Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
San Francisco, California
December 21, 2006
The Dakota Zoo was visited the 2006 Best City Attraction and it's easy to see why. Getting to the zoo from the center of Bismarck where we stayed was very easy. It was about a 15 minute drive, driving cautiously because we weren't a hundred percent sure where we were going. It was easy and simple to get there. Once we did, there was a large parking lot to park in and parking was free. We paid our admission, which was reasonably priced for a zoo - it is $6 for adults, $3 for kids, and babies under $2 are free, and there are reduced winter rates.
The first thing you see is the Discovery Center, this large log-cabin type building where you can get maps of the zoo or other information. Its a pretty large zoo (about 88 acres) so you will probably want a map so you can know where you are going and go and see the animals that you wish to see.
There are over 600 different animals - everything from bears to birds to bugs to snakes. This is not as big of a zoo as the Cincinnati or the Toronto Zoo and doesn't have quite the same selection of animals to see, however they do have a wide variety of different species and their habitats feel natural and large and safe so you don't feel guilty watching the animals or feel like they are just crowded into little cages.
One really nice thing this zoo offers is The Tribune Express and the Leach Express. These are little trains that you can take to get around the zoo so you can see more animals in less time, without having to walk all around. This can be nice because you get a wider view of more animals, however you can't necessarily get off at every cage that you wish, so you don't necessarily get as close up as you would if you were walking around on your own. The two best exhibits at this zoo were the Bear Habitat, and the Otter Habitat. Both were large and offered many different animals to gaze at and observe. The habitats felt really natural and wonderful and you felt like you were observing the animals in their own habitat in nature.
There was a decent selection of food to eat if you get hungry- all amusement park style food, i.e. not very healthy. There were ice cream stands, and pretzels and pizza and stuff. If you prefer healthy snacks for your kids you will have to bring them in with you when you come because there aren't a lot of them here. Overall, this is a great way to spend an afternoon and I would schedule at least a couple of hours to get to walk around and see everything you want to see (or take the train). Don't forget to get your souvenirs at the Trading Post, a great store with reasonable prices and lots of cool zoo stuff.
From journal Bismarck
Key West, Florida
June 27, 2006
From journal Week in North Dakota