Lion Country Safari is a zoo with no cages. Instead, more than 900 animals, including the largest zebra herd outside of Africa, roam its 320 acres freely. During drive-through safaris, cars tour seven sections of the preserve—which represent different areas such as western Zimbabwe and the Serengeti—to see llamas, asiatic water buffalo, chimpanzees, and white rhinoceros. Lions have a section all to themselves so that they don't prey on other animals or disturb them with giggles from the pride's late-night slumber parties.
In addition to the four-mile drive, Lion Country Safari's Safari World allows guests to explore rides and attractions as they visit with animals on foot. They can feed giraffes, practice animal-massage techniques at the petting zoo, or hop on the carousel next to Lake Shanalee's paddleboat rides. After kids splash through the interactive Safari Splash waterpark, they can hop onto the ferris wheel or ask exotic birds for advice on how to fly.
Visitors to Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida get a close look at the state's distinct flora and fauna during thrilling outdoor adventures. The Coach Safari whisks riders on a two-hour open-air jaunt through a 4,700-acre wildlife-conservation area rich with streams and forests. Naturalist guides delve into the natural history of the region's nine ecosystems, which house species including alligators, Florida panthers, and herds of roving photo opportunities. Visitors can also take in sweeping views of the nearby wetlands and their many residents, including countless kinds of birds and white-tailed deer. For equestrian adventurers, safaris on horseback take riders through scenic trails used by Native Americans in the 1500s.
Florida EcoSafaris' EcoPark adds to its Cypress Canopy Cycle adventure-which sends visitors rolling along steel cables in a suspended, pedal-powered cart that doubles as a spy machine for squirrels-with five new and recently renovated zipline adventures. Guests fly high through the air at 30 miles per hour with the Peregrine Plunge and Zipline Safari or leap off 55- or 68-feet platforms during controlled-free-fall adventures. No matter what activity guests participate in, Florida EcoSafaris donates a portion of all proceeds to the Allen Broussard Conservancy, an agency dedicated to the preservation of Florida's ecosystems and wildlife.
At Artful Dreamers Studio, artist Nadine Hamil evokes attendees' inner artists with sundry workshops that encourage creativity to flourish. During 90-minute kids' creative-art classes, tykes romp through the airy, bright studio painting on easels and donning masks with their imaginary friend, Van Gogh. Three-hour Intuitive Painting classes allow students to relinquish creative restraint and artistically express themselves. Two-hour wine-and-painting classes encourage patrons to imbibe and doodle with provided art supplies for the most inspired combination of art and alcohol since Michelangelo painted the ceiling of his local bar and grill.
At Chillin the Most, chef Steve Brust begets a spread of hearty, refined American eats mixed in with what the restaurant calls "HealthyLicious" options. Inside three separate dining areas–each outfitted with a different atmosphere, and different music–visitors take on grilled ahi tuna, or grilled cheese sandwiches bolstered by beer-braised shredded short ribs. A wide drink selection headlined by 24 beers on tap accompanies meals, as does live entertainment throughout the week including dance parties and live bands.
Pristine beaches, a seemingly endless supply of sunshine, swordfish, dolphins, manatees—like a slideshow of a tropical vacation, Palm Beach has all of these. Yet without the proper guidance, many sights go unseen and many memories go unmade. So Visit Palm Beach acts as the treasure map to the area’s bounty, imploring its customers to take to the sea in search of the damper half of local entertainment. Adventurers can traverse the ocean on waverunners, parasail 800 feet above the cerulean-blue water, or kayak around Peanut Island in search of its elephant mayor. Visit Palm Beach also acts as a hub for catamaran charters and snorkeling excursions so that guests can explore the deep blue for rarely seen marine species.
Snakes slither in glass display cases, and lizards wriggle in the hands of trained handlers as they're held up in full view of a curious crowd. This is the scene as one of Repticon's presenters educates attendees on the biology, behavior, and typing speeds of exotic cold-blooded creatures at one of the year-round shows held in cities across the country. Reptile and amphibian breeders, scholars, and handlers engage audiences in lectures and demonstrations in the midst of live reptile exhibits, family activities, and displays for exotic-pet supplies. Presentations may focus on the genetics of large snake species, the specifics of exotic-pet care, and the effect that tiny hats have on the image of arachnids such as tarantulas, scorpions, and spiders.
Jazz at the Zoo was founded in 2012 by Coconut Palm Events to support Wheels for Kids, a nonprofit that provides custom wheelchairs to children and young adults in need. During the annual charity event, patrons are invited to the Palm Beach Zoo for a night of live jazz, silent auctions, and exotic-animal sightings. The event will help fund one custom wheelchair for two children in need, and a portion of each ticket sale sends one child and caregiver to the Palm Beach Zoo.