Unique Animal Encounters in Houston

Spending time outdoors while on vacation is a blast. And what’s better than spending time outdoors with friends and family while you travel? Spending time outdoors with friends and family and animals, of course! Whether you are strolling through a local zoo, observing animals in their habitats or roaming around a petting zoo or safari park, where you can get a little more personal with the animals, there is something undeniably fun about bonding with furry and scaly creatures big and small. If an animal encounter is in order, Houston has you covered!

Houston has multiple ways in which you can interact with animals on your vacation. From safari parks to zoos and petting farms to museums, Houston is a great spot to plan for fun experiences involving animals. We’ve rounded up five great spots for animal encounters in Houston here. Add these to your vacation bucket list and you’re sure to have a great stay in H-Town!

5 spots for animal experiences in the Houston area

  • Houston Zoo- With a new exhibit opening in April and hundreds of animals waiting to great you daily, the Houston Zoo is a great place for guests. This zoo offers guests a giraffe-feeding platform, children’s zoo, nature playground, wildlife carousel and more. Stay for a few hours or the whole day, observing animals as they go about their days and maybe enjoying a snack or a bit of shopping along the way.
  • Old MacDonald’s Farm (Humble)- Packed with so much more than just farm animals, Old MacDonald’s Farm is truly a fun, all-day experience for kids and families. Boasting 12 stations where kids can feed and interact with animals, this farm also offers pony rides and has a duck pond. If kids need a break from loving on furry creatures, they can play on the playground, participate in seasonal activities, take a train ride and more.
  • Houston AquariumIf you are fascinated by life under the sea, you won’t want to skip a visit to Houston’s Downtown Aquarium. Not only can you dine there as well as go on a number of fun rides, you can also learn about all sorts of sea life. The discovery zone will place you face-to-face with electric eels, the Texas Bayou will let you see alligators and more up close and you can see a beautiful white tiger at the Tigers of Maharaja’s Temple exhibit.
  • TGR Exotic Wildlife Ranch (Spring)- As the website states, a visit to TGR Exotic Wildlife Ranch is “a walk on the wild side!” There are multiple ways you can enjoy this ranch, including by booking a basic tour or by booking specific encounters, such as with a sloth! You can also choose to book experiences with exotic cats or reptiles… Visiting this ranch means a unique, tailored experience that will give your travel party exactly what they want when it comes to animal encounters!
  • 7 Acre Wood (Conroe)- Visit here for the petting zoo and pony rides, stay for everything else! This spot is as much an amusement park as a place for animal encounters, meaning everyone will find something fun to do here. Start by interacting with the llamas, goats, donkeys, deer and more and then explore the rest of the park, which includes a zip line, playground, mini golf course and more.

Houston lodging

After you’ve finished visiting with animals for the day, you’ll want someplace comfortable to put your feet up. Summer Breeze USA Katy is just the spot for your Houston getaway. Located near Katy Mills Mall, Summer Breeze has a plethora of amenities for travelers. In the summertime, you can splash around at the on-site waterpark, and in the colder months you can take advantage of the Texas-sized hot tub that is open year round. With an on-site fitness center, laundry facilities, clean restrooms and more, you won’t want to leave this fun little oasis- except to visit with animals, of course!


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