We recently took a drive to the Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR. This little adventure is a 600 acre drive-thru animal park that takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour (give or take) depending on how long you take checking out each animal exhibit. There is also the option at the beginning or end to park and go into the Safari Village. When you pay your admission, you will be a given a map to help you identify all the animals in the drive-thru. Don’t refuse it. . . otherwise every single time you drive past an animal that your kids don’t recognize, they will ask and you will look a lot more informed when you can answer accurately! Can you tell that we didn’t have a map?!! 🙂 You are allowed to drive thru twice, if you so choose!
Wildlife Safari is very much about wildlife conservation and has one of the most successful cheetah breeding programs in the Western Hemisphere, having bred 176 cheetahs since 1972. The park offers educational classes at different times, as well as camps, classes, and even homeschool group opportunities.
In the Safari Village, there are additional animal exhibits, a petting zoo, an aviary, a playground, and a gift shop. For a bit of entertainment, I highly suggest walking by the Red-billed Horned Bill (it’s a bird). It makes a really amusing sound, while bouncing up and down. The kids thought this was hysterical.
You can also take a train ride through the park (for an additional fee, members ride free) or take a ride on a camel (these options are generally available Spring-Summer). There are also numerous Animal Encounters that you can pay extra to experience (think feeding lions or meeting the cheetahs up close).
On our most recent visit, we did the drive-thru first around lunchtime. Since the weather has cooled off, many of the animals were in their shelters or huddled up eating lunch. We got a few good photos, but I would suggest planning your trip during warmer weather. We also walked through the Safari Village, but much like the drive-thru, many animals were indoors due to the cooler weather and not very active. Because of the absentee animals, our video was rather lackluster and we opted to not include it on this episode. However, I did include a few pictures from our visit below.
Here is some helpful info on the current hours and admission rates:
Here are the current Hours:
Spring: March 14 – May 23 9am – 5pm
Summer: May 24 – Sept 1 9am – 5pm
Fall: Sept 2 – Nov 2 9am – 5pm
Winter: Nov 3 – Mar 13 10am – 4pm
Adult (13 to 59 years) $17.99 per person
Child (3 to 12 years) $11.99 per person
Seniors (60+) $14.99 per person
Under 2 years Free
If you’re planning a family vacation and happen to roll through Winston, OR (on I-5) and are looking for a nice way to pass the time with the family, I highly suggest visiting Wildlife Safari.
If you live in the area, this is a great way to get the kids out of the house and have a little fun. My kids have been here many times through the years and they never seem to get tired of going. If you are local, I highly suggest checking out their membership plans. This saves a lot of money and easily pays for itself, if you intend to make multiple trips throughout the year.
Health and Blessings,