We spent a couple of days at the Houston Zoo when we were visiting. Believe me when I say this is a massive zoo! (You can download the map here and they also have an app.) It’s not exactly the land size but the extensive animal collection that makes this zoo so engrossing. If you have kids who love animals, you can easily spend two days exploring all the mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds and insects. Oh and there’s a playground and splash pad, too. And the zoo is located inside Hermann Park, which has it’s own outdoor activities like a train and trails.
The Cypress Circle Cafe is a nice, large space to eat. There’s decent food (pizza, fries, etc) though it is as expensive as you’d expect. We bought a few items and brought some of our own. The open-air seating area overlooks a little duck pond and this gnarly cypress tree. I’m obsessed with cypress knees, just FYI.
They are currently building an enlarged elephant exhibit. We got to see the elephants eating a hay snack and it was so remarkable to watch the dexterity of their trunks. We also got to watch giraffes eat at their enclosure. We fed them crunchy lettuce. It was equal parts adorable and terrifying.
The giraffe exhibit leads the way into a large African animals section. The Western Lowland Gorillas are absolutely fascinating. Their exhibit is relatively new and was built with plenty of winding pathways to give you the feeling of being in a jungle.
The Naturally Wild Swap Shop is my favorite part I think. Not only does is offer a blast of ice cold A/C, but it’s like a miniature nature center in the middle of the zoo. Next time we visit, we hope to bring some natural treasures that we’ve collected and learned about. Read about all the activities the Houston Zoo offers here.
There’s so much to see that it’s easy to miss out on the smaller animals and specialty houses. There’s actually an aquarium, tropical bird house, and bug house too. Like I said, we went twice and decided to get a membership. There’s so much to see, I’m sure we will visit several more times when we are in Houston later this year. They also have good reciprocal benefits too.
If I didn’t make it clear enough, the zoo is large. Bring a stroller and keep your map. The zoo is a hodgepodge of twisty paths, I’m guessing because it’s been added on to over the years.