San Antonio Zoo-Day Time Visit

San Antonio Zoo-Day Time Visit

Did you know that in 1910 before San Antonio Zoo existed we had  San Pedro Park. Where a small private collection of animals were housed for people to see. Then in 1914, George W. Brackenridge donated a few elk and buffalo to have on display is the Brackenridge Park. In 1929, San Antonio Zoo officially opened with 344 animals on the land that Mr. Brackenridge donated. It was also the first zoo to have cage-less exhibits! Now, 88 years later it has a whopping 9,000 animals representing more than 750 species.

The zoo was just recently upgraded and now they have new and improved exhibits such as Africa Live, Freidrich Aquarium, Reptile house, Bug Mania, Big Cat Valley, Toadally (where you can see different types of toads) and the Fun Farm. Now in Africa Live, you get to see underwater views of hippos and crocodiles! Awesome right especially since before you couldn’t.This is a great photo op spot with them swimming behind you. My kids really enjoyed the Fun Farm! They loved touching all the goats, chickens, pigs and rabbits. They also enjoyed the Tiny Tots Adventure Area. Here the kids can play with sand and water. You can also pretend fish. You are welcomed into this area by cute little kid drawings. The Birding Area is awesome as well. You walk into it and are up-close and personal with them. I thought it was going to be a bit scary for my little ones but, I was wrong they loved it! They also love the peacock that walks around outside this area. Another fun thing to do is feed the pond fish throughout the zoo. You can purchase fish food for 25 cents! My children loved this.
The Big Cat Valley was another kid favorite since zoo recently upgraded the lion area.Let me tell you just how awesome this $1 Million dollar upgrade is. First, off you get a better view of the lions in their habitat because the zoo has installed large, tempered and reinforced glass so that people visiting can now have a safe, up-close experience. But on top of that, you can now test your strength by playing tug-of-war with a lion (this is done with the help of animal care specialists during designated times)!!! Wow right!!!! We haven’t been able to do that but it’s great to know that you can.


Back when the zoo first opened they used to give elephant rides as an up close animal encounter activity. How cool is that??? Sadly, that stopped when the elephant grabbed her trainer with her trunk and threw him. Sadly, the trainer passed due to head injuries. Nowadays if you are seeking animal interactions you can take part in the giraffe feeding For $5 you can feed the giraffe 3 leaves of lettuce. My kids did this and they LOVE it. They couldn’t get over the way the giraffe’s tongue looked! I would totally recommend it. This is a fairly new exhibit so take advantage of it. It’s an experience they will not forget!

This zoo had fairly reasonable prices. My favorite was the Fun day pass which in my opinion is the way to go if you have kids.It promises you an action packed day because it includes zoo admission, butterfly area admission, carousel ride and train ride. It’s tons of fun.  The train ride is taken in Brackenridge Park which is a beautiful place to visit. Brackenridge was founded in 1899 and the coolest thing about this park is that it shows evidence of human habitation dating back to 11,000 years ago. Isn’t that cool!! They have even found Native American artifacts dating back as early as 9200 B.C. in the Olmos Basin and near Hildebrand Avenue within the park. It is because of this that they have named the park the most significant archeological site in Texas. So if you’re into historical sites this is the place for you.

The Historial evidence is not the only fun you can have in this 343-acre park. The park also homes Japanese Tea Gardens and Brackenridge Park Golf Course (which also happens to be the old golf course in Texas). I would totally recommend having a picnic at this park.

(Note: All black and white photos were taken from Express News, San Antonio Express News, Express News Archives and Express News File.)


If you enjoyed this post and would like to follow us please subscribe……

Happy Travels:)





55 thoughts on “San Antonio Zoo-Day Time Visit

  1. I have never been to this zoo but it looks great! Texas has a lot of great zoos!

  2. Interesting story of this zoo. It made me feel like I was there. Did you say tug of war with the lions? No thank you. I will pass 😀. Sad story about the elephant and her trainer.

