It has been several years since we have visited the Dallas Zoo and although we have always enjoyed it, there were several reasons that we LOVED our latest visit. We took our time and spent most of the day at the zoo. First of all, the discounted rate for January/February made this a very affordable trip. The weather was windy, but in the 70's and so much more comfortable that visiting in the extreme heat of summer.
We also took a ride on the monorail for the first time. I highly recommend this. We had a great view of the animals (some that you won't see on foot!) Sarah, the tour guide, was very fun and informative.
The highlights of the trip were feeding the Lorikeets and Giraffes. Lettuce was available for purchase to feed the giraffes. We came face to face with a giraffe as the took the from from us with their long tongues. My son got licked and loved it! They are beautiful animals to see up close.
We purchased a small cup of nectar ($1) to feed the Lorikeets and then entered their habitat and offered them the nectar. They climbed all over us and drank the nectar. Several times, the birds would fly to us and perch on our head. At one time, I had a bird in each hand and one on my head. The kids and I loved it.
At the children's zoo, the kids loved the huge koi tank, petting the goats, playing in the (cold!) stream, visiting the nature exchange, and playing in the play area. I think they would have played there for hours if they could.
We ended up eating at the Serengeti Grill. Very expensive burgers, fries and drinks but they were pretty good. The line was long, but the inside of the grill has a huge glass window that allows viewing of the lions in their habitat. That kept the kids occupied during the wait. I saw that lots of families had ice chests and coolers, which would have been faster and more affordable.
Overall, the animals appeared healthy and content. We have been to a lot of zoo's, and this is not always the case. The staff was friendly, and often on site talking to guests and answering questions. It was very crowded when we arrived, but by the end of the day it had thinned out and we were able to take our time viewing the exhibits without feeling we should hurry and get out of someone's way! This was one of our best zoo trips. I highly recommend riding the monorail when the zoo is crowded and then the walking part when the crowd has thinned. Take snacks and drinks to save money, allow plenty of time for play in the children's zoo, and plan to feed the lorikeets and giraffe. We did miss out on the camel and pony rides!
A few other things to note:
Very stroller friendly.
Lots of animal statues, great for photos and the kids love them
There is an zoo app, which we had but did not use because my son enjoyed using the paper map.
It was $8 to park.
Visited February 2013