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Three Reasons to Visit Arizona Zoos

Phoenix is blessed with two wonderful zoos (and another that is an hour drive north) and each has its own unique attractions. If you haven’t been to a zoo lately, you may be surprised to find that a zoo experience no longer consists of simply viewing animals in a cage. Still not sure? Here are 3 reasons to help you decide if a zoo is in your future.

Reason #1: The holiday lights are brightest at the Phoenix Zoo.

Every holiday season, the Phoenix Zoo sponsors ZooLights, one of the largest holiday light displays in the southwest. Over two million lights and dozens of animated light displays delight kids of all ages. The Phoenix Zoo is the granddaddy of zoos in the Valley, with over 35 acres of animals. Besides an impressive array of animals to view in their natural habitat, the zoo also has playgrounds for the younger set, a petting zoo, and hidden jungle and desert trails.

Reason #2: Feeding the birds at the Wildlife World Zoo is very “claws-on.”

Prepare to become a human perch when you feed the Lorries at the Wildlife World Zoo. Zoo visitors get to enter the cage and feed apples to these colorful, friendly birds. They’re not shy either. Fill your hands with apples and expect to have several of these clawed creatures perched on your head, shoulders and arms.

The Wildlife World Zoo is just a relatively short jaunt North on the 101, and its intimate setting makes a day at the zoo a relaxing one. When it is time to rest your feet, take a ride on the Sky Ride for a birds-eye view of the animals, or go by boat around the Australian animal exhibits.

Reason #3: Lions and Tigers at Out of Africa Wildlife Park can act like very big kittens

Lions don’t just lie around at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde. Instead, they get to play with their people during the daily tiger and lion shows. Not your usual show of tricks or trained responses, these shows demonstrate the animals’ instinctual hunting behavior, often with brave staff members or a pool toy posing as food.

Unlike other zoos, the real entertainment and educational value of Out of Africa Wildlife Park is in the animal interaction shows. Make sure you check the show schedule before going, to plan your day around the events you want to see.

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