How often does a black bear walk past your car? Probably never, unless you’ve been to the drive-through zoo at Bearizona Wildlife Park. This unique zoo has the standard zoo experience most kids love. They can run around (while killing off some energy) and see animals in typical zoo enclosures. But my family’s favorite part of Bearizona was the drive-through part where we saw arctic wolves, white bison and black bears just outside our car.
Other reasons we love it:
· You can drive through the 3-mile loop multiple times, all day long if you want.
· We pulled over to watch different animals for as long as we wanted.
· Touring from the comfort of your car means the outside weather is not an issue; you can visit year-round including the snowy winter months.
We picked up snacks before our visit and munched while we looked at the animals.
Now if anyone out there is a wee bit worried about safety, rest assured they have very specific rules in place about keeping your windows rolled up and doors locked while touring. Not that the animals can open your doors but you never know about overly excited kids.
Walking through Fort Bearizona (the standard zoo experience), we saw lots more animals but our favorites were the Javelina, black bear cubs, porcupines and Canadian lynx. There is even a fun little petting zoo area, which is great for little ones. We noticed expansion and new habitats being created during our visit in November. There are plans to add armadillos, badgers, coyotes, jaguars and Grizzly bears.
They were also giving kids free Bearizona tattoos while we were there; my boys (5 and 2) thought it was pretty cool to have a bear claw on their arm. Naturally we stopped in the gift shop and while they had plenty of fun Bearizona and animal souvenirs, we settled on a couple of neat magnets for our fridge.
Bearizona is located in Williams, Arizona, 30 minutes west of Flagstaff and 90 miles west of Winslow, AZ. Admission rates range from $10-20 per person with a max car load cost of $100. Kids 3 and under are free.
Hours change seasonally based on daylight hours, check with Bearizona when planning your trip. Fort Bearizona offers restrooms and a snack bar. Our visit lasted about 3 hours and a minimum of 2 hours is recommended but you can tour at your own pace and stay all day long if you like.
Disclosure: My family was provided complimentary admission for review purposes. All opinions are my own.