Melbourne, FL – MAY 18, 2013 – Throughout the month of May outdoor enthusiast have many choices when trying to decide what to do each weekend here in Brevard County. Even though there are many choices, not many can offer what the Brevard Zoo has to off this year. Besides the zoo, the Tree-Top Trek Aerial Adventures have been added. If that is not enough, the “Art of Sand” has been collocated this year at the zoo instead of at the Space Coast Stadium. Three choices all packed into the same location. What more could one ask for?
The Brevard Zoo opened to the public in 1994. The zoo has five animal areas and exhibits, Paws on Play, Expedition Africa, Wild Florida, La Selva, and Australasia. Each area gives one the chance to explore some of the fascinating animals that roam the plains, grasslands, swamps, wetlands and forest regions of the world.
I started my morning at the Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures. This is a totally separate attraction from the zoo with its own entry and exit points. The front entry to this attraction is located to the right of the zoo main gate. This attraction offers three different types of outdoor recreation challenges where adult thrill seekers have two choices of above-ground experiences, the Canopy Walk and the Treetop Challenge. Children who meet the age and height requirements can also enjoy being challenged just like the parents.
The Canopy Walk is composed of five treetop challenges and two aerial lines. As one traverses the Canopy Walk up to twenty feet in the tree tops, adventurers have an above the ground view of many parts of the zoo were animals are seen below your feet. The entire Canopy Walk course can take up to two hours depending on number of people on the course and how fast they move from station to station. The adult Canopy Walk ticket is $34.00. A signed waive is required for this attraction. This attraction has a minimum height requirement of 54 inches. Children 12 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Children between the ages of 13 and 18 years of age must have a signed waiver by their parent or guardian and the children ticket price is $31.00.
The Treetop Aerial Adventure is a more extreme attraction which includes the Canopy Walk with numerous strategically positioned zip line station some of which with starting points some forty feet above the ground below. This airborne course takes about 90 minutes to complete and traverses the zoo’s wetlands where alligators can be seen below. The longest zip line across the zoo lake and is estimated to be more than 550 feet long. The adult Treetop Aerial Adventure Challenge Walk ticket is $54.00. This attraction like the Canopy Walk has a minimum height requirement of 54 inches. Like the Canopy Walk, children 12 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Children between the ages of 13 and 18 years of age must have a signed waiver by their parent or guardian. The children’s ticket price is $50.00. A signed waive is required for this attraction.
Not to leave children out, the Brevard Zoo has created a Tree-Top Trek Aerial Adventure just for them. This course is called Chutes and Ladders. The Chutes and Ladders course has been specifically designed for younger kids. It includes 20 stations composed of bridges, tightropes and zip lines. The height requirement is 36 to 60 inches tall. For this challenge, children must have a signed waiver and an adult chaperon has to walk the course with the child as the child enjoys each of the course’s challenge stations. The Chutes and Ladders ticket price is $22.00.
In addition to the height requirement for all three challenge adventures, there are equipment and weight restrictions. If you are too big for the harness that you are required to wear or weigh more than 250 pounds, you will not be able to enjoy these adventures. See the Tree-Top Trek Aerial Adventure web site for a complete list of height, equipment and weight requirements.
I would like to acknowledge Jessica Feniger, who was my tour guide. She is one the Tree-Top Trek Aerial Adventure staff members who works on-site to provide training and to give visitors support through their personal adventure. She did an outstanding job. You can see a photo of Jessica and two of her fellow staff members on slide number three (3) in my slide show. From left to right the staff members are Keith Weaver, Jessica Feniger and Jessica Towle.
The Art of Sand is making a stop at the Brevard Zoo this year. The sand sculpture exhibits can be seen from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM each day. The Art of Sand exhibit opened on February 16th and will run through Memorial Day on May 27th. The price of admission is an extra fee in addition to the Brevard Zoo admission price. I have attended the Art of Sand each year it has come to Brevard County. This year the sand sculpture exhibit setting was the best ever. Each sculpture was set along a meandering pathway through northwest corner of the zoo. On this Saturday, the pathway was by no means crowded. There was hardly anyone there this morning. One did not have to work hard to get a front row seat to view each sculpture. The attendance to the Art of Sand on this day was so low that I am wondering if the additional cost to enter the zoo ($15.00 Adult admission) in addition plus the Art of Sand admission fee of $5.00 has had any effect on the overall Art of Sand visitor numbers. I hope that it did not because it is a real value to get to visit the zoo and the Art of Sand exhibits at the same time.
The zoo ticket price is $15.00 for adults, $14.00 for seniors and $11.00 for children 2-12 years of age. Children under 2 are free. The additional fee for the Art of Sand is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for seniors and $2.00 for children 2-12 years of age. Children under 2 are free.
After walking through the Art of Sand exhibit, I ended my day enjoying the animal exhibits located in Expedition Africa, Wild Florida, La Selva, and Australasia areas. Because of time, I did not make to the Paws on Play part of the zoo. Although not a large zoo, the zoo design layout was very well thought out. The way each animal exhibit was intertwined with trees and plants made walking under this canopy very enjoyable on this hot and sunny day. I especially enjoyed the giraffe exhibit. I could see that feeding these majestic animals from Africa was very popular with zoo visitors as well as watching the rhinos. Because this is the time of the year when baby animals are born, there were many youngsters with their mothers on display for all to see.
Besides the animal exhibits there are other things to do that have a separate participation fee like the riding the Cape to Cairo train, kayaking, paddle boat rides, feeding the giraffe, Rhino Encounters and wild encounter tours in Expedition Africa.
In addition to all that the zoo offers, the Brevard Zoo rents out space for corporate escapes, weddings, parties, meetings and special occasions.
Well that about does it for my experiences at the Brevard Zoo. So until next time, be safe in the sun and have a wonderful day in the great outdoors.