When my friend, (whom shall remain nameless to protect her identity), from Austin heard that we were planning a trip to the Austin Zoo she said, “Lower your expectations…and then lower them some more.” And I’m sure glad she told me that or else it might have gotten ugly.
The Austin Zoo is really part zoo and part animal sanctuary. The animals they have are mostly (if not all) rescue animals. The grounds are rather rough and so while you can push a stroller—its not that easy and its very dusty.
I was disappointed that many of the “exhibits” did not have any names or information about the animals. As a learning field trip, this really didn’t do it for us.
The Austin Zoo in some ways reminded me of Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, but I like Busch Wildlife Sanctuary more, and its free. I would not recommend going to the Austin Zoo unless you were very desperate for something to do. I will admit that it’s an easy place to go with kids because we went on a weekend and things were extremely civilized (not crowded). If you live in Austin, it is probably a good place to go for a change of pace, but as a tourist with limited time, I think there are better things to do.
The highlights for the kids were: posing for pictures in the duck cut-out, feeding the goats, watching a tiger take a dip in a metal washtub and riding on the train.