Happy National Zoo Day! Today we’re celebrating the wonderful creatures and habitats found in zoos near our communities and spreading the word about special discounts for seniors at these attractions. Whether you live near a zoo or you’re planning a special visit with your grandkids, we’ve got the scoop on where to go and deals that can enhance your zoo experience.
Bradenton is home to two wonderful zoos: Sarasota Jungle Gardens and Myakka Elephant Ranch. Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a beautiful 10-acre tropical landscape and wildlife sanctuary that features over 200 native and exotic animals including tropical birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians. The gardens are also home to several endangered species like the Florida panther and West Indian manatee. With its lush vegetation and diverse array of animals, the gardens offer visitors an unforgettable experience.
Myakka Elephant Ranch is another favorite destination for animal lovers in Bradenton. This unique facility offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with elephant herds from around the world. Visitors can feed and touch these gentle giants while learning about their habits and habitats from knowledgeable guides. In addition to interacting with elephants, visitors can also explore the ranch’s other wildlife exhibits featuring camels, zebras, monkeys, birds of prey, tortoises, alligators, and more.
While neither zoo offers discounted admission for seniors, your grandchildren under the age of 3 visit for free at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens! Be sure to call either attraction and inquire about potential holiday, group or veterans discounts when planning your visit.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34234
Myakka Elephant Ranch
4450 Verna Bethany Rd, Myakka City, FL 34251
St. Petersburg is home to two incredible zoos, ZooTampa at Lowry Park and the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center. Both offer a variety of habitats and creatures that can be enjoyed by all ages.
ZooTampa offers visitors a unique experience with its exciting exhibits featuring over 1,000 animals from around the world. Its expansive grounds are filled with lush gardens, exotic wildlife and interactive activities for everyone to enjoy. Emphasizing endangered, threatened and vulnerable species from climates similar to the Tampa Bay Region, the Zoo features African elephants and penguins, a Malayan tiger and Komodo dragons, American alligators and bald eagles and many more. ZooTampa also has daily programs such as keeper talks, animal encounters and behind-the-scenes tours that provide insight into animal care and conservation efforts at the zoo.
The Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center is a great place to explore nature up close and personal! The center is home to over 250 animals including alligators, lizards, small mammals, amphibians, turtles and tortoises and fresh and saltwater marine life. Learn about the natural history, importance of, and ways in which we can coexist with the rich diversity of wildlife in the world, as well as preventing and reducing human-wildlife conflicts.
For seniors visiting either ZooTampa or the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center there are special discounts available on admission fees to make it easier to enjoy these wonderful attractions without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for an affordable way to experience nature’s beauty this National Zoo Day, take advantage of $2 off the price of a single day admission ticket to ZooTampa and $4 off the price of a general admission ticket to the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center. Can’t visit the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center in person? Take a virtual tour: https://storage.net-fs.com/hosting/3487339/86/
ZooTampa at Lowry Park
1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center
12973 Village Blvd A-D John’s Pass Village, Madeira Beach, FL
Orlando and Central Florida
When it comes to visiting zoos and wildlife parks in the Orlando area, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens and Gatorland are two of the best. The Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is located in Sanford, just outside of Orlando. Here visitors can explore a range of habitats, from tropical rainforest to wetlands and savannas, and get up close with over 350 animals representing over 100 species, from small scorpions to graceful giraffes, and even the endangered Indian rhino. In addition to its animal exhibits, the zoo offers educational programs, daily activities and special events throughout the year.
Gatorland is also a must-see for zoo goers in Orlando. Established in 1949 as a roadside attraction, this 110-acre park celebrates all things gator. Here you can witness the famous “Gator Jumparoo” show during which alligators jump for lunch; observe wild gators from boardwalks; or take part in an up-close encounter with one of these powerful reptiles. Gatorland also features aviaries full of stunning birds and other animals such as snakes and tortoises that guests can view at their leisure.
Seniors don’t have to miss out on enjoying these wonderful attractions either! Both Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens and Gatorland offer discounts on admission fees specifically for seniors. Adults older than 55 save $4 off the price of admission at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, and seniors aged 60 and above save $5 off adult admissions to Gatorland.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771
14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, Florida 32837
Jacksonville and St. Augustine
For those in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas, there are two more great attractions to visit on National Zoo Day. The first is the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, which offers more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 varieties of plants. The zoo is one of only seven zoos in the country with an animal wellness team, helping provide the very best care to animals, and the Manatee Critical Care Center is one of seven that rescues and rehabilitates Florida’s manatees.
The other zoo in the area is the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. This family-friendly attraction features a variety of reptiles and animal encounters that will excite kids of all ages. See albino alligators, birds of Africa, exotic birds and mammals, Florida native reptiles and more, plus fossils of the ancient predecessors to these animals. Not only is this a great way to explore some amazing creatures up close but it’s also an opportunity to learn more about conservation efforts being done at local zoos and wildlife sanctuaries across Florida.
No matter what part of Florida you live in or plan to visit this National Zoo Day, there’s sure to be an exciting exhibit or program nearby that everyone can enjoy at discounted rates for seniors! Adults aged 65 and older enjoy a 10% discount on memberships to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and 10% off general admission to St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
370 Zoo Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32218
St. Augustine Alligator Farm
999 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080
In Tallahassee, enjoy a visit to the North Florida Wildlife Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation through public educational outreach, propagation of rare and endangered species, and habitat restoration efforts. Established in 2019, the North Florida Wildlife Center is a top attraction in North Florida, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about the environment and become involved in local conservation initiatives. Animal residents include lemurs, sloths, anteaters, red kangaroos, bats, hedgehogs, owls, buzzards, turtles, frogs and many more. Due to construction, the center doesn’t offer self-guided tours, but seniors enjoy a $5 discount on guided tours.
North Florida Wildlife Center
1386 Cook Road, Lamont, FL 32336
Go out and explore!
There are plenty of options for seniors to explore the wonders of the animal kingdom on National Zoo Day. Whether you decide to visit one of Florida’s many zoos, wildlife parks, or animal sanctuaries, you are sure to have a memorable experience filled with fascinating creatures, breathtaking habitats and educational opportunities. Take advantage of special discounts for seniors available at many of these attractions, making it easier to explore nature with family without breaking the bank.