January 15, 2013

Day Trip - Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary

Hello, Bastropians! Bastropites? Bastropes? Let's go with wonderful folks of Bastrop. Anyhoo, thanks to this fabulous site, I now have quite the list to check when it comes to family fun in your city. We can't wait to get out there soon to enjoy all that Bastrop has to offer. The Sugar Shack sounds just like my kind of place!

In the meantime, Joleen graciously invited me to pop by and talk about some fun stuff to do in nearby Austin, where I live. We recently made the trek over to the Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary, and if you're going to head over to ATX for the weekend anytime soon, I definitely recommend that you check it out during your stay!

The Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary is a private, non-profit zoo just southwest of town, with more than 300 animals across more than 100 different species. It's a little smaller than the zoo you'll find in say, San Antonio, but this means that you can get very close to the animals and really feel like you're immersed in the wildlife there. The establishment is clean and well taken care of, and it's clear that the animals who live there are very much loved. And, 100% of the residents of the Austin Zoo have been rescued from unfortunate circumstances or surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them. Knowing the zoo's mission is to provide a safe and caring home for these beautiful animals, it's hard not to feel warm and fuzzy while you meet some new furry friends. Here are some highlights from our recent visit:


We were greeted at the zoo by this funny fellow, who was contentedly lounging in the grass outside the main office. What an adorable way to start our visit!

We were impressed with the beautiful array of birds we encountered. The roosters let us get very close to them, as you can see. And how gorgeous is this peacock? My almost 1-year old daughter, Charlie, loved saying "hi" to the parrot and was pleasantly surprised when he said "hi" back!

I was so taken with the tigers! I have never been so close to one before, and it is incredible to see just how big they really are. C was pretty amazed by them, and just watched as they did their thing. Apparently, their thing includes spraying passer-bys through their cages, which we witnessed, but luckily, were not victims of. Pretty funny.

We saw one older mama lion and a younger gentleman lion who were absolutely gorgeous. Check out the "toys" that hang out in the lions' (and tigers') areas -- yikes! Their playthings also include old barrels and kegs that are completely chewed through. I can't believe how powerful these creatures are! We didn't see papa lion, but hopefully he'll make an appearance next time.

Meet Babe, the most gigantic pig (hog?) I have ever seen. This thing was HUGE -- I guarantee he is as long as the couch you're sitting on, and as tall as your kitchen countertop. He was hilariously snorting his way through some breakfast when we met him, and even has his own house complete with a personalized sign. Amazing!

One of the highlights of our journey was spending time in the petting corral, where we fed goats, axis deer and llamas. C thought it was hilarious when mom fed the deer, and we made lots of friends when they realized that we were carrying some of those famous little white bags full of snacks. The goats nearly jumped out of their pens to get our attention. Too cute!


This friendly tortoise bid us adieu as we wrapped up our trip. We'll be back soon, little buddy! Next time we head to the Austin Zoo, we hope to catch a glimpse of the animals we missed -- black bears and kangaroos -- and ride the train, which wasn't running.

It was great stopping by, folks! If you'd like to follow my adventures regularly and enter to win a day at the Austin Zoo for your family, head on over to my blog, Austin City LittleHappy Zoo-going!  

Marketing Manager by day, and Austin City Little blogger by night, Cody lives in Austin with her husband, almost 1-year-old daughter, and hound dog. Her blog features musings about life, parenting, entertaining, DIY projects, shopping and more.


  1. Wow! These photos are fantastic! One of my favorite kid day trips is the zoo adventure and your zoo seems no less than great. I am always personally drawn to the lions and tigers. Such amazing animals!

  2. Looks like fun! I'm headed to Austin for the first time in October & CAN NOT WAIT!

  3. LOVE the turtle and I so miss Bastrop. I remember this place from when I was young!! You make me homesick....

  4. Love your photos! You made me want to visit Bastrop and Austin too! Seriously, I'm thinking of packing up the kids and going!

  5. Beautiful pictures. I'm not too terribly far from Austin; definitely worth seeing if we head that way! =)

  6. Thanks, y'all! I'm a bit partial, but definitely reco Austin for a fun family vacation. You should come!