! There is a section with shallow pools for water play, with various ways to get sprayed, an aquarium full of beautiful local species of fish and rays, a tank of sea creatures that you can hold (with assistance from a zookeeper), and - our favorite - the petting area. Friendly alpacas and goats let you touch them to your hearts content. A monitor lizard creeps about, and there are 4 or 5 armadillos are corralled separate area in the center that you can enter at designated times. This was my favorite part of the day. What amazing and friendly creatures!
We were disappointed that the giraffes weren't at the observation deck for us to feed. We purchased the special crackers ($2), and waited 30 minutes, but they never showed up. The keeper told us they were hiding behind a grove of trees and would show up eventually. When they didn't, we returned the crackers.
There were a few things about the zoo that I didn't care for. 1) The price. It cost almost $60 for our family of 5 to enter the zoo. This is a very small zoo, and I feel the price was a bit steep for a family. A family discount would have made it more palatable. We didn't do the kayaking, because it would have cost us another $30 ($6.00 each). 2) The noise from the highway. Route 95 is adjacent to the zoo, and the woosh of the cars and rumbling of truck engines is ever present. This really ruined the atmosphere for my husband and me, and the kids commented on it, as well. I know they can't do anything about this, but it definitely took away from our enjoyment of the park.
All in all, it was a nice way to spend a few hours, though I can't say we'd ever go back again.
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