What caught my eye about Jungle Island when I was searching for fun things to do Miami with my boys, was the amount of shows and animal interactions they offered. There are zoos and parks where you can see animals, and it’s great, but having the opportunity to interact with them is even better!
What to do and see in Jungle Island:
1. Holding the Animals – The adventure starts as soon as you walk in. You are greeted by members of the staff holding animals that you can touch and photograph with. The not so good part is that they are the ones in charge of photos and each cost $20.
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The problem isn’t having to pay for a photo of my kids interacting and having fun with animals. What I don’t like is the idea of it being the first thing you see and pushed on you.
TIP: Really close to where the photos and souvenirs are they have a Macaw exhibit – free – and you get as close to these birds and take as many photos as you like.
2. Animals – Have you ever heard of a Liger? It is the product of mixing a lion with a tiger and you can find one in Jungle Island. This is such an amazing animal to look at. These incredible animals are huge!
Another pretty amazing animal to see are the white lions. I wasn’t the only one amazed by them, my boys couldn’t stop looking at them! I think the lions knew how amazed we all were because they kept on coming up to the windows and rubbing against them.
3. Petting Zoo – A lot of people seem to think that petting zoos are over rated. But they are actually great! It is a place where kids can spend hours playing with animals. Nothing beats hands-on encounters. They even allow you to feed the goats.
Well, you don’t always get to feed them, since they are already stuffed with food from previous visitors.
4. More Animal Interaction – For a fee of $3 or $5 you get to touch, feed or even ride different kinds of animals. It can get a bit overwhelming because it all adds up, and you end up spending hundreds of dollars, especially if you have more than one kid.
5. Animal Shows – This is one of the things I loved the most about the park. They offer several different shows every day. Here are the most popular:
- Winged Wonders – as you can probably already tell this is a bird show.
- Wild Encounters – in this one they show some of the monkeys and big cats of the park.
- Dr. Wasabi’s Wild Adventure – DON’T MISs THIS! What makes this show so good is seeing how much Dr. Wasabi loves the animals and his job. His passion is almost contagious.
6. VIP tours – It claims to be a unique tour where you are taken behind the scenes to see some animals and play with them, while learning all about them. My family and I didn’t get to experience it since it was sold out. However I hear that it is pretty expensive, I don’t know if it is worth it. It’s $240 per person which can really add up.
My Take On It:
The best part of the whole experience were the shows. They were entertaining and allowed us to see wildlife up close. Also being able to see animals as unique and rare as Ligers and White lions was amazing!
The animal interactions where great too, but I didn’t appreciate the cost. I had to say no to my boys many times and that took away a lot of the fun. They ended up angry rather than having a great time the whole time. Maybe have less where you need to pay, or make it more affordable.
And again, the shows saved the day! They had so much fun watching them that they stopped complaining and kept their minds off of feeding red kangroos.
Important Information for Jungle Island:
Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am to 5pm / Saturday & Sunday: 10am to 6pm
Address: 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, Florida 33132
Phone: (305) 400-7000
Cost: Adult: 35.26 / Child: 26.70