Let’s Plan a Perfect Trip to the Zoo

by Kelsey Burr
Naples Zoo Marketing Associate

If you’re looking for a great family activity this summer, look no farther than Naples Zoo! There’s so much to see and learn – enough for an entire day’s worth of fun. We’ve planned out a perfect day at the Zoo for you:

9:00 a.m. – Arrive at the Zoo. It’s always best to get to the Zoo bright and early. The weather is not as hot and it’s less likely to rain! It also gives you time to see everything we have to offer.

9:30 a.m. – Your first stop should be the anteater exhibit for the “Meet the Keeper” talk. A zookeeper will be at the exhibit to teach you about anteaters and answer any questions you have.

10:00 a.m. – Next stop: back up to the front of the Zoo for the Reptile Rendezvous show in Safari Canyon! In this show, you’ll see reptiles that aren’t out on exhibit and you’ll learn why reptiles are not only cool, but necessary for the environment! Try to be there a few minutes before 10 so you can get a good seat.

10:45 a.m. – After the show, walk down the left path of the Zoo to get to the Florida panther exhibit by 10:45 am for the “Meet the Keeper” talk sponsored by Seminole Casino Hotel. You’ll meet a zookeeper who cares for our famous resident, Uno, and our rising star, Athena. Both panthers have incredible rescue stories.

11:15 a.m. – Head back up to the front of the Zoo for the Seated Safari presentation in Safari Canyon, sponsored
by Naples Daily News. The Seated Safari is a chance for you to see animals that aren’t on exhibit, like a serval, owl, and skunk. It also gives you and your family a chance to sit in the shade and relax for about 25 minutes!

12:00 p.m. – After the show, head to the Primate Expedition Cruise, a favorite attraction for our guests brought to you by the Florida Everblades! You’ll board a boat for a 15 to 20 minute cruise around islands of primates. You’ll see monkeys, lemurs, and apes! The boat captain will narrate your tour with interesting facts about the different species you see.

12:30 p.m. – After getting off the cruise, turn left for a short walk to the zebra exhibit. A zookeeper will be there
at 12:30 for the zebra “Meet the Keeper” talk.

12:45-1:15 p.m. – Time for lunch! You are welcome to bring your own coolers and food into the Zoo. You can also purchase food from Wynn’s on-site. A great spot to eat is at the picnic tables around the Wynn’s Jungle Café, where you can overlook Lake Victoria, or at the picnic tables next to the honey badger exhibit.

1:15 p.m. – After lunch, walk down to the giraffe exhibit to feed the giraffes! If you ate at Wynn’s Jungle Café, you’re already right there! It costs just $5 for the unforgettable experience of feeding a giraffe and seeing the animal up close. (Cash only) It’s a great opportunity for photos!

1:45 p.m. – After you feed the giraffes, head to the black bear exhibit for the next “Meet the Keeper” talk. You’ll learn everything you’ve wanted to know about black bears and how to live with them in the community.

2:30 p.m. – The next Seated Safari show kicks off at 2:30 p.m. It is a different show than the one in the morning, so you would see different animals! Or if you’d like, you can use this time to walk around the Zoo and see the exhibits you haven’t seen yet.

3:30 p.m. – To end your day on an exciting note, make sure to watch the Alligator Bay Feeding, sponsored by Gator Country 101.9! The reptile zookeepers will go onto the beach to hand-feed the gators and show you how they’re trained. The keepers will also teach you important facts about living with alligators and how they’re a
conservation success story.

With all these activities, it’s sure to be a fun and engaging time for your family. Make sure to bring your own reusable water bottle to hydrate as you walk around the Zoo, as well as snacks. Here’s another tip: if you plan to visit the Zoo more than once this summer, consider becoming a Naples Zoo Member! Your membership gets
you into the Zoo all year long to explore! You also get discounts for Wynn’s Café, the gift shop, and education programs. Learn more at napleszoo.org/member.

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