Whether you’re getting younger or older, it’s time to take a walk on the wild side at the Palm Beach Zoo. Okay, it’s almost summer and it’s 110 degrees in the shade. But it’s well worth the excursion and it’s very comfortable, as well as exciting, to walk around when you arrive.
The Palm Beach Zoo is only about 20 minutes by car from Boca Raton, and most of the walking areas are shaded. You’ll wander through occasional sunlight, but after all, this is Florida. That scintillating sun is why we came here in the first place.
I strongly recommend that you arrive early in the day. Why? Because feedings typically occur between 9 AM and 10 AM. As a result, the animals are much more alert.
(Reminds me of myself: I’m much more lively after I’ve had breakfast)
For those who prefer a later start, there are also evening feedings, along with nighttime activities for the whole family that through the 9 PM closing time.
About the Palm Beach Zoo
There are over 700 animals on the 23 acre zoo. Among the many attractions are Florida Pioneer Trail, Lizard House, Koala Forest and Wallaby Station, the Henry and Charlotte Kimelman Tiger Falls, the Harriet W. and George D. Cornell Tropics of the Americas exhibit, and the West Side exhibit.
A Quick History
The park had very humble beginnings. Paul Dreher, Parks Director for the city of West Pam Beach, developed a botanical garden in the 1950’s. He then decided to add a petting zoo for the children. He used his own money to fund a small menagerie that featured 2 ducks, some chickens, a goose and a goat.
In 1971 the zoo expanded to its current size and continued to add to its animal collection. By this time the Zoological Society of Palm Beaches had assumed responsibility for operations. Through the years the zoo has added animals from all over the world to its attractions have continued to expand..
With the last major redevelopment, the zoo installed an Interactive Fountain and Orientation Plaza. Guests visiting the zoo can splash in a 54 foot circular walk. It features a fountain whose 325 nozzles launch jets of water more than 50 feet high. For all children and most of the adults I know, the fountain is the highlight of the zoo visit on a hot day.
In addition, the fountain is the lively landmark at the central point of all the walkways that lead to certain animal exhibits, making the zoo easy to navigate.
The zoo also hosts a variety of family friendly events. One of the most popular events during the summer is Safari Nights. It takes place from 4:15-9PM June through August. Every Friday night (June to August) there is a Theme event in addition to roving animal encounters, live music and face painting, to name a few.
It is definitely worth your time to visit our local zoo.
Entry to the Palm Beach Zoo
While the price for the zoo entry isn’t inexpensive ($19.50 for adults and $14.50 for kids), the memberships are reasonable for families. Alternatively, the zoo is participating in a program for the summer called South Florida Adventure Pass. The pass holders will have unlimited admission to not only the Palm Beach Zoo but an additional 6 attractions in the metro area between May 15th and September 30th. The pass costs $50 for adults and $40 for kids (3-12).
1301 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33405
The Palm Beach Zoo is located off of Summit Boulevard (just north of Forest Hill on the east side of I95) in West Palm Beach.
Hours of Operation 9AM to 5PM
New Harbor Realty