Zoo Tampa At Lowry Park

Zoo Tampa At Lowry Park

Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park is a fantastic zoo and is a great place to take kids. We like that the zoo is designed in a way that minimizes walking, which helps little ones keep up their energy (and parents too). The contoured paths and wrap arounds seem like you’re constantly taking in new sites instead of needlessly treading space. They also have a nice selection of kiddy rides that are good for those under six years old. Food was also easy to find, including a Krispy Kreme kiosk that we hit up. Overall it was clean, and seating was easy to find.

The exhibit list is decent but not as expansive as others. You may see some animals here you’ve not seen elsewhere. Like the Florida Aquarium, it has a section dedicated to animals that live locally. Of course, there are alligators, but there’s also a rare Florida Panther and Key Deer in this section. There’s not an expansive aquarium which would round out the Florida nature experience, but we’ve noticed zoos skip these when there’s a free standing one in the region. You will find manatees and a stingray petting area, the latter of the two was free to do.

“Wallaroo”, which is the Zoo’s Australian section, is the most kid friendly with a petting zoo and rides. You can also see the bats (my son’s favorite) and a koala. They’re building a sizeable play area that will open next year that kids will surely love. My 5-year-old son was begging to play on it but it was cordoned off.

“Africa” has a good selection of plains animals, with a White Rhino and two kinds of zebras. There’s a Pygmy Hippo as well, which I have never seen before. They had a safari tram called “Expedition Africa”, but you can’t take babies on that ride so we skipped it. There was a very large dining hall called “Savanna Oasis” that was cavernous and surprisingly empty. If we had known about it we might have eaten lunch there instead. This would be a good option when it’s hot outside.

To round it out, “Asia” and “Primates” are two other sections of the park and are worth visiting. As they are nestled next to each other you can see a lot of animals quick. Primates has a great Orangutan exhibit. Asia had an Indian Gharial crocodile, which is a new one for me.

One noteworthy takeaway about ZooTampa is the quantity of aviaries. I’ve not seen this many in a zoo of this size. If you’re not comfortable with birds flying around you won’t enjoy it. One observation I made is that the grounds are exceptionally lush with faunaAlso because of the long growing season in Floriday, you’ll see many plants that are mature. Our Cincinnati Zoo is also a botanical garden but because of the winter many of the plants are smaller and kept in a greenhouse during the colder months.

Getting to the zoo was easy as it’s right off the expressway. You should note that I-4 outside of Tampa gets rush hour, so I’d suggest stopping down in Ybor City for dinner when you leave.