This post was made possible by Hersheypark who provided us with passes that included admission to ZooAmerica at no charge. We appreciate their support of Jersey Family Fun that allows us to share with families information about travel destinations we think families will enjoy.
During our recent visit to Hersheypark, my family and I decided to take a break from the rides and games. We made our way over to ZooAmerica to check out what all the fuss was about and we were so glad we did! My youngest, at 18 months of age, enjoyed the zoo the most of any of us, since it was a break from sitting in the stroller and he got a chance to stretch his legs. On the day we visited, the zoo was much less crowded than the park, so it was great for him to run around without having to worry about losing track of him. ZooAmerica was very quiet and serene, and there were some beautiful sights to see!
The zoo is connected to Hersheypark, separated only by a short bridge, so there was no need to leave the park or move the car. We simply got our hands stamped as we walked across so we could return to the park when we were finished. (ZooAmerica admission was included in our tickets to Hersheypark.) There were arrows that we noticed right away, leading guests through a “suggested route” so they wouldn’t miss any of the exhibits. The zoo itself was broken into sections, grouping the animals by where they would be found in the wild: Southern swamps, Northlands, Eastern Woodlands, Big Sky Country, and The Great Southwest. In the reptile house, we got to check out everything from rattlesnakes to an American alligator. My son’s favorite exhibit was definitely the fish tank, which was halfway underground and the fish swam right by.
We spent some time checking out the nocturnal animals in their natural habitat, which was something I had never seen before. They made this possible at ZooAmerica by keeping their exhibit closed off with a double sets of doors so no sunlight could enter. The animals, including a cute ringtail, seemed to love it! Another indoor exhibit we enjoyed was a replicated desert, complete with dozens of turtles, lizard species, and owls.
We encountered a sleeping black bear in one of the exhibits, with this really cool (and educational!) sign posted nearby. The girls had some fun with this photo-op.
It was a semi-rainy and chilly day when we visited, which seemed to be ideal, as all of the animals were out and about in their exhibits. We saw pronghorn, gray wolves, elk, porcupines, a mountain lion, and a bobcat, just to name a few.
I strongly recommend making a visit over to the ZooAmerica the next time you visit Hersheypark. We were able to get through it in just about an hour, and it was an hour well spent. The zoo offers some special events as well (for an extra cost) such as an early bird tour, after hours tour, and a photography tour, which was new for 2015. Details can be found on the ZooAmerica website.
Zoo America is located at 201 Park Avenue, Hershey, PA 17033. For more information, including hours and ticket prices, please visit their website.
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