Tucked away on an island deep inside the steamy depths of Miami is a lush tropical jungle. It holds some very rare types of animals. One in particular, I had never seen before! The Liger (part-Tiger, part-Lion). Isn't he beautiful? His name is Vulcan!
It’s not what you expect in a city famous for it’s tourist beaches. But on Watson Island in the heart of Miami is Jungle Island. Opened in 1936 it boasts over 1.35 miles of tropical landscaping with a jungle full of extraordinary animals from around the globe. Adult prices are $34.95 + tax, kids (ages 3-10) are $26.95 + tax and 0-2 year olds are free.
We arrived about 11am and stayed until 3pm. The park is full of amazing animals including a whole exhibit of tigers and lions, cages of bright coloured birds, swinging monkeys, snapping alligators and much more.
There are numerous shows on during the day and we managed to catch Dr. Wasabi's Wild Adventures in a large outdoor theatre called the Serpentarium. The show was excellent and very interactive with a handful of exotic animals taking the stage from around the world including a baby alpaca, an alligator snapping turtle, baby Hamadryas baboons, kangaroos & African penguins. While the show was excellent there was one security man who was not in the best mood. With a stern frown plastered on his place he managed to make my daughter cry three times. He may have put a damper on our show, but Dr Wasabi and his assistant were very funny & entertaining. They also let us know there are more kangaroos than people in Australia - I didn't even know that!
After the show we stumbled upon a playground that the kids were elated to spend some time on and make some new friends.
And while Caius was thrilled to be feeding the pretty birds out of his hand, Mia was a bit apprehensive. Bird feed cost a quarter.
We noticed a party going on the grounds, which we thought not only looked fun, but was a great venue for. I’d definitely like to celebrate one of my kids’ birthdays there.
While one staff member needed an attitude adjustment we found the whole park a worthy place of our time. It was well laid out, clean and very shady for those warm Florida days. In comparison to a zoo you will not be finding every animal under the sun here, but it is a jungle and if you come with the expectation of visiting a jungle you will find it here, on Jungle Island.
At 3pm we had to pull our children away from the animals and playground to jump in our car for our last road trip back to Cocoa Beach. Jungle Island certainly was a colourful way to finish our stay in Miami.
Editor's Note: Jungle Island has since read our post and have contacted their HR department to speak to the grumpy old man. How proactive of them! They also gave us the picture of the Liger above, since our beautiful photo was of a Tabby Tiger. Thanks Jungle Island, you guys are awesome! We will be back!