My family loves a visit to the Zoo! If you find yourself traveling to the Hershey, PA area, I have to recommend visiting ZooAmerica. I think it is one of the most underrated areas in the park. Not only do they offer a close up look at North American animals, but they have a fantastic line up of special programs and events.
A visit to ZooAmerica is included with your Hersheypark ticket. This is a great addition to a fun day at the park! The paths are wide for strollers, and you and your kids will learn so much! ZooAmerica also offers group programs perfect for schools or Scout groups, and Zoo Camps where your kids will go on an unforgettable journey of exploration, learning, and adventure.
I had the pleasure of experiencing a Behind The Scenes Tour, and it was so neat! There are 3 tours to choose from depending on your interests. These do cost extra since they are privately led, and take you in areas the public is not allowed during operating hours. I did the After Dark Tour, and I can’t wait to do it again. It was that much fun!
We were led by a ZooAmerica naturalist for a tour through the Zoo, including an insider’s look at the Animal Health Center, and a flashlight tour through the animal buildings. Our tour guides knew so much and were great at answering questions during out tour. It was so great to take our time with no crowds, and to get the inside scoop on all that we wanted to know! The best part is the hands on fun. During this experience we got to feed the otters and bears, touch a reptile, and hold a bird of prey. You read that right, I actually fed a bear! I was in awe at these majestic creatures, and I loved learning more about them.
The tours offer you access to non-public spaces, take you up-close with the animals, and leave you with a deeper understanding of nature and a greater appreciation for the animal world. I was left feeling thankful for zoos like ZooAmerica, who are helping our wildlife and educating us on animals right here in our backyard.
A note for parents: This would make a great gift to your child. It would be so much fun to do as a family, especially if you homeschool. You learn a lot! All of the animal petting and feeding is optional. Do not worry, if you have a child who may not want to participate in these parts, that is totally okay. I would recommend this tour for ages 6 and up.