FortWorthZooThink Ft. Worth is all steer and cowboys? Think again! Just south of the Stockyards that put Ft. Worth on the map sits a wonderful, tree-covered zoo that that very easily qualifies as one of the best zoos in Texas.

The Ft. Worth Zoo is the oldest zoo in Texas, opening in 1909 with less than 10 animals. Since then, it has grown into a nationally-ranking zoo with over 7,000 native and exotic animals. Currently, the Ft. Worth Zoo has 12 permanent exhibit areas (The World of Primates, Meerkat Mounds and Texas Wild! being some of our favorites).

What we love best about the Fort Worth Zoo is the all the trees. Located South of downtown Fort Worth, there are tons of pathways that are shaded and cool, making this a great place to go anytime of the year. But we personally love it in the fall. It is one of the places in North Texas where you actually can get a tiny sliver of the changing of the season!

FWZ2There are a ton of hands on activities for all ages too. Every half-hour a “Creature Feature” is scheduled at the zoo, providing you with the opportunity to meet these animals up close. Click here for details. The Texas Wild! Petting Corral, the Tasmanian Tower rock climbing wall, and the Texas Rose Express Train are a few other fun activities to try.

One of our NEW favorite things to see is The Museum of Living Art (MOLA), which opened in 2010. My 9 year old son who is obsessed with reptiles, thought it was the BOMB. The MOLA houses more than 100 amphibian and reptile species, including North America’s largest saltwater crocodile, a 15.5 foot Burmese python, and a Komodo Dragon. You can get up close and personal with many of them – we particularly enjoyed having lunch and watching the turtles and crocodiles swim right by us in their natural “ocean”.

FWZ3Another favorite Exhibit of ours at the Fort Worth Zoo is Texas Wild! Texas is home to more species of animals than any other state in the nation!! And the Texas Wild! exhibit houses most of these, providing visitors a glimpse into every area of Texas – the dusty desert of West Texas to the piney woods and swamps of East Texas. You can literally “walk” the WHOLE state in less than 20 minutes – foliage and animals included.

Again, we just love the Fort Worth Zoo – such a fun place to take all ages, any time of the year.