Families visiting our vacation rental in Cocoa Beach often ask me which theme parks they should visit in Orlando. Then I always recommend the Brevard Zoo (half a day or a full day). I like the zoo for its educational focus and unique attractions. Additionally, the Treetop Trek is such a fun activity, I have done it several times.
What to see
If you walk clockwise the first section is Expedition Africa. Often the giraffes are not out right at opening time. Therefore, it may make sense to come back to this area at a later time. Feeding the giraffes is a highlight. This section offers great viewpoints of the savanna.
In the Australia/Asia area you can walk around the kangaroo enclosure and you can see many other animals. What we like a lot is feeding lorikeet birds.
Wild Florida is a nicely done and very educational area- it represents the state’s natural habitat. A boardwalk leads to the wetland overlook, which is a wonderful sight.
My personal favorite of the La Selva Rainforest are definitely the different monkeys.
The Paws On section is definitely the place for small children, but it is also interesting for older children and adults. It features a petting zoo and playgrounds. Children can cool off in the water features.
Which add-ons are worth it?
The Brevard Zoo offers some great add on adventures.
The giraffe and bird feeding are an amazing experience.
A unique activity is the kayak tour. It is a guided tour in the Expedition Africa section.
A good deal for these activities is the adventure package. It includes zoo admission, one guided kayak tour, one giraffe feeding and one bird feeding.
A real highlight is the Treetop Trek. Even though it is connected to the zoo it is rather a separate attraction, see below.
Zip and climb through the trees. Challenge yourself in the lush greenery of the zoo. Often you will have great views of the animals from above. This is a separate activity from the zoo requiring additional admission. While you can get a combo ticket with the zoo you do not have to do both on the same day. Depending on the experience you will choose the Treetop Trek can easily last up to 3 hours.
There are different levels available:
- Chutes & Ladders – this is a fun option for children aged 4-8 years. It consists of bridges, tightropes and a couple of zip lines.
- The Canopy Walk – An introductory course where you can walk twenty feet above the ground through the rain forest
- Challenge Reloaded – This is my favorite challenge. It includes the Canopy Walk, some intermediate to more difficult elements and large zip lines. The zip lines cross over 600 feet of wetlands, including ones with gators below.
- Black Diamond – This is the most serious challenge which includes all other elements plus some special tests.
- Zip Only – This is a shorter and easier course if you would only like to do the zip lines.
Plan some time for the prep talk in the beginning. Try to do it in the cooler morning times.
Tips for your visit
- You can buy food and drinks in the zoo. There is also the Flamingo Cafe. I would recommend to bring water (food is not allowed) and eat outside of the zoo in nearby places. We can recommend the Grills Riverside Melbourne which is only a 10-minute drive away and offers great views of the Indian River. The perfect place to finish your visit in the zoo with a late lunch or early dinner.
- Book your activities in advance
- Start your visit early to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. This is particularly true for the Treetop Trek.
- You can get a combi ticket for the zoo and Treetop Trek which will save you some money. However, you can do it on different days which I would recommend.
- Pack bathing suits for your children so that they can play in the water features of the Paws On section.
Do you have any recommendations?
What are your highlights of the Brevard Zoo and Treetop Trek? Do you have any additional tips?