Zoos in GAINESVILLE with kids

It’s animal time in Gainesville, Florida and they are calling YOU!

For those families who LOVE those animal encounters, look no further than Gainesville because this The Sunshine State city has plenty of them!

We have to start with zoos. These are the most iconic way to experience wildlife, and great to visit with children. They offer animal encounters, and kids can experience creatures from all across the globe.  

Farms are a great alternative for a more hands-on experience with petting zoos and barnyard fun. Wildlife sanctuaries offer kids an invaluable lesson in conservation, and animal-specific attractions let kids really immerse themselves in their favorite creatures!

Whatever wildlife experience you choose with children, you know they will walk away filled with memories and knowledge that can’t be replaced. They’ll have a ROAR-ing time! 

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  • The Teaching Zoo

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    (7 miles) Gainesville

    The Teaching Zoo is operated as a part of Santa Fe Colleges Zoo Animal Technology Program; it is the premier wild animal technology program in the United States. Supervised by the professional staff ...

  • Petting Zoo Ocala

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    (32 miles) Ocala

    A fun petting zoo for all ages with exotic animals and farm animals. Kids can also enjoy pony rides and even camel rides! Florida animals fun for the family!

  • Homosassa Wildlife Park

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    (61 miles) Homosassa

    Showcasing native Florida wildlife, including an underwater manatee observatory, plus a children's hands on education centre, daily encounter programs and a boat tour is included in your admission.

  • Tree Hill Nature Center

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    (65 miles) Jacksonville

    Hands-on educational programs in this Jacksonville Nature Center. 50 acres of ecosystems to explore, walking trails and a butterfly house.

  • Jacksonville Zoo

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    (66 miles) Jacksonville

    Zoo fun in Florida, with the only walking safari in NE Florida, a kid-friendly Play Park, ever-changing gardens and exhibits filled with 1,800 wonderful animals!

  • Marineland

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    (67 miles) Saint Augustine

    Amazing marine encounters in St. Augustine at the world's first oceanarium, with interactive programs, swimming with dolphins, and other beautiful marine life!

  • Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens

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    (83 miles) Sanford

    Nestled in lush tropical foliage, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens boasts over 400 animals, 23 acres of native gardens, animal encounters, train and carousel rides and ZOOM Air Adventures. ...

  • Giraffe Ranch

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    (84 miles) Dade City

    45 minutes north of Tampa is 47 rolling acres of countryside teeming with wildlife that kids can play with, feed, look at, and even ride! This wildlife preserve offers intimate safari expeditions for ...

  • Dade City's Wild Things

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    (89 miles) Dade City

    Embark on an adventure that will take you closer to amazing animals than ever before, with 22 acres of Florida animal fun!

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Jumperz Fun Center

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    (47 miles) Orange Park

    14,000 sq feet of indoor fun in Jacksonville, with themed inflatables for kids ages 2 to 12 years, as well as paint ball and laser tag! Too much fun!

  • Pump It Up Jacksonville

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    (65 miles) Jacksonville

    Great open play on hug inflatables in Jacksonville, with Glow Jump and Bounce N Bubbles - with a fun bubble machine!

  • Jump N Joeys

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    (83 miles) Clermont

    This climate controlled play zone offers a large selection of obstacle courses, giant slides and jumpers that provide endless fun for children of all ages. They offer a separate toddler area with ...

  • Lucky Monkey Orlando

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    (87 miles) Altamonte Springs

    Indoor play fun for kids up to 8, with a bubbles party, heaps of toys and inflatables, and great for birthday parties!

  • Bounce Party

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    (89 miles) Hudson

    9,000 square feet of inflatable fun from slides and obstacle courses to classic bounce houses and more besides.

  • Amaya Papaya

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    (90 miles) Casselberry

    A fun play lounge for kids up to 5 years with hands-on discovery, physical fun, role playing, and where parents can join in!

  • Grammys Indoor Playground

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    (96 miles) Winter Park

    Welcomes under 5s and their families to come and play, with fun themed areas, interactive game stations, jungle gym and kids' library.

