Fun for the Whole Family at York’s Wild Kingdom (York, Maine)! #review
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Our most recent family day was spent at York’s Wild Kingdom off Route 1 in York, Maine for a fun filled afternoon at New England’s only zoo and amusement park. With over 20 different rides geared towards smaller kids, York’s also offers an arcade, batting cages, and a mini-golf course! The amusement section of the park really has something for everyone and yet (in my opinion) still pales in comparison to the variety of amazing animals from near and far living at the zoo! I was completely impressed with the quality of animal enclosures and the overall appearance of the animals. Everyone one of them seemed healthy and well adjusted, happy in their zoo home!
We arrived around noon on a Sunday that promised the possibility of thundershowers. After just an hour, that possibility became a very wet reality! We had decided to visit the zoo part of the park first and timed it well enough to see some amazing creatures including an African Spurred Tortoise (that can live up to 150 years old),
some incredibly curious and cute Ring Tailed Lemurs (that my kids recognized immediately thanks to the many viewings of Madagascar, the movie),
and we entered The Butterfly Kingdom! This 5,500 square foot exhibit with many species of South and Central American butterflies lets you walk right into the butterfly’s world and see them up close. These Owl Butterflies, named for the Owl’s eye wing pattern, was totally enjoying a fruit plate!
At this point, the showers had turned into more of a downpour and we decided to take cover in the gift shop. On a side note, their prices were really reasonable and they had a fun selection of souvenirs and clothing to peruse. After a little bit, and no sign of the rain letting up, we decided to get some lunch . What I love about York’s Wild Kingdom is they have food you can buy right in the park and they even have a covered area with tables (and a picnic area for sunny days) for you to sit and enjoy your lunch…AND you can also bring in your own food or leave the park and return later. Having that flexibility is a huge perk for families!
After the rain quieted down, we returned to the zoo as the rides had been closed due to the weather. The kiddos were disappointed that they wouldn’t be slinging and zinging on the rides, but it gave us more time to enjoy the animals…and a really good reason to come back!
Think somebody was having fun? My 4 year old loved feeding the domestic ducks that followed her around like they wanted to come home with us.
My whole family enjoyed the surprises around each corner! Whether it was finding the petting zoo filled with goats, the live animal presentation about the Prehensile Tail Porcupine, or the enclosure that was home to both a majestic male and female lion…each of us had our favorites! My 10 year old loved the Deer Encounter and being able to feed and pet these gentle creatures. My 8 year old loved the Snake Photo Hut and being able to “pet” a Red Tail Boa Constrictor. My husband’s favorite was the Big Cats and honestly, I can’t pick just one favorite. These animals are obviously well cared for by a team of qualified zookeepers and York’s does a great job of educationg and engaging visitors.
I could show you dozens and dozens of photos of all of the incredible animals you’ll find at New England’s only zoo and amusement park. We loved the friendly Dromedary Camel, the talkative Green Winged Macaw, the beautifully strange looking Grey Crowned Crane, and the buddy-buddy Prairie Dogs.
And, I have to include the Bengal Tigers. These two tigers are absolutely gorgeous. My blurry photos (due to all the moisture in my camera lens at this point) do not do them justice. I completely get how a tiger’s stripes give them a sort of camoflouage now. Staff members explained that the orange tiger had been moved during our visit becaue she did not like her big enclosure during bad weather and preferred the smaller cage. It was good to know that these animals are so well taken care of. York’s is not your stereo-typical zoo. The animals seem happy, their habitats clean, and their wildside left intact when appropriate. I’m grateful the State of Maine has such a great resource to introduce these animals to kids (and adults) in person. Reading books and watching movies about these animals doesn’t compare to actually seeing them up close and personal.
Undoubtedly, the best way to enjoy these magnificent creatures is to go visit them in person! Take a day with the family and make a visit to York’s Wild Kingdom! Everyone will enjoy the animals, rides, and quality family time spent together making new memories. You won’t have to go on an African Safari or travel the wilds of India and Asia to see some the world’s most exquisite animals. Just take a ride to York, Maine!