With approximately 85 acres of land, the Caldwell Zoo has a comprehensive collection of animals from all over the world. Located in the heart of Tyler, Texas, the Caldwell Zoo should be on the top of your things to do in Tyler. Photo: Ian/Fotolia



In 1937, David King Caldwell acted upon his passion for education and animals and established the Child Development Laboratory. This unofficial laboratory was located in Caldwell’s home. Although the Child Development Laboratory only had a small collection of animals, which included parrots and squirrels, the community loved it. With a blink of an eye, the Child Development Laboratory grew to have various animals spread out across a vast amount of land.

The Child Development Laboratory officially became the Caldwell Zoo in 1953 when it opened on the same land where the Zoo is currently located today. Some of the earliest animals that came to the Caldwell Zoo included animals who retired from entertainment careers, such as a widely renowned lion.

Although the Caldwell Zoo officially opened in 1953, the construction and layout plans for the Zoo were officially finished in 1976. With the completion of Caldwell’s initial plan, the Zoo had many new complexes. The Caldwell Zoo underwent a few more renovations during the 1980s. Things to Do in Tyler, Texas: Caldwell Zoo - Photo: olga_gl- Fotolia.com



The Caldwell Zoo has a variety of animals spread out across their 85 acres of land. Animals are divided among different attraction areas, which are relevant to specific regions in the world.

African Savanna takes visitors on a safari through the African Savanna. Some of the highlighted animals in this attraction include; Soemmerring’s gazelles, giraffes, Colobus monkeys, kudu, and zebras.

African Aquarium gives visitors a look into an African ecosystem that is not usually showcased. The African Aquarium depicts life for marine life in Africa. Some of the marine animals in this exhibit include; black-footed penguins, cichlid fish, tortoises, and weavers.

North America is a display of the most popular animals that are native to North America. The animals in this attraction resemble a variety of different regions within North America. Visitors will be able to view and learn about; Texas longhorns, white-tailed deer, red fox, bobcats, bald eagles and many other animals!

North American Herpetarium is home to some of the most interesting and feared animals in North America. These animals include tarantulas and snakes.

South America is located towards the entrance of the Caldwell Zoo. A variety of animals that call South America home are located within this exhibit. You can expect to see roseate spoonbills, squirrel monkeys, Chilean flamingos, and other animals hanging out in this exhibit.

Wild Bird Walkabout is a free-flight aviary that allows visitors to explore exotic birds in an up close and personal way. Approximately 600 birds are located in the Wild Bird Walkabout. These birds include cockatiels and parakeets, as well as many other popular species. Visitors even have the option of feeding birds by purchasing a seed stick that costs $1. Things to Do in Tyler, Texas: Caldwell Zoo - Photo: Ronnie Howard/Fotolia

»Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

Since the founder of the Caldwell Zoo was extremely passionate about education, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Caldwell Zoo has a variety of educational opportunities for people of all ages. While the Caldwell Zoo offers educational programs for everyone, majority of their programs are geared towards children and families.

One of the most general, yet popular, educational programs at the Caldwell Zoo is their Ed-Zoo-Cation Scavenger Hunts. Whenever a school visits the Caldwell Zoo for a field trip, they have the opportunity in participating in one of the various scavenger hunts. Each scavenger hunt has a different theme and level of difficulty. Currently, the Ed-Zoo-Cation Scavenger Hunts include:

· Bird Search!

· Conservation Corps!

· Habitat Hunt!

· Mammal Mania!

· Sensational Senses!

· Who am I?

· Zoo to Do!

Aside from the Ed-Zoo-Cation Scavenger Hunts, a popular education program at the Caldwell Zoo is the various classes and camps available. The classes at the Caldwell Zoo differ among age and grade level, as well as special interests. Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts have the opportunity of participating in special classes and “funshops” that other people don’t have the chance to participate in. These classes and “funshops” include exploratory adventures and hands-on history lessons.

While you have to reserve a spot in advance for many educational programs at the Caldwell Zoo, such as their classes, camps, and scavenger hunts, the Caldwell Zoo’s Zooper Days are completely free and do not require registration. Zooper Days occur throughout the year and celebrate holidays or bring awareness to specific current events.

For more information about any of the above educational opportunities, and other programs and the Caldwell Zoo, check out the Zoo’s website, or contact them during their hours of operation.

Back to: Tyler, Texas Address: 2203 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Tyler, TX 75702, Phone: 903-593-0121 Things to Do in Tyler, Texas: Caldwell Zoo - Photo: Vladimir Wrangel/Fotolia

Things to Do in Tyler, Texas: Caldwell Zoo

  • History, Photo: Courtesy of olga_gl- Fotolia.com
  • Attractions, Photo: Courtesy of Ronnie Howard - Fotolia.com
  • Educational Opportunities, Photo: Courtesy of Vladimir Wrangel - Fotolia.com
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of Ian - Fotolia.com