The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is a top attraction –and has been since the late 1800s. So, our visit was almost 130 years after its inception.
We’d heard that the alligator farm was a must-see for Saint Augustine Florida. But, we weren’t certain that the gaggle of teenagers with us would enjoy a “zoo.”
In fact, we wound up getting two days of fun out of St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. On Day One, we experienced the park itself.
St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park: More Than Just Alligators
The first thing to know is that there are many more animals to see at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, not just the gators. There are gorgeous birds, primates, sloths lemurs, crocodiles and pythons.
Once inside St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, everyone in our large group broke into smaller segments of 2-3 to wander around. When we spotted the teens, we could see they were engaged, snapping photos, and having a great time. If you have smaller kids, they’ll be entranced. We saw lots of tots and parents really enjoying the park.
A Must See Florida Attraction
There is a lot to do including many shows. In one show at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, a trainer goes into the large central pen full of alligators.
It’s incredible as they interact hands on with gators and explain some fascinating facts. For instance, the alligators know and respond to their names.
Not to miss: Alligator Feeding
If you can work out the timing, the alligator feeding at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is lots of fun. This is better for smaller children than the educational shows. However if you miss the feeding, there is a DIY option you might enjoy even more. See below…
Be sure to get a handful of quarters at one of the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park change machines, then head to the Native Swamp.
The Native Swamp is a series of walkways over a giant swamp chock full of alligators. Our large group gathered there and had the best experience of our first day.
The kids got small scoops of feed from the vending machine and fed the gators a little at a time. We noticed this got the gators’ attention and they began watching us.
However, when they threw a lot of food in at once, we saw nature at its most primal in a true feeding frenzy.
Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park: Zipline Over the Alligator Pits
We came back the next morning to zipline over the hungry gators. The teenagers went on the longest zipline course and the adults did the shortest. In hindsight, I wish we’d opted for the longer one. However, one adult did drop out half-way through the short course. So, know your limits when you choose.
The tallest zipline is 35 feet off the ground (almost 4 stories high). One short section is above the asphalt parking lot – but the rest is above animal pens.
This experience at the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is like no other. The short course we did was about 50 minutes. The teens did the longer 90 minute course. One word of advice – – get an early morning time. We were there in September and ever at 8 am, it was hot and humid. In mid-Summer, it would be much more so.
In general, early morning is best for Alligator Farm Zoological Park due to the sun. Many areas of the park offer shade. However, the Native Swamp is totally exposed to sun with no shade. This is a great attraction for all ages and well worth the money. That explains why it’s been open continually for more than 125 years.