Weekday: Adults: $21.95 per person/ Child (3-11): $15.95 per person
Weekend and Holidays: Adults: $25.95 Child (3-11): $19.95 per person
2 and Under: FREE per person/ Seniors (62+): 10% off per senior
Experiencing an African safari is number one on my Bucket List. With two very young kids, this probably won’t be happening for a while. What’s the next best thing? Taking an African Safari, Texas style of course!
This March, Fossil Rim was ranked third in the nation for Best Safari Park by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest. The sprawling park is nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of Glen Rose, AKA the Dinosaur Capital of Texas (see our Dinosaur World review here). Once inside you will find yourself asking, am I really in Texas?
First and foremost, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums) isn’t just a place for fun. The park works hard to help conservation efforts for animals in need. On Earth Day (this Saturday, April 22, 2017), consider taking your kids on a field trip to discuss the dangers animals and their environments face. Fossil Rim’s mission statement is below:
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is dedicated to the conservation of species in peril, conducting scientific research, training of professionals, responsible management of natural resources and public education. Through these activities, we provide a diversity of compelling learning experiences that inspire positive change in the way people think, feel and act towards nature.
Before you enter the park you have a lot of decisions to make. I highly recommend you review all of your options and make a game plan before you enter the site or you might end up overwhelmed or disappointed. There are several different types of excursions ranging from a private overnight stay to a ‘quick’ two-hour drive through the park in your own vehicle. The options are vast and vary in price. Check them out here.
Looking for an original and fun idea for Mother’s (May 13) or Father’s Day (June 17)? Consider the Mother’s/Father’s Day Sunset Safari Dinner and Tour. You’ll treat your favorite parent to a “delicious dinner including tea, coffee and a homemade dessert in the glass-walled pavilion located at the Foothills Safari Camp overlooking a watering hole in our Main Pasture. After dinner, you will board one of our open-air vehicles to experience a sunset tour of Fossil Rim.” –Fossil Rim’s website.
On my visit, we opted for the basic tour in our car. I was super nervous about taking my babies and my car into this park but decided not to worry and just hope for the best. We took one last potty break with my son (and said a little prayer that he could make it to the halfway point), bought one bag of food ($7) and headed over the cattle guard. Getting through the entire park can take 2-4 hours based on how busy the park is, how long you want to spend feeding/looking at the animals, and if you get stuck behind a group of horned animals that don’t want to share the road. It took us a little over 2 hours, not including our 30-minute lunch and potty break at the halfway point.
Not sure your little one can make it the entire time without an accident but not willing to regress back to pull ups or diapers? Check these out for peace of mind.
Along the way, you will see a ton of animals. In my opinion, there are too many horned animals that like to get close to your vehicle. If you suffer from a bit of anxiety about your car getting scratched like I do, consider taking the Safari shuttle they offer. I will next time. Apart from the many horned animals, there are also zebras, cheetahs (enclosed behind fences), giraffes, rhinos (behind gates), ostriches and more. My kids absolutely loved seeing them right up against our windows.
At the halfway point (just after the giraffes) we got out, had a potty break, checked out the gift shop and ate lunch at the onsite restaurant, The Overlook Cafe. The food wasn’t inspiring, but it wasn’t bad either. Plus, they had a lot of options (even some healthy choices) and the view was incredible.
After lunch, we continued on the second half of the tour. At this point seeing more horned animals was getting less exciting for my toddlers, but we still enjoyed the journey. Though I was a little nervous that animals with huge horns could get so close to our vehicle during the whole drive, I am so glad we did the tour. We all had a wonderful time (and nothing was damaged, phew)!
After we left the park, I turned on my secret nap weapon and within 5 minutes both kids were sound asleep for our hour and a half ride home.
Your Out and About Friend,
Time and day we visited? Saturday (holiday) 10 AM-1 PM
Level of crowds? High
Restrooms? Yes- entrance/exit and half way through the park
Changing Table? Yes
Cleanliness of Bathroom? Excellent
Recommended age? All
Food Options? Yes
Allowed to bring in food and beverages? Yes (just don’t feed it to the animals!!)
Stroller friendly? At the Overlook Park you might want to get it out if you have a non-walker. In general, you don’t need one.
Wheelchair accessible? Yes
Safety concerns? Yes- live animals are unpredictable. AKA- The park doesn’t take responsibility for your car being ruined by animal horns. Please note that you really should read the rules and obey them at all times for your safety and for the safety of the cars behind you. Never feed or pet the animals directly as you could definitely get hurt.
Coupons? Several discounts offered. Scroll to Admission Discounts near the bottom of this link for all the current offers.