Do your kids love to go to the zoo? Do you ever wish you didn’t have to walk for hours to see a couple of exotic animals only to hear your kids complain about their feet hurting? No? Just me then. Lol!
Well, let me tell you about this place I discovered recently: the Tennessee Safari Park, a Drive-thru Zoo!!
Every year that we have homeschooled, we always end the school year by going on an awesome field trip on the very last day. It’s always a surprise. I don’t tell the kids where we’re going so they get all excited about it on the day of. This year, I surprised them with a trip to the Tennessee Safari Park in Alamo, Tn. One of my best friend’s and I planned this trip together. She homeschools her kiddos as well and loved the idea of a drive-thru zoo. This is about as close as my kids may get to actual safari animals and they LOVED IT!
Our driver was one of the owners of the park. The park has been created, owned, and operated by his family for over 60 years!
Pricing and Admission into the Park
After looking on their website, www.tennesseesafaripark.com, I found their prices and hours of admission. Adults are $16 and children ages 2-12 are $12. The park is open year round Monday through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 12-5 p.m. They do have a special Field Trip Rate and homeschoolers in groups of 15 or more may get in for the Field Trip Rate at $8 a person and teachers are free. If you book your trip as a field trip, a driver will take you through the park in their special retro-fitted busses that have bench seats down the middle and a feeding counter outside the open windows. I HIGHLY recommend this idea, because otherwise you will be driving your OWN car through the park and those camels do not understand personal space! Animal feed will litter your entire inside of your vehicle. Just sayin’. Lol! I called about 2 weeks prior to our trip to make our reservations. Alamo is about a 3 hour drive from Nashville, so we started out around 8 am.
*Wandering Mama Tip: Call ahead to make reservations and gather some friends to go with you to get the field trip rate!
The park offers around 60 different types of exotic animals. We saw many different animals including camels, monkeys, emus, llamas, buffaloes, gazelles, deer, peacocks and many more!! As the bus moves through the park, it stopped periodically to allow the “residents” to catch up and have a snack from the kids. We had such great conversations about all the different kinds of animals the kids got to see, several of which they wanted to learn more about once we got home.
After the ride, we visited the pygmy goats in the petting zoo and walked around to look at some of their other animals. They have live peacocks just roaming freely around the place.
We strolled into the gift shop to look for souvenirs. We collect ornaments from every vacation/trip to hang on our “Travel Tree” at Christmas. It’s a tree in our dining room that only has ornaments from all of our travels. It’s a great way to remember and reminisce on all of our favorite family memories. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any, but they had something even better: a Hatcherie! They had these huge metal incubators for the eggs. Each incubator had a large window to look inside and check out how the eggs were doing. Be sure to check out the Hatcheries in the gift shop! We got to see a newly hatched emu! It was precious!!!
In the gift shop, there are other animals that your kids may want to visit, especially the snake! That thing was huge!
There is a pavilion where you are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and eat before/after your trip through the park. It is covered and right beside the parking lot. Since we had such a long drive, we didn’t pack a lunch. Instead, we found a Cracker Barrel off the exit and ate there before heading home.
It was a great trip! The kids had a wonderful time interacting with animals they would normally never see. They can’t wait to go back!
I hope you enjoyed this Family Field Trip of ours! If you’d like to get more ideas for your own Family Field Trips, check out some of my other trips HERE
If you have any ideas for a great Family Field Trip, please leave it in the comments or message me at Gini@WanderingHomeschoolers.com.
*I am not a paid advertiser or affiliate of anything written in my posts. I truly just want to share my experiences in hopes it’ll help other homeschoolers/families make the most of their time together. If you have any comments or questions, please post them below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for visiting!