I’m a native to Dallas and have been to this zoo multiple times, although not as often in the last 10 years. In October 2012 we went for my daughter’s 2nd birthday and experienced all of the upgrades and renovations they've done for the first time. The upgraded Wilds of Africa Exhibit was very impressive. The elephant exhibit is large and natural feeling, and the giraffe enclosure is sunken so you are above or on level with their heads. The platform was manned by a zoo staff member and it looked as though children were able to feed the giraffes? Unfortunately it was a little crowded that day (beautiful weather!) and we weren’t able to get close enough to see. The lions have several viewing bays, one of which is in an air conditioned restaurant with decent zoo fare. We had lunch there on the patio over looking the elephants. Lots of umbrellas stationed around the patio, so even eating out in the sun wasn't too bad. The Gorilla Trail is nicely shaded and has a few spots that you can view the animals from in air conditioned indoor area with couches and looping video information, and the aviary was beautiful. We spent the majority of the day on that side. Pay attention to the times listed on the website and you can catch zoo staff members giving lectures at the enclosures about the individual animals. The Zoo North area is the original side of the zoo, and renovations there have definitely improved the closed off and sad zoo I remember from my youth. We didn’t even make it to the majority of this side, although we made a point to go to the new children’s area. That alone was worth the trip as my daughter loved playing around the stream, and play equipment. It was shaded and a nice place to hang out. A free petting area with goats and a small working barn area with horses and ponies rounded out the children’s section nicely. There was a small aviary there that cost an additional amount that we didn't see, but might next time. We did partake in the SOAR bird show, which was very cute and definitely a must for any aged kid who loves birds. A little cheesy but even as adults we enjoyed it thoroughly, which again, was in the shade! (A VERY important detail in Texas heat!) We’ll need to go back as we didn’t get to the other half of the zoo due to a very tired 2 year old, but overall a brilliant day at a really nicely improved zoo!
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