Family & Pets

A Guide To Zoo Miami

March 14, 2014 8:00 AM

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Zoo Miami  (Source: www.miamimetrozoo.com)

Zoo Miami (Source: http://www.miamimetrozoo.com)

img 4953 A Guide To Zoo Miami

(Source: Niema Hulin)

Zoo Miami

12400 S.W. 152nd St.
Miami, FL 33177
(305) 251-0400
www.miamimetrozoo.com

Zoo Miami is one of the leading family attractions in Miami and at just under $16 per adult and under $12 for children, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to entertain your brood. The zoo itself has been in existence since 1948 when it was called the Crandon Park Zoo. Since then, it has relocated from Crandon Park to South Miami and changed its name twice from the Miami Metro Zoo to Zoo Miami. So whether you’re a lifelong visitor to the zoo or you’re new to the area, here is a guide of how to get best experience out of Zoo Miami.

img 4991 A Guide To Zoo Miami

(Source: Niema Hulin)

Africa, Asia, Australia and the Amazon

Zoo Miami breaks down into four distinct regions: Africa, Asia, Australia and Amazon and Beyond. Each showcases animals migrated from their respective parts of the world. Zoo Miami is a four-mile trek, so only go to Amazon and Beyond and then either Africa or Asia if the hike is too long. Some of the animals, like the apes, elephants and rhinos, are located in both Africa and Asia and the leopard and the jaguar are similar enough that you can choose to view either one. If you want to see lions, tigers and bears, go to Asia. If you want to feed giraffes, go to Africa. You can skip Australia altogether because aside from a few koalas and kangaroos, it’s really quite small.

img 4978 A Guide To Zoo Miami

(Source: Niema Hulin)

Children’s Zoo

Zoo Miami is basically a children’s paradise and there are very few people who visit without young children. Make sure to take your child to the Children’s Zoo located in Asia. They can ride the theme park-style Wildlife Carousel and feed the animals at the Wacky Barn, but the main attraction is Humpy’s Camel Ride. For five additional dollars, up to three people (children or adults) can ride a camel around a short trail. For the experience, it’s well worth the money and something you should not miss.

Related: A Guide To The San Diego Zoo

157162191 A Guide To Zoo Miami

(Source: Goldcoast railroad official website)

Monorail/Tram Tour

Zoo Miami has many different modes of transportation around the zoo, but the best bang for your buck is to either take the monorail or the tram. It’s really just a matter of preference. The monorail costs $3 per person for an all-day ride, it’s air conditioned and gives you an ariel view of the park. Conversely, the tram is $5.50 per person and you get an up-close and personal 45-minute, narrated tour of the park. However, there is no air conditioning, so again, this is a matter of preference.

gold coast railroad A Guide To Zoo Miami

(Source:Gold Coast Railroad Museum)

Gold Coast Railroad Museum

7063 S.W. 46th St.
Miami, FL 33155
(305) 669-8719
www.gcrm.org

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is located adjacent to Zoo Miami, so depending on your family’s level of energy, you could see both attractions in one day. The best bet is to visit the museum the first Saturday of the month when admission is completely free. There is no charge for parking at both Zoo Miami and the museum so this is an inexpensive way to educate and entertain your family. The museum itself is 56 years old and features a collection of real trains. For an additional $6 to $12, patrons can ride the children’s link train, the much larger caboose locomotive or the the engineer cab, standard gauge diesel-electric locomotive and add a train ride to a day full of amazing experiences.

The Gold Coast Railroad Museum is located adjacent to Zoo Miami, so depending on your family’s level of energy, you could see both attractions in one day. The best bet is to visit the museum the first Saturday of the month when admission is completely free. There is no charge for parking at both Zoo Miami and the museum so this is an inexpensive way to educate and entertain your family. The museum itself is 56 years old and features a collection of real trains. For an additional $6 to $12, patrons can ride the children’s link train, the much larger caboose locomotive or the the engineer cab, standard gauge diesel-electric locomotive and add a train ride to a day full of amazing experiences.

mamma mia food A Guide To Zoo Miami

(Source: Mamma Mia website)

Mama Mia Pizzeria

13755 S.W. 152 St.
Miami, FL 33177
(305) 235-9545
www.mamamiapizzaonline.com

Food is an important part of any family outing, but unfortunately, Zoo Miami does not allow outside food or beverages. So that leaves your family stuck with the option of either buying the food inside the park or eating outside. To walk around the entire zoo with all the attractions is four miles total, so your family is going to need a heavy meal both before and after your visit, however it’s not recommended that you purchase anything inside the park other than snacks. It’s $2.50 for a bottle of water, $3 for soda and $5 and up for a meal per person. Instead, enjoy a large meal at home, explore the park and maybe purchase some snacks and then eat at Mama Mia Pizzeria after you’re done. It’s 2.9 miles away from the zoo, specializes in Italian food and pizza and is guaranteed to please your children because there isn’t a child alive who doesn’t love pizza.

Related: Best Railroad Experiences Around South Florida For Kids

Niema Hulin was born in Newark, NJ but raised in Lexington, South Carolina for the bulk of her formative years. In 2002, she moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida. Since then, Niema has worked in film, television and commercials as a Production Assistant and Production Coordinator. Some of her films have included Bad Boys II and I Am Number IV. Her work can be found at Examiner.com

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