If your kid loves animals, they’ll be excited to check out these amazing Zoos! They play an important role in conservation and research. The idea is to visit your local zoo or aquarium and learn how you can do your part in protecting animals. But where can you go?

Austin has a lot of things going for it, but a world-class zoo isn’t one of them. We’ve got a rescue zoo but nothing accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Even the Bear Habitat at Baylor University is accredited!

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Fortunately, there are several options all within driving distance. Whether you want to make a short day trip or stay overnight, here are 5 zoos worth the drive!


Cameron Park Zoo

The Cameron Park Zoo in Waco is very cool, especially since Waco isn’t a big city! It has a great orangutan enclosure, where the orangutans climb and swing all over the walls, and a cute otter exhibit where kids can go down a glass slide through their swimming pool. There’s also a playground area with a small splash pad in case walking around didn’t burn enough energy.

San Antonio

San Antonio Zoo

The San Antonio Zoo also makes for a fun day. They’ve got big cats, bears, rhinos, and even a kangaroo experience you can pay to interact with the kangaroos! Just outside the zoo is “America’s Oldest Children’s Amusement Park” — let your kids ride fun carnival rides at Kiddie Park.


Houston Zoo

Houston Zoo checks all the boxes for what makes a good zoo visit! You can see all kinds of primates, different types of elephants, giraffes, big cats, and more, and then head to the petting zoo and children’s zoo to get every bit of energy out!

Dallas/Fort Worth

Dallas Zoo

The oldest and largest in Texas, Dallas Zoo is a fun, easy visit if you’re in North Texas. The gorilla habitat is one of our favorite stops — you’ll often find one napping right by the glass so you can feel like you’re right next to them. The hippo pool is another highlight where you can see the big guys above and below the surface.

Fort Worth Zoo

Ask anyone from DFW, and they’ll tell you that the Fort Worth Zoo is the best of the best. Something about the layout and grounds just feels right! They’ve got all the heavy hitters: elephants, gorillas, penguins, giraffes, rhinos, bears, and more, and restaurants in all the right places!



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