Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

76 Waterford Way
Fairport, NY, 14450
United States

585.880.6951

Blog

Praesent commodo cursus magna, vel scelerisque nisl consectetur et. Curabitur blandit tempus porttitor. Fusce dapibus, tellus ac cursus commodo, tortor mauris condimentum nibh, ut fermentum massa justo sit amet risus. Cras mattis consectetur purus sit amet fermentum. Cras mattis consectetur purus sit amet fermentum.

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo: An Autism-Friendly Destination

Nicole Thibault

While on vacation with my three boys, I'm always looking to explore new destinations that are autism-friendly. One of my sons has Autism, and I'm a Special Needs Travel Agent, so finding places that are accommodating to sensory sensitivity and autism challenges are key to both my family and my clients. On a recent trip to Florida, my family went to the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo.

Prior to the visit, I went to the Zoo's website to review their Autism policies. Their website states, "The Zoo has established a partnership with the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) at USF to improve our capacity to serve children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities. As a result, the Zoo has been designated an “autism friendly business.” Knowing this, I was very excited to see what the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo had to offer guests with Autism.

When we arrive for the day, after a short line in the security, we proceeded to the Guest Services booth. Here, we were able to check out the Autism "tool kit" and ask questions about the Zoo before heading into the exhibits. The first item in the Autism tool kit is a laminated social story that's available to borrow for the duration of your visit.

 Tampa Lowry Park Zoo's laminated social story

Tampa Lowry Park Zoo's laminated social story

The zoo's social story has many great pages that prepare guests with Autism for the activities they will be participating in on their visit, as well as some "housekeeping" subjects like safety rules and what to do if you get separated from your group.

 Safety rules

Safety rules

 In case you get separated from your group...

In case you get separated from your group...

 Planning your visit

Planning your visit

This social story can be borrowed from the Guest Services booth, but it can also be downloaded from their website ahead of your visit, so it can be reviewed several times before you come to the zoo, for maximum familiarity.

In addition to the social story, you can also borrow:

 A selection of fidget toys to borrow

A selection of fidget toys to borrow

 A wristband for quicker access to some of the Zoo's attractions; a wristband is provided to all guests in your party.

A wristband for quicker access to some of the Zoo's attractions; a wristband is provided to all guests in your party.

After visiting the Guest Services booth, we set out on our day at the Zoo. We had an amazing day, seeing the animals. My kids loved the penguins, bears, giraffes, rhinos, and so many more animals.

We especially loved the new Dinosaur exhibit!

After a full morning of visiting animal exhibits, we decided on lunch at Africa's Safari Lounge. This dining area was very spacious, and had several offerings that are kid-friendly. Even my son with extreme food aversions found something he would eat, so it was a success all around!

After lunch, we continued on to the Wallaroo Station area. In this section of the Zoo, there are several rides and attractions for the kids. Do be aware that most of the rides in this section are for smaller children. The Tasmanian Tiger Coaster is the only "ride" that is built for older children and adults. To access this ride, we entered through the Exit.

We also visited the Carousel Circle, where the kids can ride all sorts of Zoo animals on the merry-go-round. 

Our day at the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo was a great success and I recommend it for ALL families. Children, adults, and guests with disabilities will love the attractions, dining options, and of course, above all, the amazing animals.