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Florida Zoos and Petting Farms
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Florida Zoo Accredition
Florida zoos and petting farms in Florida are regulated by the State of Florida. Major zoos are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.) AZA accreditation recognizes institutions that meet the highest professional standards for animal welfare, scientific education, and staff training.
Zoo Regulation by The Federal Animal Welfare Act
Animal exhibits open to the public must be licensed whether they are owned by states, counties, or other local governments; corporations; foundations; or private individuals. Furthermore, petting zoos with regulated animals must be licensed and are subject to regulations within the Animal Welfare Act that protect animals and the public.
Individual Petting Zoos and Farms
All independently operated for profit zoos are regulated by the State of Florida regarding the health and wellbeing of their animals. These include Bush Gardens, Gatorland, Parrot Jungle, and Lion Country Safari.
Aquariums in Florida
The Miami Seaquarium, Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, Key West Aquarium, Discovery Cove and Sea World in Orlando, Tampa's ZooQuarium in Tampa, Tarpon Springs Aquarium, St. Augustine Aquarium, Gulf World Marine Park at Panama City Beach, FL and the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Destin, FL.
Florida Zooquarium in Tampa
Meet Florida marine life in natural habitats including a coral reef inhabited by tropical fish and a wetlands trail featuring playful otters and wading alligators. Or take a dolphin cruise to see these entertaining mammals playing in the Gulf of Mexico.
While in Tampa be sure to visit the world famous Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park. Zoo Tampa is a quality zoo that is just the right size for everyone.
A new aquarium featuring native Florida aquatic life such as manatees, dolphins, and native fish is planned for Port Canaveral on the Space Coast of Florida. The outdoor areas include water walkways and even water play areas for youngsters.
Best Florida Zoos
Several Florida zoos rank among the top zoos in the nation. Additionally, all have quality petting zoos that provide a fun and educational experience for all kids. The top Florida zoos are accredited by the American Zoological Society and as is indicated on their respective websites. It is hard to say which Florida zoo is best since each offers a distinct environment. For example, Zoo Miami is the largest zoo in Florida, while on the Space Coast the Brevard Zoo is a must see. Notably, this zoo offers a more intimate experience that includes a giraffe feeding station, a hippo canoe adventure, and tree top zip lines.
A visit to a Florida zoo will introduce your children to animals and they will benefit from being able to interact with the animals. Kids love to see and touch the baby animals.
Petting Zoos in Florida
Let your children experience hands-on contact with tame animals such as dwarf goats, llamas, mini horses, calves, rabbits, chickens, and other docile animals at the Jacksonville Zoo. In Orlando, visit the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens featuring educational programs for kids. The Disney World Petting Zoo at Animal Kingdom is known as the Affection Section, where you will encounter a variety of adorable animals at the only petting zoo at the Walt Disney World Resort. Over on the Space Coast, you can combine a visit to the Kennedy Space Center with an excursion to the world-renowned Brevard Zoo and its special petting section.
Zoo Birthday Party Rentals
(Check with the individual zoo to determine current options.)
Many families celebrate special occasions, such as birthdays, with a birthday party at the petting zoo. Many zoos and petting zoos offer birthday party rental packages in facilities set aside for this purpose. There are few birthday party celebrations that can compete with a visit to the zoo and being able to interact with petting animals.
Some birthday party venues offer packages including catering, party favors, and decorating. Others are more bare bones with the customer supplying the food and decorations. Check with the zoo you are interested in for more details since COVID restrictions may have changed things.
Visit a Florida Zoo | Florida Petting Farms
A Florida zoo offers diverse animal experiences for
all ages, ranging from riding a dolphin at Florida's
Discovery Cove in Orlando to cuddling a baby goat at the
World famous Zoo Miami has a petting zoo you don't want to miss
Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park in West Palm Beach is a must see zoo for kids
of all ages.
Sleepover at Busch Gardens in Tampa for groups of 20 or more. Sleepovers include dinner, breakfast, a Camp t-shirt and water bottle for each participant. Venues vary based on the theme of the sleepover and the group size. Additionally, a special Birthday sleepover is available that includes a birthday cake.
Horse Rides and Pony Parties
For another great birthday idea check out our Florida Pony Party directory.