Florida is packed with many great attractions. With a budding veterinarian living in my house I am surprised we haven’t visited Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo yet. I guess it’s good we waited though because they have opened an exciting new section of the park!
On May 11, 2002 Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo introduced Wallaroo Station, a 4.5 acre Australian-themed family area, where thousands of families with young children have enjoyed an interactive Australian adventure. The hands-on, family-friendly features helped the Zoo secure top honors from two national parenting magazines: Parents, “10 Best Zoos,” (2009); and Child, “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids” (2004).
Earlier this year, Wallaroo Station temporarily closed for remodeling – the first significant updating of this award-winning attraction in its 13 year history. Newly re-opened for spring, guests to the “new Wallaroo” can expect this Aussie area to be even more “Auss-ome” with new animals and upgraded amenities, including:
- a female Queensland koala named “Ceduna” (a mate for our male “Heathcliff”);
- “Bushland Birds” habitat with feathered friends and Fiji-banded iguanas;
- more water features in “The Billabong” splash ground;
- redesigned cafe with “grab and go” food and beverage;
- expanded dining area with additional seats and shade canopies;
- a new nursing mothers area with baby-friendly features;
- a new and fun ride for young children – Lil’ Joeys Caravan;
- new midway games and activities;
- ponies on parade (twice daily) and a goat show; and
- livestock training demonstrations with ponies and llamas.
Take a trip to the “Land of Oz” and visit a variety of animals of Australia and its neighbors including koala, wallabies, cockatoos, emu, singing dogs and flying fox bats. Help welcome the newest Aussie additions – a female Queensland koala named “Ceduna,” colorful birds and Fiji-banded iguanas, and take a walkabout with the wallabies in their walk-thru exhibit. The petting area features a herd of friendly goats that children can brush, pet and feed. Adjacent to the petting area, families can step into a barn that houses Haflinger horses and llamas. Don’t miss the new daily pony parade, goat show and livestock training demonstrations!
The newly upgraded “Billabong” water play area takes kids “down under” to an interactive splash zone with in-ground fountains and free standing water features. Try your hand at new midway games with the chance to win prizes and souvenirs, or go mining for gems and fossils at the new Hopper’s Mining Company.
Children can take a spin on one of five fun rides: the NEW Lil Joey’s Caravan, Tasmanian Tiger Family Roller Coaster, Overland Express Kiddie Train, Boomer’s Flyin’ Bananas and Outback Bumper Boats.
Parents can enjoy added shade while their little joeys cool off in the water play area. Next door is Boomer’s Cafe, a redesigned grab-and-go restaurant offering a variety of freshly prepared foods and drinks. A “mommy center,” designed for nursing mothers, provides shade and privacy for infants and caregivers.
About Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is operated by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and has been rated No. 1 by Parents magazine, “10 Best Zoos,” (2009) and Child magazine, “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids” (2004). The Zoo is located at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and is open seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is free. Visit www.LowryParkZoo.org or call (813) 935-8552 for information. Also find the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter.
Enjoy the Savings!
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo has offered to give my readers $3 off Zoo Admission!