Looking for things to do in Fort Wayne Indiana with your kids?  Look no further than exploring the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  Mommy And Me Travels had a wonderful time visiting the 4 distinct areas and partaking in all the additional rides.  Bonus is that there are many Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo events that take place regularly.  Do you have kids that love animals, love to interact with animals (petting zoo), or just love taking a hike around?  Then you have to visit the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  Named one of the best zoos in Indiana, you will not be disappointed in your day trip adventure.  Here are 10 tips to help plan your family adventure to the best zoo in Indiana, Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo!

               Related: 6 Best Family Friendly Restaurants in Fort Wayne, IN

This was a sponsored visit to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo provided during our sponsored trip to Fort Wayne by Visit Fort Wayne.  Here at Mommy And Me Travels we always provide our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, and/or experiences on topics, events, and/or products.  The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.  You can read more about this on our disclosure page here. 

Overview of Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is over 40 acres in Franke Park and has over 1,000 animals for you to see and discover. The zoo is designed to provide the young and young at heart great ways to see and interact with animals from all around the world.  Admission into the zoo will cost you $15 for adults and $10 for kids 2-18 (Jun 2019), parking however is free.  Also plan to bring a few extra dollars to buy tokens for the rides or interactions in the park (more about these below).  

Tip #1: Bring your lunch!

The zoo allows you to bring in food and drink items.  If you are trying to be budget conscious, I would recommend bringing your families lunch and at least one bottle of water for each person. Visiting Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Tip #2: Visit Counter Clockwise! 

We visited the zoo at opening.  To avoid the rush of being with others we decided to do the zoo in a counter clockwise visit.  This worked out great for our family.  If you decide to go counter clockwise, you can ensure seeing and exploring everything by taking a left at every intersection.  

Indiana Petting Zoo

Start your adventure in the Central Zoo and Petting Zoo area

The first place to explore when you enter the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is the Central Zoo section.  Here you will discover animals that live on a farm, such as rabbits, goats, chicken’s, etc.  Free activities in this area include brushing goats, interacting with sea lions, and climbing through a non-mobile train.  To ride the Z.O.&O Railroad will cost you 2 tokens per person.  Indiana Petting Zoo

Tip #3: Purchase large amount of tokens here!

Riding the train is the first place that you will discover that tokens are needed for participating in certain activities throughout the zoo.   Secure tokens from the many machines throughout the park, each token cost $1.  To get these, you have to stand in line and use your credit card.  We discovered that our kids wanted to do everything that required tokens, I bet yours will also.  Learn from my mistake and buy a lot of these tokens now.  It will save you time and headache later in the day when the lines are long at these machines and the kids are impatiently waiting to go get in another line to wait again for the next fun activity.

Stingray Bay Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Next Stop is the Australian Adventures are of the Fort Wayne Zoo

Now that you have ridden the Z.O.&O. Railroad it is time to cross the tracks and enter the Australian area of the zoo.  Here you will be able to see the Tasmanian Devils, 2 large aquariums, and many other “Australian” type animals like the kangaroos, parrots, and dingoes.  The ride in this location is Crocodile Creek Adventure Ride.  It will excite your little ones because they get to ride a log around the creek and spot crocodiles (don’t worry, they are not real).  Also, plan to stop at the kangaroo exhibit on your way out of this area.  The area is enclosed so when you walk inside you are easily able to see the kangaroos.  If you are lucky, they will be active and might even jump right up next to you.  

Tip #4: Don’t miss Stingray Bay!

As you are venturing in the Australian Adventures a great place to start with your kids is the Stingray Bay.  The kids will get to test their luck on getting to touch a stingray with the close encounter area.  By starting here, it made my kids all the more excited to venture through the aquariums and see the multiple fish and then sharks that were behind the glass.  Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Tip #5: The Australian Adventures area is a great place to stop and take a break or have lunch!

Located in the center of the Australian Adventures area is Ray’s Barefoot Grill and Matilda’s.  If you didn’t bring your lunch Ray’s Barefoot Grill has great food and plenty of seating for sitting down and enjoying lunch.  Even if you did bring your lunch, grab a sweet treat from Matilda’s for a way to cool off from the summer heat.  Either way, we recommend planning to stop here for your lunch needs before moving on to another area of the zoo.  You can use the tables even if you aren’t purchasing food from either of these places.  