  3. I’ve been to San Antonio a couple of times on business, and though I did have a chance to stroll around the Riverwalk and go to the Alamo, I didn’t make it to the zoo. In fact, I didn’t know they had a zoo. It’s great that they have upgraded to more naturalistic environments.
    Never Say Die Beauty recently posted…L’Oreal Revitalift Triple-Power Deep-Acting MoisturizerMy Profile

  4. I love going to the zoo and every time I travel, I try to fit a zoo trip in.

  5. My kiddos and I love exploring new zoos together. We truly would love to get to the San Antonio Zoo someday in the future!
    Heather Johnson recently posted…Deco Mesh, Ribbon, and Mesh Tube Christmas Wreath CraftMy Profile

  6. It looks like a great zoo to visit with your family. However, I am against keeping animals in cages and force them to live in a place which is not their natural habitat…

  7. Great Post! My kids would love to go to the zoo. They would love to interact with animals and have fun on carousel rides/ train rides.
    Sarah-Louise Bailey recently posted…How to Mentally Survive a House RenovationMy Profile

  8. I have an annual zoo pass for all Zoo’s in California and it’s a great investment. My daughter is 2 years old, but she really enjoys going and looking at all the animals. My husband and I also love it!

  9. I remember when my father-in-law used to take the kids for elephant rides but wouldn’t tell me until he got back. The girls loved it but I always cringed inside. I can’t get the beautiful picture of the giraffe at the start of your post out of my head, such a beautiful animal and what a treat for the kids to get to feed him!

    • Wow! It’s cool that your kids got to experience the elephant rides!!! But I would cringe to if my kids were on it LOL I guess it’s just a mom thing. Thank you for the compliment on the giraffe picture my daughter took it. She will be pleased to hear you enjoyed it.

  10. Giraffe feeding sounds like so much fun! I loved going to the zoo as a kid.

  11. Claudia Krusch

    My family loves to go to the Zoo. I would love to go explore the San Antonio Zoo. I am hoping to be in the area this summer.

  12. I have only been to San Diego Zoo, Chicago’s Lincoln Zoo and Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and had some of the best memories. Though I recently visited Jungle Safari and loved the entire experience!

  13. Interactive zoo experience is a nice way to introduce and sensitize kids towards wildlife and environment…and the next best thing to wildlife safaris. I think, the archeological site and picnic park make an outing to the San Antonio zoo really worthwhile.

  14. It’s amazing to see animals in a kind of natural zoo, which is much much better than keeping them in iron cage. Then imagine that you’ll have the change to feed a giraffe and play with lion, how wonderful it is:))) If i have a chance to go to Texas, this is definitely a “must- place to go”. Can’t wait

  15. This was a very interesting and well-written post! I’d love to visit San Antonio Zoo with my family! The photo of the giraffe made me smile. Loved the Lion valley opening video too! 🙂

  16. How fun that your children were able to feed the giraffes!! I love giraffes, they are some of my favorite animals.

  17. Now that we’re grandparents, we love taking our grandsons to the zoo. There’s something magical about their reactions to all of the cool animals. I know they’d especially love to feed giraffes! ps: I wonder how many lettuce leaves he gets to eat in a day?

  18. Sounds like such a fun day 🙂 I’m a fan of big cats and that new expansion, especially the lion enclosure, sounds like a must see! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a zoo and the one near me has a few baby animals – you’re inspiring me to make a visit!

  19. I want to feed a giraffe! But, I guess Ill just feed myself in the meantime! Haha! Im glad you guys had a good time! Xx- Doran @HauteBeautyGuide

  20. I’ve always loved zoos. San Diego has a great zoo. I was raised in Memphis and they have a very nice zoo too. I’ve been in Atlanta and it’s very strange I’ve never been there before. Thanks to this post, I will make a visit before summer’s end.

  21. I loved this post as it had a historic element to it, a day at the zoo will always be fun!

  22. My favorite is the SD Zoo, which I grew up on in Cali. Here in MN, we have really pretty outdoorsy zoos where the animals are not really caged at all, but just roaming large landscapes. The kids LOVE it 🙂

  23. Whata fun way to spend a day! I have been meaning to get the Kiddies to the zoo this summer. I think it’s a fun way to sneak a bit of learning in with a bit of fun.

  24. I haven’t been to Texas, yet, but I’ll put this on potential places to visit. I think I want to take a trip in the fall.

  25. Rebecca Swenor

    San Antonio Zoo sounds amazing with all these exhibits. Africa Live and Big Cat Valley would be awesome to see. The Fun Day Pass would be worth getting for sure for the kids. . Thanks for sharing this amazing zoo and all the information.

  26. This seems like such an amazing experience. I miss going to the Zoo. All the exhibits are also so amazing!!

  27. A trip to the zoo every summer is a must do for our little one. We enjoy it just as much too no matter how grown up we are now.
    XO, MJ

Comments are closed.