I recently spent the day at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL with my daughter, Clare. It was our first time exploring Busch Gardens and honestly I was surprised by how much there is to do and learn at this theme park. More than roller coasters and water rides (though the park does have both), the park offers numerous opportunities to learn about animal care and veterinary medicine, even conservation and recycling. Take a look at six things you must do on a trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa.
1. Explore the Animal Care Center. While we were at Busch Gardens, we saw an anteater getting an endoscopy. Seriously, how many people can say that? I mean, wow. Inside the Animal Care Center we also found sample animal charts to scan to learn about the process of caring for each animal’s particular condition. For more, you can even check out an Animal Care Center Behind-the-Scenes experience.
2. Learn Random Animal Facts. Stop any employee in the park (with a green shirt and a name tag) and ask them for a random fact about their favorite animal. It’s such a fun way to learn about staff favorites as well as fun facts you may otherwise never have known about animals at Busch Gardens.
3. Feed a Giraffe. I fed a giraffe once before at the Naples Zoo, but the giraffe was behind a big wall and he had to bend way over to grab my lettuce leaf. It was fun, but the experience as part of the add-on Serengeti Safari at Busch Gardens was so much better. When I say we got up-close to a giraffe, we got up-close, like nose to nose.
4. Meet the Keepers. One of my favorite things to do at the zoo is meet the zoo keepers and see how they interact with the animals. You can do the same at Busch Gardens and learn so much about the various animals on-site, like gorillas, elephants, cheetahs and kangaroos.
5. Visit with Animal Ambassadors. Head to Jambo Junction where you can meet animal ambassadors, like flamingos, sloths, lemurs and opossums. It’s pretty amazing to be able to get up-close with these wild animals at Busch Gardens. We even talked with one of the keepers holding a tarantula.
6. Try a Behind-the-Scenes Tour. As I mentioned above, there is a behind-the-scenes tour of the Animal Care Center at Busch Gardens. Sure, it costs a little more, but there are some pretty cool things you can do, like become a Keeper for a Day and take a Jungala Insider Tour.
Disclaimer: My daughter and I were guests of Busch Gardens. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.