At the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, you’ll find an abundance of family-friendly amenities and attractions. Learn more about exciting experiences at the Jacksonville Zoo.
At the Jacksonville Zoo, guests have the opportunity to visit with more than 2,000 animals, some of whom are people-friendly and love to meet guests in person. Animal encounters at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens include:
Brush our Pygmy Goats in the Animal Care Yard located in Play Park. This encounter is free of charge and children of all ages are welcome. Closed-toe shoes are required.
View and touch our Southern and Atlantic Stingrays at Stingray Bay! You can even feed the stingrays if their keepers say they are hungry.
Located at our Giraffe Overlook, the opportunity to feed the giraffes is a guest favorite! Feed the giraffes a handful of our greens grown right here at the zoo.
Enter the aviary in our Australian Adventure area and experience the beauty of our Rainbow Lorikeets. Hold a cup of nectar in your hand and delight in the experience of feeding our friendly lorikeets.
Go behind the scenes at the Jacksonville Zoo and tour the African Plains, the Range of the Jaguar, and the Emerald Forest Aviary along with an animal ambassador where you’ll have the opportunity to see where elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, cheetahs, jaguars, howler monkeys, tropical birds, giant otters, fish, and other animals live and play. Behind the Scenes tours are $35 per person for members and $45 per person for non-members
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens offers visitors a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most diverse species of birds in the Deep South. Our intentionally-designed landscape features multiple ponds and wooded areas ideal for spotting your favorite species of heron, goldfinch, sparrow, or dove.
Our 90-minute group garden tours feature the River of Color, through the lush Savanna Blooms Garden, and concludes in the distinguished Trout River Gardens, with optional stops in Range of the Jaguar and Play Park. Lunch and a train ride returning to Main Camp are optional additions to complete your tour experience.
Pre-registration is required. Train can be included for an additional $3 per person. Catered lunches are available upon request for groups of 15 or more beginning at an additional charge of $15 per person. Your tour will feature:
Garden Tours are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. and must be scheduled a minimum of 2 week in advance. Tours last approximately 90 minutes. To make a reservation please call (904) 757-4463, ext. 120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tours are booked with a minimum of 6 guests per tour. If your group exceeds 20, the tour can be split into separate groups for better interaction. We do encourage all participants to wear walking shoes. All paths are handicap accessible. Wheelchairs and/or electric scooters are available for rental on a first come, first serve basis at the Train Booth once inside the park.
Our Horticulture team invites you to stroll with us through the magical gardens at the Jacksonville Zoo to discover the unique and exciting plants on display. Learn more about the mysteries of maintaining the beauty of our landscaping. These two hour adult-oriented walking tours are from 9:00 -11:00am and will each cover different topics and gardens.
Note: Pre-registration is required. Tours meet at the ticket booths at 8:45 a.m. for check in. Tours start at 9 a.m. and are limited to 30 people.
In the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Play Park, children are able to learn more about nature while having fun. Play Park occupies 2.5 acres located near the Range of the Jaguar and Carousel. The 4,000 square-foot Splash Ground offers an opportunity to have fun in the sun while exploring a tree house, rock wall, artifact digging exhibit, and more. You can also watch the penguins swimming overhead at Tuxedo Coast. And don't forget to groom and pet our pygmy goats!
Note: Food, drink, glass, and animals are not allowed in or around Splash Grounds, but picnic areas are located throughout the park. Play Park Café offers family-friendly dining options, seasonally.
Get up close and personal with our stingrays at the Stingray Bay touch tank! Meet cownose rays, bluntnose rays, Atlantic rays, and guitarfish. During feeding times, you can also help our zookeepers provide the stingrays with a snack! Access to Stingray Bay is included with every Jacksonville Zoo general admission ticket.
Whether you’re an animal lover who wants to enjoy an up close encounter with wildlife or you’re a parent or grandparent looking for a unique experience your child/grandchild will remember for years to come, the Jacksonville Zoo Zookeeper for a Day program offers an opportunity for guests to get an inside look at the life of a zookeeper. Choose from a variety of Zookeeper for a Day experiences, including elephants, gorillas, penguins, and more. Cost is $125 per guest and includes zoo admission.
Wild animals, of course, can be dangerous. You will not be in contact with any potentially harmful species such as primates, carnivores, elephants, or other large mammals. Some experiences will involve sharing space with animals that are safe to be around, such as in our free-flight bird aviaries and some of the herpetology areas. Participants are expected to follow the instructions of keepers at all times regarding any animal interactions.
To participate in our zookeeper for a day program, you must:
Participants will be offered a chance to reschedule free of charge if they are ill. They are expected to take advantage of this opportunity, as we do not want to expose our animals or keepers to illness. They will be given preference for rescheduling. Participants who arrive demonstrably ill may be sent home.
Guests of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens have the chance to meet zookeepers for Zookeeper Talks at scheduled times at various animal exhibits throughout the week.
Multiple Keeper Talks are scheduled each day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Schedule subject to change without notice.
Cost per viewing
Bob is a stressed executive who heads to a deserted island for a much-needed vacation. It’s a perfect place to relax, with sandy beaches and coconut trees… until his paradise turns out to be home to a lost world of prehistoric dinosaurs! Fierce Raptors, flying Pterosaurs, giant Triceratops and Stegosaurus, and the mighty T-Rex all roam this hostile world. Join Bob and his unlikely rescuer, Professor Lizzie, as they outrun these remarkable predators. Take a wild jeep ride through dense tropical rainforest and soar above this forgotten island in the flight of your life. The Lost World 4D is an amusing, fast-paced and immersive 3D adventure featuring spectacular 4D effects.
Come face to face with some of the world’s most strange and mysterious shark species. These extraordinarily intelligent underwater giants each exhibit unique behaviors to navigate their ever-changing environment. Essential to the fragile balance of our ocean’s health, BBC Earth’s Shark: A 4D Experience® explores the complex nature of these magnificent creatures’ survival instincts. Stunning 3D and special effects place you right in the middle of the action as sharks reveal their hidden traits while roaming an eerily beautiful underwater landscape.
© Morné Hardenberg/Atlantic Edge Films
The BBC and BBC Earth are trademarks of the British Broadcasting Corporation and are used under licence. BBC logo © BBC 1996. © BBC Studios 2016.
Cost per show
Join us for our rescue animal show featuring dogs and cats, ducks and macaws, and even a few surprise animals! The show lasts about 20 minutes and features a meet-and-greet with human and animal stars after the show!
Daily showings at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.
*Starting March 6* Daily showings: 10:30am, 12 pm, 2pm, and 4pm
Show is weather permitting.
Cost (Unlimited Rides)
See the Zoo the easy way aboard our Zoo Train. Your all-day ticket takes you around the whole Zoo. It stops at the Kids’ Shop and at Main Camp where you may disembark and explore at your own pace. Train runs daily, weather permitting.
Cost per ride:
Children (12 and under)...............$2.00
Parents (accompanying small children)......................FREE
Children 12 and under will love the Wildlife Carousel. Featuring gorgeous renditions of all your favorite wild animals, the Carousel is a classic. Come ride a tiger, okapi, or eagle and make it part of your family’s Zoo tradition.