As a parent, you know how important it is to keep your kids entertained and having fun! Luckily, there’s no shortage of exciting activities here in the Lone Star state. If you’re looking for an educational adventure full of wild creatures and new experiences, then you have to check out some of Texas’ best drive-thru zoos! Your children get to observe amazing wildlife up close from the comfort and safety of their own car. From tractor rides and petting zoos to interactive exhibits and special events – each site offers something unique that all members of the family can enjoy!
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12 Best Drive-thru Zoos in Texas
There are many beautiful things about Texas; one of them is that you can experience a safari drive-thru right in the state. Looking for a wild adventure full of exotic species and majestic creatures? Here is a list of some of the best drive-thru zoos in the Lone Star State:
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch (New Braunfels)
This 450-acre ranch offers an up-close view of different species of animals, including zebras, buffalos, and ostriches. Your car will get a bag of animal feed which you can offer the animals to get them to come to your vehicle. The self-guided drive will also take you through live oak trees, rolling hills, creek beds, and endangered species. You can drive in your own car or book a guided tour on the Safari shuttle or Safari rover.
The ranch also has a gift shop where you can shop for souvenirs and a cafe where you can enjoy coffee. Located at 26515 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd, San Antonio, TX 78266. It’s the perfect stop on your way to Schlitterbahn, Gruene, or San Antonio.
Topsey Exotic Ranch & Drive Thru Safari
Another great drive-thru zoo you will find in Texas is the Topsey Exotic Ranch, where you will find 50 species being managed in a natural setting. You should know that Topsey Exotic Ranch is an ‘enter at your own risk’ drive-thru, so it’s essential to stay careful. Also, it’s best not to feed the animals off your hands. Located at 945 Co Rd 118, Copperas Cove, TX 76522.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose
This is one of the largest drive-through safaris in Texas and features about 1,800 acres with 1,100 animals of different species. The self-guided tour at this zoo is a beautiful experience that the entire family will not forget.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center also offers overnight lodging, photo workshops, bike tour, and murder mystery tour. The drive-thru is the biggest cheetah breeding facility, as 17-20 cubs are raised yearly. One of the best parts of this ranch is the different educational activities they offer guests. Located at 2299 Co Rd 2008, Glen Rose, TX 76043.
North Texas Safari Park, Bonham
This is a perfect safari for the whole family to watch endangered species from the comfort of your vehicle. Visitors can also feed the giraffe, explore the petting zoo, and explore the area designated for Australian animals. Located at 2920 US-82, Bonham, TX 75418.
Lonesome Dove Drive-Thru Safari, Jefferson
Lonesome Dove Drive-Thru Safari has over 80 animals of species like camels, red deer, bison, and wildebeests. The animals will come to your car to say hi, and you can purchase food you can share with them. You can also visit the on-site petting zoo to get closer to the animals, get a bucket of feed from the entrance and take photographs with braying donkeys. Located at 1782 US-59 N, Jefferson, TX 75657.
Exotic Resort Zoo (Johnson City)
Exotic Resort Zoo is home to a wild variety of animals ranging from camels to kangaroos and ostriches. Your guided tour will help you get to know about all 40 species of animals here, including ostrich, kissing camel, and blackbuck. If you prefer to tour on your own, you’ll get the option too.
Exotic Resort Zoo has eight cabins where you can spend the night and have conversations around the campfire. Different animals will surround your camp, and you can offer them food from the feed bucket. Kids will love exploring the two petting zoos and catching fish at the catch-and-release pond in this Texas wild animal safari. Located at 235 Zoo Trail, Johnson City, TX 78636.
Aggieland Safari is often known as the Serengeti of the South and offers the opportunity to see 500 animals up close. With a small fee, you can receive a feed bucket you can give out to the animals right from your car. There is also the Adventure Zoo, a 20-acre field with animals you can have better interaction with. Aggieland Safari is one of the top drive-thrus in the Lone Star State. Located at 18075 FM974, Bryan, TX 77808.
Cherokee Trace Drive-thru Safari
Explore the 300 acres of this drive-thru to see Rupert the camel, Minnie the yak, the six enclosed alligators, and other species of animals like zebras, alpacas, and bison. The drive-thru zoo has over 700 animals; you can meet them all if you take the two-hour drive around the safari. You can observe the African longhorn, take a photograph with the Indian antelope, and take the 2-hour drive to go through the whole drive-thru. Located at 1200 Co Rd 4405, Jacksonville, TX 75766.
The Grapeland Safari, Grapeland
Drive through this safari to see gorgeous creatures on 59 acres of land. You will see different species of animals, including axis deer, emus, and zebras. Kids can tour the petting zoo, take photographs with the friendly camels and relax at the picnic area. We recommend you bring your binoculars to get a good view of the 38 species on the field and the petting zoo. You can also bring your grill and enjoy a great lunch at the picnic area. Located at 13440 US-287, Grapeland, TX 75844.
Franklin Drive-Thru Safari
This exotic adventure lets you meet different animals in their natural habitat. Franklin Drive-Thru Safari is one of the best wildlife parks in Texas, and you get to meet critters, donkeys, lemurs, aviaries, sloths, and dingos. You can also lure baby giraffes, play with the park monkeys, or explore the charming baby room, where you’ll find exotic baby animals like coatimundis for an extra $20. The safari has a walking section for guests who want better animal interaction.
Franklin Drive Thru offers VIP private tours where visitors can gain in-depth knowledge about the animals on the field. Don’t forget to purchase feed buckets to attract and feed the animals. Located at 4324 West Highway 79, Franklin TX 77856.
Sanctuary Serengeti is like an actual sanctuary for a wide variety of animals, including lemurs, zebras, llamas, goats, and pigs. It reopens January 2024. Located at 250 Plum Church Rd, West Point, TX 78963.
Blue Hills Ranch & Giraffe Sanctuary
Although this Blue Hills Ranch doesn’t allow visitors to drive through in your car, there’s the option of getting into the ranch safari vehicle. You will see animals like lemurs, emus, bison, zebras, and kangaroos. Visitors can also enjoy other experiences like swimming with otters, bottle-feeding giraffes, and staying overnight at the RV park.
Blue Hills Ranch is also a popular location for people who want to have their wedding while surrounded by 4-legged guests. Tours here are by appointment, and if you want to come here, booking up to 60 days before your trip is best. Located at 2032 Blue Cut Rd N, McGregor, TX 76657 near Waco.
Texas has some of the most beautiful drive-thru zoos in the country, and a visit here is sure to be a delight for the whole family. Meeting the gorgeous animals in their natural environment is sure to be a thrilling experience.
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