Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – A Must See Colorado Springs Attraction for the Whole Family

If a gorgeous mountain zoo – in fact, America’s only mountain zoo - with sweeping views and amazing animal encounters sounds like fun, make sure to add the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs to your must see travel list.

Currently at $14.25 for adults, the admission price is a bit more expensive than your typical zoo visit. This is because the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is privately run and does not receive funding from the government. Savings Tip: A discount coupon can often be found floating around in various Colorado Springs brochures or on the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo website.  Also, Military and AAA members receive a discount off the price of admission.

After entering the zoo, you’ll immediately experience an up close and personal encounter with the largest herd of giraffes in captivity, which may justify the slightly steep admission price alone. For $2, you can purchase food to hand feed these amazing giraffes, a one of a kind experience not to be missed. In the morning they are fed lettuce leaves and in the afternoon crackers. It’s an incredible experience allowing you to see their ridiculously long purple tongues! Be aware you’ll probably notice their stinky breath, but it was a great teaching moment to remind my 2 year old about the importance of brushing his teeth. :)

It would be entirely entertaining to spend an afternoon with the giraffes, but the adventures don’t stop there. Make sure to lace up a pair of comfortable walking shoes, because there is more…so much more! You will definitely get your exercise hiking up and down the mountain to see all the exhibits. Don’t get scared away by a little walking, all the exciting attractions and activities will make you forget about the trek through this mountain zoo.

Another must see and experience activity is the Budgie Buddies, a walk through an aviary where birds will literally eat right from your hand/seed stick! It was really amazing, although I admit I was slightly concerned one of us would be sporting a glob of bird poo for the rest of the day. Luckily no incidents to report! Just hundreds of vibrantly colorful birds perched on branches and birdhouses every direction the eye can see.

There are mountain lions, tigers, and bears…oh my! Also, don’t miss the hippos, monkeys, and under construction elephant exhibit, now slated for completion in 2012. If you get hungry, they have a wide selection of food available in the Grizzly Grille. It appeared to have a variety of chef prepared dishes that are not typical zoo food fare. We shared a tasty veggie, steak, and rice bowl and a gourmet ice cream sundae, a fun vacation splurge.

Kids will also love the restored carousel, tot train, pony rides, and variety of playground areas.
If you’re not going to be in the Colorado Springs area anytime soon, you can still get a peak at the action via their fun Meerkat Cam and Giraffe Cam.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is not one of the largest zoos, but is definitely one of our new favorites featuring beautiful mountain views and showcasing a wide variety of active animals filled with interactive encounters. It’s definitely a fun photography spot and memory making adventure the whole family is sure to enjoy.

Here are a few more of our favorite pictures from our day at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo:

Look at the giraffe’s gorgeous eyelashes!

 A baby cute!

You never know what you’ll encounter at the zoo! Free-wheeling peacocks and chipmucks.

 Giant, playful Grizzly Bears splashing in the water that's also filled with trout.

Construction site for elephant exhibit. My son was completely enthralled by the big, yellow construction equipment perhaps as much as the zoo animals!

Other activities accessible near the entrance to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo include:

Moutaineer Sky Ride an open-air, chairlift-style ride offering views of the city, zoo animals, and surrounding mountains. Savings Tip: If you purchase tickets to the Moutaineer Sky Ride at the time of purchasing your zoo tickets, you may receive a $1 discount on admission to the Moutaineer Sky Ride.

Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun a historic mountain landmark honoring the famed American humorist Will Rogers. Access to the Will Rogers Shrine is included with admission to the zoo. Keep in mind that the access road to the Will Rogers Shrine closes at 3pm, prior to the close of the zoo.  Unfortunately we had so much fun in the zoo we forgot about the 3pm close time and missed the drive up to the shrine...oh well, something new for next time!

For more information, visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo website.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
(719) 633-9925

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