Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Sanford

3.2
#2 of 11 in Things to do in Sanford
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens houses a small zoo in a tropical tree-filled setting that also features a tree-to-tree aerial course, water playground, miniature railway, and carousel. Visit the zoo and feed the giraffes, wander through the herpertarium to see reptiles and amphibians, and see the fossa, the largest predatory animal of Madagascar. In the adventure park, a zipline course runs through the tree canopy, allowing you to view the world as tree-dwelling animals do. Bring your swimsuit and cool off in the Wharton-Smith tropical splash ground. A little train takes you along a 1.6 km (1 mi) track through wetlands, woods, and a long tunnel. Take a look at our Sanford vacation planner to schedule your visit to Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
Create an itinerary including Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
map
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
579 reviews
Google
3.9
TripAdvisor
  • August 13, 2017
    Wow what an awesome day.. the zip line is must.. and the splash pad offers an awesome cool down on these hot summer Florida days  more »
  • August 12, 2017
    As you first enter the zoo it looks very nice until you reach the parking. It's all dirt and grass parking which I don't mind but the lot is very small. They have different lots to park in but larger ...  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    The Sanford zoo was a great little zoo very clean and informative. Plan on spending about three hours here. Throughout the day they do have animals that will come out park employees will speak about t...  more »
Google
  • July 4, 2017
    Good place to be with the kids. My kid enjoyed the kids water play zone more than the zoo. There is a small train joy ride at the entrance. Adults and kids both can enjoy the same. But this is outside the Zoo and not inside. A similar tram/train ride for moving inside the zoo would have been a really nice thing.
  • June 23, 2017
    This Zoo has it all including delicious shaved ice. We were able to see all the animals from a safe distance. Even though it was a little warm outside when we visited, this Zoo had lots of trees that create lots of shade along the paths. I can't wait till they open the bear exhibit! The entire staff is friendly and very informative about the animals and displays. We will be returning!
  • May 27, 2017
    Such a waste of money! We decided to visit a zoo while visiting Orlando and I could've honestly seen more animals at the local pet store. This place has the nerve to say they have over 400 species of animals but failed to mention they were not live. Listen, the struggle has to be real if you think you can fool people with cardboard animals. Come on now, really? I wish I could give this place 0 stars because they really need to get it together but I guess this one star will go towards the lovely giraffes that were actually real. I want my money back. You have to do better Orlando!
  • April 19, 2017
    This is a small but attractive zoo. It's easily walkable in just an hour or so. Exhibits are nice and we'll maintained. There is a mini train and a carousel at the entrance. There's also a nice picnic area right outside the zoo itself, perfect for bringing lunch. Since the zoo itself won't allow outside food, the picnic area is ideal for grabbing a cooler from the car and saving a few bucks. There is also an over head obstacle course with zip lines located on the outside, it looks fairly large and fun but I didn't get to try it out on my visit. Inside the zoo there are a good variety of exhibits for its size. Giraffes, rhinos and the variety of big cats where the stand outs here. No Zebras, only a couple of small monkeys and no elephants are disappointing. There is also a lizard and snake house and, being Florida, loads for gators. There are lots of opportunities for interaction. A petting zoo will loaded with farm animals will provide you with food to feed the animals for$1.50, the giraffe exhibit nearby provides a chance to get close and feed a giraffe for $5. A little pricey but especially worth it for young kids. I do have to mention the size of many enclosures was very small for the animals housed. This is particularly true of all the big cats. They have very little room to move and it's quite frankly a little sad. The other big negative is the price of food and drink. For a zoo as small as this one the prices were ridiculous. Expect to spend around $12-$15 per person if you eat a meal here. Finally the zoo features a fantastic splash pad. It's a great way for the kids to cool off after exploring and they love it. It's bright and fun with ample shaded seating for parents. Overall very impressive for a small zoo and worth the price of admission. If your local it's worth a visit for a great family outing. For tourists, while it's a bit further then most attractions it's also a lot more affordable. Don't expect it to compare to a big city zoo, but your kids will probably still love it.
  • June 19, 2017
    Its a nice park to stroll through and the ropes course and train are nice attraction for the kids. The zoo is small and focused more on birds than other animals. The giraffes and big cats (leopard, jaguars and cheetahs) are definitely worth the $20 admission.

Plan your trip to Sanford

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Sanford

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Sanford by other users

14 days in United States BY A USER FROM TANZANIA December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Sanford BY A USER FROM TANZANIA December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 46 days in United States BY A USER FROM TANZANIA December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Sanford BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Bryan & Sanford BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, culture, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Sanford BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Sanford BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Sanford BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Sanford BY A USER FROM PUERTO RICO May, kids, popular PREFERENCES: May, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Sanford BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Washington DC & Sanford BY A USER FROM NEPAL May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Sanford BY A USER FROM NEPAL May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans