Sarasota Jungle Gardens are essentially a family attraction, but anyone who enjoys interacting with animals would appreciate the place. Sarasota has been a favorite of the natives of Florida since 1939 and homes more than 200 exotic native animals. Sarasota is spread over 10 acres of jungle trails and tropical vegetation. It serves as the perfect habitat with large spaces for the animals and birds to coexist. At the Sarasota Jungle Gardens, they strive to create the perfect ecosystem for the animals to thrive in.
Parrot interactions & photo
Best time to visit sarasota jungle gardens
Sarasota has been responsible for caring for and protecting numerous native animals for almost a century now. The jungle garden’s animals include flamingos, a variety of parrots and macaws, birds of prey, small mammals, primates, snakes, iguanas, lizards, crocodiles, and other reptiles. In addition to this set of animal family, they also have new additions like a baby ring-tailed lemur, bearded dragon, blue-tongued skink, a black-throated monitor lizard and surprisingly sheep! While these can be considered exotic animals, in addition to these, there are several more species you are bound to run into at the Jungle Gardens. Visiting this park would give children the complete exposure and understanding when it comes to the different species of animals in the world.
Several of the animals at Sarasota have found their way to this Jungle Gardens through donations, federal and state agencies or rehabilitation centers. They are sent here by those who want to ensure that the animals are cared for and have a safe permanent home. The government and several citizens surrounding the region are well aware of the type of care that is provided and the positive effect this park has on the ecosystem.
Let’s have a glimpse at what you would be experiencing on your adventure to Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
Flamingos are extremely fascinating and are among the most favorite attractions for most visitors from all over the world. Sarasota is one of the rarest jungle gardens in the world where they provide their visitors the opportunity to hand-feed the pink-hued, long-legged creatures. They are one of the main attractions of this park. The Flamingos at this park are not among the shy kind of birds to shy away from people. Often, it is they who approaches you first and eat out of your hands. For most first timers, this is interaction with the exotic bird is an exciting encounter. The food for flamingos can be bought in either small or large bags when you enter the Gardens or at a place called the Flamingo Café. If you are looking to buy a smaller amount, you even have the option to purchase a handful from a coin-operated vending machine.
Bringing food of any kind for any of the animals from the outside is prohibited as it can be harmful to them. If you are looking for the experience to pet and feed the exotic animals, you can always buy plenty of it from the entrance and other stores in the Jungle Garden.
Parrot interactions & photo
The Sarasota Jungle Gardens have numerous types of parrots. Parrots are among the most entertaining and friendliest of birds that one can interact with. The parrots are extremely interactive at Sarasota and are sure to give your children a thrill to hold them and speak to them. The parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens are at constant supervision by experts who guide you with how you can hold the bird. To be more accurate, all you have to do is stretch your arm out and the usually curious bird hops on to your arm.
One can also hand-feed the bird and give it water. The parrots are kept in an enclosure where they also have plenty of space to fly around and trees to rest on too. One takeaway from this experience would be a photo with the parrots. One thing most people leaving Sarasota have is a wide grin and a picture with a parrot in their bags to take back home as a souvenir.
One of the activities that these gardens are most popular for is the petting zoo. The Sarasota Jungle Gardens have an exclusive petting zoo where you can pet and play with the animals. The animals are supervised by caretakers who guide you on how you can hold the animals. This zoo offers you the experience to touch, feed and interact with a variety of animals unlike anywhere you can find in the world. Apart from the flamingos and parrots, you can pet a variety of other birds as well. Apart from the birds, one can experience the excitement of petting alligators, snakes, and several other reptiles as well. Utmost care is taken by the staff at Sarasota Jungle Gardens to ensure that you remain safe so you can relax and make the most of the experience. Other animals that you can pet include smaller mammals like rabbits, sheep and other domestic animals. The list goes on as new species are added regularly to the Sarasota Jungle Garden family. You can even take pictures of your interactions with these animals in various settings. This is a memory that you want to capture and you are sure to be reminiscing it few years down the lane.
There is a specific time that is allotted each day where you are allowed to interact with the animals. Beyond that time, you can see the animals, but cannot interact with them. This is done to ensure the animals are allowed to rest and eat the right amount of food.
When you visit the Sarasota Jungle Gardens, you need to witness one of the entertaining and educational birds, wildlife, or reptile shows. The duration of each show is about 20 minutes where one is sure to sit at the edge of their seat to witness the entertainment provided. All the shows at the Jungle Garden are inclusive in the tickets you buy when you enter the park. The shows are performed on an outdoor stage with plenty of bleachers for the audience. However, they do fill up quickly, so it is best to plan and arrive at the location 10 or 15 minutes in advance for a seat.
The Jungle Bird show features a variety of birds, including macaws, parrots, cockatiels and many more performing amusing tricks like riding a bike or roller skating. If you stick around long after the show, you may even have the opportunity to pet one of these star performers. The Jungle Bird show is scheduled for noon every day.
Wildlife wonder is a show that features red tail hawks, several types of owls, kookaburras and other small mammals. Such is the variety and acts performed by the animals in this show that it is hard to predict what animal you will witness next. This show is scheduled at 1 p.m every day.
One other exciting show to look forward to is the reptile encounter show. This serves as the perfect opportunity for kids to learn about the reptile species, including alligators, snakes and many more. One can even hold the alligator after the show and even get a photo to take the experience back home with you. The reptile encounter educational show is at 11 am and 3 pm every day.
The highlight of the show is Frosty the cockatoo who performs an act twice a day in his unicycle, bicycle, and scooter. Frosty is the bird that even appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960s.
The show timings along with all the information you need are given to you at the entrance of the park. Ensure that you decide which of the shows seems most exciting and don’t miss it. The animal shows are among the highlights of this park and will give a lot to learn and take back with you.
Children are about to enjoy every bit of the camp adventure in the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. The camp is designed to be filled with adventures that they can experience alongside other children and create some memories. The adventurous experiences that are included in the camp are trekking, animal shows, build a sandhill, interact, and pet a variety of animals, crafts, and learn extensively about animals. These are activities that provides exposure to forests and wildlife. There are numerous life lessons that are taught to kids making them more prepared and aware of nature and its numerous species.
The camp adventure is extremely safe, educational, and engaging. Children are bound to enjoy every minute of it and learn a lot of new things at the adventure camp. They are also sure to make a lot of new friends and memories at the exciting camp adventure at Sarasota.
Grab an outdoor lunch
A day out with the family is incomplete without a picnic. You need not miss out on this either as they have provisions for a picnic at this Park. Sarasota Jungle Park provides picnic tables as you drive into the parking lot. You can pack sandwiches or any other foods of your choice and have a hearty meal with your loved ones at the picnic table outside the premises of the gardens. You can even order food from the food outlets at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens. However, you cannot take outside food or coolers inside.
Flamingo café and view
One of the exciting locations that you must visit at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens is the Flamingo Café. This is an exotic looking café that serves extremely delicious foods and drinks and are open every day. The menu features a wide list of hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, and freshly made salads. If you are simply looking for a snack, they have plenty of options there as well, including candies.
A long engaging day filled with activities is bound to keep you thirsty. Here is the Flamingo Café, you can get any soft drinks or Coca-Cola. Or if you prefer ice cream, you can pick from the collection of Nestle and Haagen Dazs ice creams available.
One can even purchase the food for the birds at this café.
The Sarasota Jungle Gardens have a zoo camp which is unlike any other campsites in the area. The camp is designed for children between the ages of 6-13 years. The camp allows you to explore nature through crafts, hands-on games, demonstrations, and fun activities. Here, children get to learn about all kinds of animals and how to care for them. The camp also involves a lot of interactions with animals.
Another aspect of the zoo camp that you can look forward to is trekking through the jungle. This experience will allow you to see first-hand what it takes to be a zookeeper.
This program is constantly upgraded, so if one has already been a part of the camp before or is a first-timer, it is sure to be memorable, educational and most importantly, fun experience. The zoo camp is curated such that the participants will take back good memories to last a lifetime. The environment is interactive and extremely safe as each of the campers are constantly supervised. The number of openings at zoo camp is generally limited, so it is best to book the slot ahead of time. The details regarding the dates, price and other information for the zoo camp can be found on the Sarasota Jungle Park official website. The children are also provided snacks and a T-shirt which is inclusive in the camp fee. People from several regions come all the way to this Zoo Camp to enroll their children to experience the Sarasota Jungle Gardens in person.
Best time to visit sarasota jungle gardens
Since Sarasota Jungle Gardens are open throughout the year, you can pack your bags and picnic basket and visit the place anytime you want. However, the best time would be October or February to May. October might be the perfect month as there are no crowds and the weather is not too warm or cold.
Once you get to Florida, there are many ways in which you can get to the gardens. It is easily accessible and there are numerous modes of transport you can use to get to this park. It is at a distance of 56 miles from Clearwater, 37 miles from the North Port, 35 miles from St. Petersburg, 60 miles from Tampa, and just around 20 miles from Venice. You can travel to this Park on road from the surrounding locations.
Ticket and opening hour
The gardens are a must-visit spot that are, fortunately, open almost all the days of the year except for Christmas and Thanksgiving days. You can embark on your adventure in these Jungle Gardens all days of the week from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.
The rates at this park are standard throughout the year. The price of the ticket varies with children, adults, and seniors. Children between the ages of 4-16 need to pay $12.99 for admission fees. For adults between 17 and 64, it is at $17.99, and for seniors, the fee is $16.99. The shows are scheduled throughout the day and are inclusive of the price of the tickets.You can find these details on the official website as well.