Things to Do in Tampa: Lowry Park Zoo
Located in Tampa, Florida, the Lowry Park Zoo is one of the premier facilities in the sunshine state that, “connects people with the living earth”. Next time you are in Tampa, be sure to stop by the Lowry Park Zoo with the whole family. Lowry Park Zoo
In the early 1950s, a small zoo was located on the University of Tampa’s campus. By the mid-1950s, the mayor of Tampa, Nick Nuccio, decided to grant the zoo a select amount of land. This land happened to be near Seminole Heights. With a combination of park and zoo facilities, Nuccio named the area Lowry Park. The name originated from a Tampa resident, General Sumter Loper Lowry, who had served in many wars and devoted most of his life to community service.
In 1957, the Lowry Park Zoo officially opened in conjunction with a fairy tale themed park called Fairyland. By the 1980s, the Lowry Park Zoo and Fairyland had exponentially increased. The Zoo had a bustling new collection of animals, and Fairyland’s attractions had multiplied and become outdated. It soon became apparent the Lowry Park Zoo would need an upgrade.
Finally, on September 7, 1987, the Lowry Park Zoo closed. Bob Martinez, the mayor of Tampa, had supervised a fundraiser that totaled $20 million for new zoo facilities. In March 1988 the new Lowry Park Zoo closed. The reconstruction of the Zoo had wiped away all signs of the original Zoo and Fairyland. Since 1988, the Lowry Park Zoo has made small renovations to keep their facilities as modern as possible. Things to Do in Tampa: Lowry Park Zoo - Photo: Lowry Park Zoo
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The Lowry Park Zoo has various animals spread out across their 63 acres. Animals are housed in different park areas relevant to their native region, species, and overall lifestyle.
Main Entrance is the first attraction visitors see when they visit the Lowry Park Zoo. The second you step into the Zoo, you’ll be able to start exploring wildlife in fun and interactive ways. You can explore the aviary, which is free-flight, so you will be able to view birds in up close and personal interactions. Or, you can cool off in the Manatee Fountains!
Florida Wildlife showcases the special plants and animals that are native to Florida. You can take a walk along the boardwalk and check out the display of various sea and land animals, or you can get up close and personal with some native Florida animals by touching and feeding stingrays.
Asian Gardens display a variety of animals someone would find within Asia. Visitors will be able to view a combination of animals, including large cats like the clouded leopard and reptiles like the Indian gharial. Things to Do in Tampa: Lowry Park Zoo - Photo: Lowry Park Zoo
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Primate World is a comprehensive display of various primates from all over the world. Some of the highlighted primates in this attraction include Bornean orangutans, mandrills, and squirrel monkeys.
Carousel Circle is the perfect place to take a break and hang out for a little bit. Located just off to the side of the Main Entrance, Carousel Circle is named for the large Jungle Carousel located in the middle of this park area. After riding the carousel, check out the Sweet Shoppe or participate in one of the daily interactive activities.
Wallaroo Station transports visitors to Australia. This is one of the most popular park areas within the Lowry Park Zoo. At Wallaroo Station, you can; hang out with koalas, connect with animals in the petting zoo, check out one of the decadent dining options, play in the water area, and even ride the Tasmanian Tiger Family Roller Coaster.
Safari Africa is an explorative attraction dedicated to viewing some of the most magnificent and breathtaking wildlife in an intimate setting. Some of the animals in this attraction include; white rhinos, zebras, African penguins, giraffes, and okapi. Things to Do in Tampa: Lowry Park Zoo - Photo: Lowry Park Zoo
Education is extremely important to the Lowry Park Zoo. This is shown within the Zoo’s extensive educational opportunities and education-based attraction, Zoo School.
Most of the educational opportunities at the Lowry Park Zoo occur at the Zoo School. Located near Safari Africa, the Zoo School is also known as the Florida Environmental Education Center. The Zoo School offers a variety of educational opportunities for people of all ages. Every educational program at the Zoo School engages participants to learn about the animals in the Zoo, and wildlife in general, in a fun and interactive way.
For more information about the Zoo School and the specific educational opportunities available for different age groups, check out the Lowry Park Zoo’s official website.
Back to: Tampa, Florida
Address: 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604, website, Phone: 813-935-8552 Things to Do in Tampa: Lowry Park Zoo - Photo: Lowry Park Zoo
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