Pony Ride Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Now on to the Indonesian Rain Forest at the Fort Wayne Zoo

If your kids love reptiles, this area is going to blow their mind.  There are Komodo Dragons, Frogs, and Snakes, Snakes, and more Snakes to be seen here.  In addition to the reptiles you will also be able to see birds, tigers, orangutan, and gibbons.  Here is also were you will get to ride the Endangered Species Carousel.  It will cost for all kids but adults ride free when standing beside their child.  

Tip #6: Don’t miss the Pony Rides

As you are entering into the Indonesian Rain Forest you will spot the Pony Rides area.  It will cost you 6 tokens (Jun 19) per child to ride.  It is also encouraged for parents to walk beside their kids.  This was by far the favorite ride of both Little Man and Baby Man.  The zoo really did take into account all ages of kids when deciding to offer pony rides.  There was a pony that was perfect sized for my 2 year old and one that was slightly larger but perfect sized for my 6 year old.  This is a definite must do at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.   Petting Zoo Indiana

Tip #7: Take your time exploring this area!

A lot of the creatures in the Rain Forest are small and can be easily missed when first trying to locate them in the tanks.  If you glance at the signs next to each tank you will know what you are looking for.  We made a game out of it for our boys.  Here is how it went: {Stand each child in front of the tank, tell them to close their eyes.  You look at the picture to see what they are supposed to find.  Now tell them what they are to find and to open their eyes.  Whoever finds the most gets to pick the next tank.}  This game really did entertain them but it also kept them from fighting on which thing to see next.  In this area is also where you get to see the adorable orangutan.  When we walked through this exhibit they were very active and almost seemed playful.  Petting Zoo Indiana

Africa Journey Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Last, but certainly not least, time to have an African Journey at the Fort Wayne Zoo

Last on your exploration today will be an African Journey.  This worked out great for us because there seems to be more interactive things in this area for kids.  It helped get them re-energized to see the end of the zoo.  In this area of the Fort Wayne Zoo you will get to see animals such as giraffes, lions, zebras, monkeys, and leopards.  There is even a place that your little ones can crawl around a safari vehicle to get pictures as if they were on a tour.  Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

                      Related: Fort Wayne A Midwest Family Destination

Tip #8: Feed the Giraffes!

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo allows you to feed the giraffes different foods.  It was so much fun for my little guys.  The giraffes are gentle and don’t really scare the kids, even my almost 2 year old loved partaking in this activity.  Your kids will grab a piece of lettuce and walk up to the safety rails.  The giraffes come over and stick out their long tongues to grab the food.  My kids thought this was the highlight of their African Journey.  Remember those tokens I told you to buy earlier?  Here you will definitely use them up.  Each piece of lettuce will cost you 1 token (Jun 19).  Best Zoo Indiana Visiting Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo

Tip #9: Take a spin on the Sky Safari!

You have now explored the entire Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo on foot, time to see it from a different vantage point.  Take to the sky on the Sky Safari ride.  From up here you are able to see the animals from a different angle.  You will see them playing and running around below you and get to view many animals at the same time.  Even those you might have missed might now be active for you to see from above.  This ride takes you up in a chairlift that guides to 38 feet high.  You will do one circle of the area and then return to where you started.  Even if the animals aren’t super active on your ride, it is still an experience that the kids will love.  This will cost you 2 tokens a person (Jun 19).  Best Zoo Indiana

Best Zoo in Indiana

Final Thoughts of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

There is a reason that the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo was named one of the best zoo in Indiana.  There are so many things for your kids to see and explore all in one location.  The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo slogan is “Connecting kids and animals, strengthening families and inspiring people to care”.   Here is the last tip I will leave you with today: Visiting Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

Tip #10: List of must pack items!

The zoo is open in the summer so this means that it is hot and you need to be prepared before taking the day trip adventure.  Here is our list of must pack items for you to help make your day more enjoyable:

Bring your lunch – We like this lunch bog from Zuzuro with lots of compartments for easy access to all of our family favorites.

Water – We always carry refillable water bottles and our kids love these collapsible fun rollup types. 

Sunblock – Definitely don’t forget to pack sunblock.  Nothing ruins a day more than a sunburn.  I like to pack the small spray cans for our trips.

Hand Sanitizer – You will be interacting with animals on your adventure.  Don’t forget to have hand sanitizer easily accessible.

Snacks – There will be lots of walking today.  Don’t forget to pack a little energy boast for the kids and yourself.  Check out these fun crave boxes for a variety of items.

Looking for more trip for playing your family travels?  Check out our day trip guide, tips for road trips with toddlers, and sightseeing with kids.

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