Thank You to Our Local Sponsors

30 Places to See Animals in Central Florida

Places to see Animals Near You

From A to Z – aquariums to zoos – and everything in between, it is WILD how many different places you can interact with animals in Central Florida.

You can visit a farm, do goat yoga, feed a giraffe, cuddle a lamb or baby chicks, go on a drive-through safari, explore an aquarium, and learn about animals in Tampa, Orlando, Lakeland, and across Florida. We can help you find a petting zoo near you, a farm near you, or safari near you, even pick out a place to take a day trip for a full day of family fun.

The places listed below will give you and your kiddos an up-close and personal experience with whatever kind of animal you adore. There are many different options so we’ve broken it down by the type of animal adventure you might be searching for.

Zoos in Central Florida Safari Near You

Zoos, Safaris, + Wild Animal Encounters

We are lucky to live in a place where many people vacation and Central Florida has an abundance of attractions where you can get up close and personal with wild animals. Drive-thru safaris, private tours, exotic animal feedings, zoo programs, and more. Whether you want to zipline over alligators, pet a llama, hold a sloth, or feed a giraffe, we can help you find zoos and safaris in Florida. Safaris and Zoos near you include:

  • Safari Wilderness (Lakeland, FL)
  • Giraffe Ranch (Dade City / Tampa, FL)
  • Wild Florida (Kenansville / Orlando, FL)
  • ZooTampa at Lowry Park (Tampa, FL)
  • Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens (Sanford / Orlando, FL)
  • Gatorland (Orlando, FL)
  • Sarasota Jungle Gardens
  • See the full list of Zoos, Safaris, and Animal Encounters in Central Florida
Petting zoos Farms Lakeland Florida

Kid-Friendly Farms and Petting Zoos

We compiled a list of petting zoos and farms in Central Florida that are either open to the public or take appointments for visitors. You can meet farm animals like goats, cows, pigs, sheep, rabbits, chickens and horses, and even find some exotic animals like alpacas, llamas, camels, and peacocks. Farms and Petting Zoos near you include:

  • Bell Family Farm and Apiary (Polk City / Lakeland, FL)
  • Old McMicky’s Farm (Odessa / Tampa, FL)
  • Horse Power for Kids (Tampa, FL)
  • Hunsader Farms (Bradenton, FL)
  • Jenny’s Petting Zoo (Wimauma, FL)
  • R & R Ranch (Lithia / Brandon, FL)
  • Raprager Farm (Odessa / Tampa, FL)
  • Countryside Farm (Lakeland, FL)
  • Roos and Coos (Plant City, FL)
  • Black Rock Farms (Dover / Brandon, FL)
  • See the full list of Farms and Petting Zoos in Central Florida
Aquarium Near You

Aquariums in Tampa, Orlando, + Central Florida

Prefer air conditioning and animals that live in the ocean? Central Florida is home to multiple aquariums and animal rescue hospitals where you can spend your day watching sea life including dolphins, sharks, rays, fish, lobster, jellyfish, crustaceans, and more. Aquariums near you include:

  • The Florida Aquarium (Tampa, FL)
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium (Clearwater, FL)
  • Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium (Longboat Key / Sarasota, FL)
  • SeaLife Aquarium (Orlando, FL)
  • Manatee Viewing Center (Apollo Beach / Tampa, FL)
  • See the full list of Aquariums in Central Florida
Goat Yoga in Lakeland

Goat Yoga in Lakeland + Polk County

Roll out your mat and get ready to love on some goats as you exercise and enjoy farm yoga. Beginners are welcome at goat yoga sessions, this is a fun opportunity to play with goats and maybe even have them climb on your back! Find an upcoming session of goat yoga in Lakeland + Polk County at one of these farms:

  • Bell Family Farm (Polk City, FL)
  • The Little Yogi (Plant City, FL)
  • Grady Goat Yoga (Thonotosassa / Tampa, FL)

Places to see animals in nature

Zoos and aquariums aren’t the only place to see live animals. With a little planning and a little luck, you can also interact with animals in the wild. Options include:

  • Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, FL – a great place to see alligators and a large variety of birds
  • Explore a river or the coastline in a canoe or kayak – we’ve got a list of places you can rent canoes or book a kayak tour {we recommend a tour, guides know the best places to spot animals}
  • For a truly unique way to see marine life, book a clear kayak tour – you can see manatees in the springs, dolphins and sting rays off the beach, or even bioluminescent when you do a night kayak paddle
  • Visit Lake Morton in Lakeland – you’ll see an abundance of swans and other birds

Get on out there and go wild!

100+ Things to Do with Kids

Check out our Ultimate List of Things to Do with Kids in Lakeland + Polk County to find indoor fun, outdoor fun, free things to do, seasonal activities, and more.