Join me as I share our summer 2011 family vacation adventures! From hot spots we discovered along the way to tips for next time, we had an adventure to remember!
After living in S. Africa, right next to Kruger National Park, our family developed a love and fascination for the African animals. It’s something we missed after being back in the USA for the past year and a half. After camping in Moab, our next stop was Colorado Springs. I knew a trip to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was a must! We’ve all been itching to see some lion, giraffe, and elephant!
I’ve been to a handful of zoos over the years, but I must say that Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was awesome. Built into a mountain, there’s so much to see with 146 acres of land, 190 species of wild animals, and over 700 animals of every variety. Not only is it a treat to watch the grizzlies play, hear the monkeys talk to each other, or stand safely behind glass admiring fat snakes, but the zoo also offers My Big Backyard for kids to play on, pony rides, animal feedings, and more!
Perhaps mine and my daughter’s favorite was the giraffe feeding. I’ve never been to a zoo where you could feed giraffes. For only $2, you can feed the friendly long necked animals that wait anxiously along the fence line for their food. Don’t forget to use the hand sanitizer afterward. Those long tongues are sure to swipe across your hand!
I think the boys loved the Mountaineer Sky Ride. My guess is because it took us right over the tiger cage where he was prowling around, showing off for his spectators.
The zoo is in the middle of a $13.5 million campaign called Encounter Africa which is approximately 5.6 acres. Part of the Encounter Africa exhibit includes a new elephant barn which opens this summer. It was incredible and HUGE, roughly half the size of a football field! The new barn allows zoo visitors to walk in the covered bridge to the barn where they can watch the elephants splash themselves in the “Splash Stall” and throw sand on each other. The new exhibit also includes a walking trail that will give the elephants more exercise as well as a yard where they can do what elephants do. The Encounter Africa exhibit will continue to grow over the next couple of years with the addition of the rhino and African lion exhibits.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is an excellent choice for a super family outing. I was beyond impressed with their plans for making better exhibits for the animals. Be sure and participate in their Quarters for Conservation program right after you walk through the admission booth. Wild African vultures, amphibians in Panama, African penguins, endangered gibbons, Amur leopards and tigers, orangutans, who would you choose? Vote here!
Disclosure: My family and I received free passes to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. Special thanks to Katie for arranging our time. It was great meeting you!