If you are on the Space Coast to visit the Kennedy Space Center or Cocoa Beach, don't hesitate to visit the Brevard Zoo. They are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. I'm local so I have visited many times.
This small zoo, founded by volunteer donations and help, is fun for all ages. There are many interactive features. For young families, there is a family activity area, Paws On which includes: a toddler wading area with a nearby shaded snack bar, an animal petting area, jungle gym climbing features, and an indoor, air conditioned "detective agency with hands-on activities, like a sand digging area and small reptile and animal displays. For the young and adventurous, there is a tree-top trek, aerial adventures. Many people like this sort of zip line activity. I'll be honest and say due to fear of heights I bypassed this same activity when my family did it in Mexico. But it is a popular feature at the Brevard Zoo.
If you are a family with older children, or even just a couple or group of friends, there are other areas of the zoo that are fun. To see some parts of the Africa displays you will want to take an easy half hour kyack trip on a small stream and/or take the narrated train ride. These both give you views of some animals you don't see from the Africa platform, such as lemurs. From the Africa platform you can feed giraffes or for extra, be up close with rhinos. There is a new exhibit, which I have not seen in Africa section, of meerkats.
The Australasia area has a free flight aviary where people can feed certain colorful birds that will land on you. Don't think about the movie, "The Birds." I read somewhere that they put peanut butter on people to get the crows to land. At the zoo you just hold a cup of juice, which does cost a small fee, and the birds come to visit. They are not pet birds, but do like the juice.
The South American and Florida sections are also interesting. You can compare alligators to crocodiles in the Florida section. You can also sometimes rent a paddleboat at the end of the Florida boardwalk.
The zoo has a decent cafe, with mostly sandwiches, such as hot dogs, burgers with varied choice of toppings, chicken tenders, homemade chips or fries. There are some healthy choices such as a sort of veggie burger and grilled chicken sandwich. There is also ice cream, popcorn, and on occasion cotton candy and other deep fried treats. There is a choice of drinks, including beer. Just note that due to safety for animals or some reason, there are no lids for cups or straws. You may not be able to carry your drink into some exhibit areas.
It is a good idea to check the local paper or their website if you are planning visiting, sometimes there are special events going on that you may want to take part in. At halloween time they have trick or treating for kids. There are lectures series and other evening events on occasion.
You can pay for tickets up front for some of the activities like feeding the birds, kayacking or the train. Some of the special activities only take cash, not credit cards.
All in all, if you are in the area, the zoo is worth visiting if you enjoy animals, and want to pass a few pleasant hours. A few words of caution: in case of inclement weather or extreme heat, there are not many indoor areas to retreat to, only the shop and the small animal display area in the Paws on have AC or shelter. The eating areas are all outdoors, too. Since I am an avid museum goer, the one thing at the zoo I wish they had more of were labels for the animal exhibits. There are many staff and volunteers to answer questions, but I still like to read a bit,too.
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