Take Your Kids to the Jungle Gardens in Sarasota

The Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a little slice of tropical paradise planted in the city. It is a family-friendly attraction in northern Sarasota. Sitting right by the bay, the Gardens are a hop, skip and a jump away from many relaxing Siesta Key and Lido Key vacation rentals.

Looking to plan something fun and engaging for the kids? Perhaps you want to indulge in a nature walk while learning about the history of the area. In either case, this is the perfect retreat for you!

What are the Sarasota Jungle Gardens?

Established as a small botanical garden in 1939, the ten-acre gardens have grown to house over 200 animals and thousands of plant species. Calling the place a zoo or garden, however, would be inadequate. 

The Gardens are a sanctuary for almost all the animals, which have been rescued from captivity or mistreatment as exotic pets. Many of them find a new home here as it is not safe to release them into the wild.

Why do Kids Love the Jungle Gardens?

Many of the animals here are very friendly and accustomed to seeing kids. The pink Caribbean flamingos are a big favorite. You get a chance to see them throughout the park and even feed them. Other animal interactions include the incredibly clever parrots, as well as the petting zoo with piglets and other farm animals. With lemurs up in the trees and alligators in the water during the reptile exhibit, it really feels like there’s something new with every turn.

Another great bonus of the Gardens is the events planned for kids. Birthday parties are always available for groups of children and their families. There are also summer day camps for kids ages 6-13. The camps go through all of June every year, with different themes to explore every week.

One of the most notable charms is the Butterfly Garden. This area has a variety of flora and fruit trees arranged here to attract them during their natural migration cycles. Monarchs, Sulfur, and Swallowtail butterflies all descend here for a couple of months at a time. Depending on when you might see different sorts of caterpillars feeding and metamorphosing into beautiful butterflies.

The Jungle Gardens also has unique special events. Be sure to check the website for upcoming events and attractions, as well as changes to the schedule of exhibits.

Plan Your Vacation

With so much to do, it can be hard to get started. Plan your stay with some recommended Siesta Key vacation homes for rent, and get ready for an adventure!

General Information

The staff at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens has a mission to both fascinate and educate. There are tons of opportunities to learn about and interact with wildlife. Hear the animals’ stories and the challenges and rewards of the Garden keepers.

Of course, the place is packed with adventure as well. Among the attractions are daily reptile and bird shows, guided tours, and a chance to meet the animal keepers afterward! There are many trails which you can explore at your leisure in between activities. There is a playground and a fully stocked café as well to take a break and have a meal.

The gardens are open from 10 am – 5 pm every day, and only close on Thanksgiving and Christmas. An adult day pass is $17.99, senior pass is $16.99, and kids from 4-16 for $12.99. Kids under 4 get in for free! They also offer family seasonal passes and discounted rates for groups of 10 or more.

Where to Stay

The Sarasota Jungle Gardens are right by the keys with beautiful white-sand beaches. There are plenty of cozy vacation rentals. Go at your own pace knowing you’re never far from the action with adjacent restaurants, museums, live music, and art. 

If your kids enjoyed the Gardens, they’re sure to love some of these other nearby attractions. There are chances to see marine life, cruises, and another sanctuary for rescued exotic cats, which include leopards, lynxes and endangered Bengal tigers. Those fancying a challenge can try the escape and puzzle rooms in Sarasota that are sure to be an engaging experience.


Siesta Key Luxury Rental Properties
5111 Ocean Blvd. Suite B, C & D
Siesta Key, Florida USA 34242
Hours of Operation: 9am - 5pm
#SiestaKeyLuxury #iHeartSiestaKey

Part of the Your Vacation Group

Your Vacation Logo

VRMA Member