Banish “I’m bored” from your kids’ vocabulary this summer with a visit to Pennsylvania’s many zoos and wildlife parks, which are crawling, running, flying and swimming with wild creatures.
Here are a few easy ways to get in touch with Pennsylvania’s wild side:
• Tap into exciting daily programs at the Philadelphia Zoo — America’s first — where zookeeper presentations, guided tours and other animal-centric activities bring this Fairmount Park family attraction to life.
• Take advantage of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s new Wildlife Encounter program, which offers a peek behind the scenes with the zookeepers where you can ask questions about your favorite animals.
• Spend the day in the 11 blossoming gardens and check out animal exhibits — including a new lion habitat — at the Erie Zoo & Botanical Gardens.
• Seek out educational programs, camps or family events at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnecksville and experience everything from African penguins to zebras.
• Meet two famous African giraffes (Jukuu and Dhoruba), cavorting bison, one of the nation’s largest open-air bald eagle exhibits and more than 150 other species at the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown.
• Step into a zoo in the woods at Claws ‘N’ Paws in the Pocono Mountain town of Lake Ariel to see more than 120 species of wild animals, feed some of the creatures and meet baby animals.
Wildlife Parks in Pennsylvania
• See where the buffalo roam, as well as cougars, emus, goats, kangaroos and more at Animaland Zoological Park in Wellsboro.
• Stroll through the Southern Swamps or Big Sky Country at ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park in Hershey, where more than 200 animals represent more than 60 species and five regions of the continent.
• Prowl Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park in Centre Hall on a 90-minute open-air bus tour seeking out mountain lions, timberwolves, bighorn sheep and other North American animals.
• Find fascinating facts about the mysterious and scaly members of the animal kingdom at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland in Allenwood.
• Travel more than 150 acres of rolling hills on a guided safari tour at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park in Halifax to see herds of roaming animals, flightless birds and reptiles.
• Discover new wildlife species, like the precocious kinkajou and fennec fox, at the Wildlife Academy at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort; take Louie’s African Train Ride to visit bison, tigers, lions, red sheep and zebras.
Other Animal Attractions in Pennsylvania
• Enjoy performances, demonstrations and watching the enchanting miniature horses and other farm animals at the Land of Little Horses Farm Park in Gettysburg.
• Get hands-on at the Endless Mountains Nature Center in Tunkhannock along the Susquehanna River, where a variety of animals, birds and insects make their home.
• Venture to the southernmost part of Pymatuning Lake in Jamestown to see animals and birds from around the world at Pymatuning Deer Park; the Kiddie Zoo lets visitors get up close and personal with baby animals.
• Learn the workings of farmlife in Dallas at the Lands at Hillside Farms, including a working dairy herd, greenhouses to tour and delicious organic products.
• Ride camels and meet giraffes, kangaroos, wallabies, laughing hyenas, ostriches, timberwolves, lemurs and more at the Living Treasures Animal Park in Jones Mills.