Recently we had our second visit to the Brevard Zoo. Several years ago, while living in the Orlando area, we stumbled upon the zoo while exploring the Space Coast and Port Canaveral.
This year, during our Florida Road Trip / 2020 COVID-19 Staycation it was part of our destination along with the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.
#1 – The Brevard Zoo offers a safe outdoor getaway
One of the reasons we chose to include the zoo on our road trip was its Visitor Guidelines. They are very specific about limiting their capacity and requiring timed entry tickets that are purchased online. It was easy to do and very affordable.
The zoo requires face coverings that cover your nose and mouth of all adults and children over the age of 7. When you enter the zoo and ‘animal loops’ and other places where physical distancing is not possible, they are necessary. Additionally, we came across several staff members who asked for people to put masks on in areas where certain animals are susceptible to contracting COVID-19.
Several high touch areas were closed, others offered limited capacity, and there were hand sanitizer stations all around the zoo.
#2 The Brevard Zoo is FUN!
Truthfully, strolling the outdoor pathways was relaxing and a nice getaway from looking at our four walls at home.
Beyond that, there are offerings that are super affordable, which are fun and unique.
Viewing platforms take you eye to eye with the zoo’s giraffes, and for $2.00 (per treat), you can hand-feed a giraffe. While this might just sound like something for the little once, you’d be wrong.
Check out Chuck (kissing) feeding a giraffe in Kenya– we had a BLAST!
A gentle waterway winds its way through the zoo’s exhibits. For $9.95, visitors can paddle their way on a self-guided tour past rhinos, lemurs, and more. It looked like so much fun, a great way to catch some rays and stay physically distant.
This aerial adventure takes you to the top of the trees above the heads of visitors below. The course includes climbing, crawling, and ziplining on one of several courses of varying difficulty.
We watched from the ground below. It looked like a lot of fun for me; Chuck is petrified of heights. He ventured to the top of the Great Wall on our trip to China. This might be a bit much.
The fun doesn’t’ stop there. We saw parakeet feedings, a children’s shallow water play area called Paws On.
Beyond being an exceptional nature space, the Brevard Zoo provides educational Kid and Family programs and support to teachers.
We found that the zoo’s staff are not only warm and welcoming, even wearing masks and keeping physical distance. The staff are very knowledgeable and were excited to approach visitors and share information on the animals in their areas.
According to Wikipedia –
Brevard Zoo is a 75-acre nonprofit facility located in Melbourne, Florida, United States that is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 195 species from Florida, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
In 1986, the East Coast Zoological Society of Florida, Inc. (ECZS) formed. One of their goals was to build a zoo for Brevard County to “serve as a conversation hub where people could gather to learn about animals and nature. A place to escape from the manmade world and reconnect with the diversity of the life with which we share this planet.”
Chuck and I loved seeing solar panels around several exhibits. Beyond that, they offer reusable tote bags that are upcycled feed bags from the animal care partners. Participate in many local sustainability programs.
The zoo might be best known for its Sea Turtle Healing Center. It also partners in other field projects to ensure healthy habitats for Florida Scrub-Jays, Perdido Key Beach Mice, and protecting our shorelines.
Chuck and I absolutely loved our time at the Brevard Zoo and plan a return visit soon.