If you are looking for a fun way to spend the day with your kids this summer, you can’t beat a trip out to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium. The 75-acre zoo and aquarium features more than 600 species and has some of the wildest animals and coolest birds that you have ever seen. Traveling from the Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites, it will take you about 40 minutes to arrive at 16501 W. Northern Avenue in Litchfield Park.
The easy drive is well worth it because once you get there you will have the chance to feed a giraffe, pet a baby goat and look into the eyes of a mighty lion. The Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium is open seven days a week and 365 days a year. Zoo exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the aquarium is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
As of June 10, 2014, admission to both the zoo and aquarium runs $32.00 per day for adults. Children between 3 and 12 are charged $15.25 and kids under 3 are free. Your admission allows you to see all of the exhibits and daily shows. If you want to go on any of the rides, there is a small additional fee.
One of the most popular sections of the Wildlife World Zoo is the just-opened Safari Park. You can roam around the 15 acres on foot, or if you like, you can board the African Safari Train ($4.00 per passenger) for a relaxing view of the antelope, ostriches and other wildlife. Either way, you will get to see African Lions, Spotted Hyenas, Gazelles, Spider Monkeys, Olive Baboons and much more. Look up in the air, in the trees, and along the ground to see the vast array of beautiful birds. Maybe you will spot An African Parrot or Macaw? You can’t miss the long-legged Ostriches.
Your kids will love visiting the Baby Animal Nursery where they can interact with baby goats, chickens, deer, and other very gentle animals. Watch the smile on your daughter’s face as she hand-feeds a baby animal its morning snack.
Step into Dragon World and meet the only saltwater crocodile in the entire state of Arizona. “Jaws” is not a great white shark, but his bite is just as deadly. Keep your distance as this 10-foot-long, and still growing crocodile flashes his razor sharp teeth in your direction. Once you’ve said hello to “Jaws,” look around and check-out the Burmese Python, White Alligator, Florida Snapping Turtle and all of the other amazing animals.
Enjoy the rides. Young kids can select their favorite animal for a ride on the carousel. Get a bird’s eye view of the zoo aboard the Skyride or take an Australian Boat Ride where you can see kangaroos, emus and a rare albino wallaby.
The Aquarium is a series of three buildings. Building A illustrates the diversity of life in water with everything from upside down jelly fish and horseshoe crabs to star fish and sea bass. Building B has some interesting sea creatures including sea lions, barracudas and electric eels. Over in building C, you’ll be able to get a look at predators like the Black Tip Reef Shark, White Albino Alligator and man-eating piranha. Top off your aquarium experience on the Log Flume ride that takes you through the longest acrylic tunnel in Arizona, past the different aquatic animals, and down a three-story drop until the ride ends with a big splash!
Families staying with us at the Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites can enjoy a wonderful summertime adventure at the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium. In between viewing the exhibits and going on the rides, you can have a great barbecue lunch at Dillon’s Restaurant or get some hot dogs, pizza, snacks and cold drinks at the Congo Cooker. While there are shady places where you can sit down and rest, you’ll probably be doing a lot of walking. Wear loose and light clothing and comfortable shoes. Enjoy the moment!
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