If Florida seems like the type of place you’d like to spend your next vacation, there’s one place you must visit, Zoo Miami.
Zoo Miami, formerly known as Miami MetroZoo, is the largest zoo in all of Florida and the only one designed to be “tropical”. This zoo is home to over 3,000 animals, many of which are featured in 59 animal exhibits, broken down into sections.
Check out our helpful guide for visiting Zoo Miami packed full of ways to save on admission, tips for visiting, other nearby attractions, and much more.
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Tips for Visiting Zoo Miami
You and your family will love visiting Zoo Miami. When you enter you’ll receive a map of the zoo which you can use to plan your entire day.
There’s a lot to see and do, so here are some tips that will help you and your family make the most out of your vacation:
- Arrive at the zoo early. You may have to spend a good deal of your day at this zoo, which is why you should arrive early. That will allow you to see part of the park in the morning, stop for lunch at the Fiesta Café or Oasis Grill, and finish off the zoo in the afternoon.
- Go left. When you walk into Zoo Miami you’ll have the option of going left or right, choose left. By going left you’ll be able to make it through the entire park without missing a thing, and be able to leave the petting zoo for last (since you wouldn’t want your kids to eat after touching the animals).
- Feed the giraffes. If there is one experience you do not want your kids missing it’s this one. At Zoo Miami you’ll be able to feed a real live giraffe. These magnificent creatures love eating lettuce and often hang around long enough for a photo.
- Don’t miss out on any of the Zoo Miami exhibits. Each exhibit has a set of animals that you can see and learn about. Take your time and make sure you don’t miss any of them. This will ensure your family gets the full experience.
- Read the information about the animals. Each animal enclosure will have information about where the animals come from, their habitat, and their diet. This is a great opportunity for your kids to learn something new!
- Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll spend hours on your feet walking to Zoo Miami and to make sure you don’t end up with foot pains and blisters you should wear comfortable shoes. Don’t decide that’s the day you want to break in new shoes, that’s a bad idea! Bring shoes you’ll know will be comfortable all day long.
- Rent a Safari cycle. Safari cycles make your Zoo Miami trip even more fun. These cycles are essentially little cars where two or more people can pedal to get around the zoo. It’s a blast and provide shade from the sun.
- Plan your vacation. There are so many great attractions and fun things to do in South Florida. Make sure you plan your vacation ahead of time so that you and your family can enjoy them all!
What to Do There
Zoo Miami has two animal presentations that happen twice a day and there are six sections where you will find animal exhibits.
Here’s a little more information about the presentations and exhibit sections you’ll see at Zoo Miami:
Children’s Zoo Theatre
At this animal presentation you’ll be able to see and learn about local and exotic wildlife.
This presentation takes place at the new Sami Family Amphitheater and allows you to learn about more wildlife and meet some interesting animals.
Asian River Life
Here you’ll be able to see and learn about the clouded leopard, a monitor lizard, the small-clawed otter, and the cape hunting dog.
You’ll also get to see and learn about the Komodo dragon, the sloth, both the Bactrian and dromedary camel, and the nilgai. During designated “Meet the Zookeeper” times a zookeeper will actually come and do a presentation on various animals.
Some other animals you’ll see and learn about in the Asian River Life include the sable antelope, the spotted hyena, the pygmy hippo, the chimpanzees, the grevy’s zebras, and more.
Near the Samburu station you’ll be able to see giraffes, zebras, ostriches, African elephants, gazelle, black rhino, and the spider monkeys.
There’s also the starling aviary where they often do “Meet with the Zookeeper” presentations.
The Atlantic Forest is filled with interesting creatures such as the river otter, the giant ant eater, two-toed sloths, bats, and more.
There are “Meet the Zookeeper” presentations that take place for the river otter.
The animals you’ll find at the Flooded Forest include the Orinoco crocodile, the anaconda, the harpy eagle, and the stingray.
While you’re in the area you can stop at the village plaza to have lunch or let your kids play in the playground.
The Cloud Forest is often a big hit with the whole family. That is because there is a wide range of animal exhibits in that area, such as the howler monkey, another aviary, snakes, frogs, lizards, crane, jaguars, hogs, pigs, and giant tortoises. The jaguar exhibit has “Meet the Zookeeper” presentations as well.
At the Australian Exhibit you’ll see and learn about the singing dogs, the Matschie’s tree kangaroo, the crocodile monitor, emus, lemurs, tigers, orangutans, the Cuban crocodile, and more.
At every animal exhibit you’ll be able to learn about each of the animals and take photos of the animals in their enclosures.
Each species has a large space reserved just for them. Occasionally there are some animals that cohabitate in the wild, and therefore are placed together in large enclosures.
There is a petting zoo inside of Zoo Miami where your kids will get to see, pet, feed, and learn about cute little animals.
This is always a big hit with the younger kids!
There are plenty of other great attractions located nearby. Here are a few we suggest adding to your itinerary…
Head south of Zoo Miami to the Everglades National Park. At the Everglade Alligator Farm you can go for airboat rides, explore nature, go fishing, or even go camping. There’s really a fun activity for everyone.
Also, you can now buy digital Everglades tickets. Get immediate access to the Everglades National Park at any entrance.
If you drive a few miles North of Zoo Miami you can go to Miami Seaquarium. There you can see and learn about various fish, aquatic mammals, reptiles, and more. There are also awesome shows where the guests get completely SOAKED! Everyone knows how much kids love seeing whales and dolphins do flips, and of course splash water onto them.
Places to Eat Nearby
While you’re at Zoo Miami you can enjoy some delicious food from the Fiesta Café, the Carousel Café, or enjoy some great barbeque from the Oasis Grill. This is especially great if you’re going to spend all day at the zoo and don’t want to leave the park to find a restaurant.
If you prefer to eat somewhere else you may want to head over to the Ruby Tuesdays down the road. They have a great family-friendly atmosphere and food. And of course, you can’t forget delicious milk shakes!
Need to Know
- Weekdays: 10:00 am-5:00 pm, ticket booths close at 3:30 pm
- Weekends: 9:30 am-5:30 pm, ticket booths close at 4:00pm
- Thanksgiving: 9:30 am-3:30 pm, ticket booths close at 2:00 pm
- Christmas: 12:00 pm-5:30 pm, ticket booths close at 4:00 pm
Directions & Address
1 Zoo Boulevard
12400 SW 152 Street
Miami, FL 33177
Driving: From Miami, take 395 West (MacArthur Causeway) to the 836 West. Pass the Miami International Airport. 836 West dead-ends into the Florida Turnpike. Turn left and continue south to Exit 16. Make a right off the exit and then make another right at 152 Street. You will then be going west on SW 152 Street. The Zoo is on your left.
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