  • Silver Springs

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    (34 miles) Silver Springs

    Silver Springs is a 350 acre nature theme park that surrounds the headwaters of the beautiful Silver River, the largest artesian spring formation in the world. Located 90 miles north of Orlando, just ...

  • Ichetucknee Springs State Park

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    (34 miles) Fort White

    Fun adventures in Florida nature with canoeing, kayaking, nature trails and swimming...just to scratch the surface!

  • Fanning Springs State Park

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    (37 miles) Fanning Springs

    Located on the Suwannee River, this inviting source of cool, clear water has attracted people for thousands of years. Great idea if you are looking for fun places to go with kids in Florida

  • Big Shoals State Park

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    (54 miles) White Springs

    his park features the largest whitewater rapids in Florida. Limestone bluffs, towering 80 feet above the banks of the Suwannee River, afford outstanding vistas not found anywhere else in Florida. ...

  • Swim With Manatees

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    (54 miles) Crystal River

    Make this vacation the most memorable ever for the entire family. Come swim with our gentle giants, the manatees. This will be one of the most exciting things you have ever done. Our staff biologist ...

  • Crystal River Preserve

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    (55 miles) Crystal River

    The Crystal River Preserve State Park is truly a unique area on Florida's Gulf Coast. The park is in between temperate and sub-tropical climate zones, which allows for different communities to grow ...

  • Fort Cooper State Park

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    (58 miles) Inverness

    The sparkling waters of Lake Holathlikaha were a welcome sight to sick and wounded soldiers during the Second Seminole War. In 1836, the First Georgia Battalion of Volunteers built a stockade for the ...

  • Anastasia State Park

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    (64 miles) Augustine

    Anastasia State Park welcomes hundreds of thousands visitors from all over the world to enjoy our natural and cultural treasures. At Anastasia you can enjoy camping, nature trails, beach time, water ...

  • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

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    (70 miles) Jacksonville

    Visit one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast. Discover 6,000 years of human history and experience the beauty of salt marshes, coastal dunes, and hardwood hammocks.

  • Hontoon Island State Park

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    (75 miles) Deland

    This island, located in the St. Johns River in Volusia County, welcomes visitors to enjoy nature and history in quiet solitude. The island is accessible only by private boat or park ferry. Evidence ...

  • Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

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    (76 miles) Folkston

    A wildlife preserve like no where else on earth! The Okenfenokee Swamp provides habitats for threatened and endangered wildlife, but is also a place for family fun with canoeing, wildlife viewing, ...

  • Pine Island Beach Park

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    (77 miles) Weeki Wachee

    Explore a whole world away on this idyllic beach, with swimming, sports, picnics, and the beautiful waters of Florida!

  • Amelia Island State Park

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    (78 miles) Jacksonville

    An easy drive from Jacksonville, the park protects over 200 acres of unspoiled wilderness along the southern tip of Amelia Island. Beautiful beaches, salt marshes, and coastal maritime forests ...

  • Big Talbot Island State Park

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    (78 miles) Jacksonville

    Located on one of Northeast Florida's unique sea islands, Big Talbot Island State Park is primarily a natural preserve providing a premier location for nature study, bird-watching, and photography. ...

  • Blue Spring State Park

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    (78 miles) Avenue Orange City

    The largest spring on the St. Johns River, Blue Spring is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home (mid-November through March) to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. For centuries, ...

  • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

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    (80 miles) Spring Hill

    Amazing fun with this state park featuring Florida's only spring-fed waterpark, with thrill rides, beach sports, a kiddie pool, mermaid and animal shows, cruises and canoeing!

  • Colt Creek

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    (95 miles) Lakeland

    This 5067 acre park nestled within the Green Swamp Wilderness Area and named after one of the tributaries that flows through the property was opened to the public on January 20, 2007. For over 60 ...

  • Ecofina River State Park

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    (99 miles) Lamont

    Nestled along the northern Gulf Coast, this park protects a mosaic of diverse landscapes. The Econfina River meanders like a dark ribbon through pine flatwoods, oaks and palm forests to broad ...

  • Wild Waters

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    (34 miles) Ocala

    Florida water fun at Wild Waters, with water attractions for all ages. From slides to wave pools, cool off in The Sunshine State!