Kids can get Really Close to Interesting Animals at Boulder Ridge

One of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is visit the zoo. My kids have always loved watching animals and they really love getting up close and personal with them. The coolest place to get close to animals is Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto.

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park is very kid and family friendly. The main part of the zoo is on mostly flat ground and it’s all paved. This makes it easy to maneuver strollers and wheelchairs. There are also several covered picnic areas so you can easily pack lunches and eat them there.

The best part about Boulder Ridge is that it has such a wide variety of unique animals. They have over 1,400 animals, representing 179 species. I’ve seen some animals there that I haven’t seen other places like lovebirds, kookaburras, hyenas and blue-tongued skinks.

Boulder Ridge Lets You Feed the Locals

One of the best features of the park is the ability to feed many of the animals. Purchase a seed stick ($1) and go into the parakeet aviary and feed the birds. They are not shy and will literally swarm you!

Lettuce and carrots are also available for purchase in order to feed the giraffes, camels, goats, kangaroos and more.

My favorite is feeding the giraffes. They come right up to the chain-link gate so they are literally right there. You will have to lift your small children up in order for the giraffes to be able to reach the lettuce.

Note that you are NOT allowed to feed the animals any of your own food. It is only safe for them to eat the zoo’s food.

Safaris in Michigan??

Admission includes a safari ride on a converted school bus. The safari is the only way to see the rest of the property and all the animals who live out there like bison, buffalo, antelope, wildebeest, hyenas and zebras.

The buses are open-air and include a narrated tour with stops along the way. Visitors are not allowed to walk these paths.

Bonus Activities at Boulder Ridge

Along with feed for the animals (which ranges from $1 – $5), there are a few other extras you can purchase. Kids can ride the kiddie train for $4 each. This ride lasts a few minutes and takes the passengers in a small circle. Some of the train cars can make noises.

Another extra activity the kids can do is “mine” for gemstones. Kids purchase a large bag with a sand mixture. They take it over to the “river” and pan it like miners to find the hidden treasures inside of it. Each bag is guaranteed to have a few treasures, but contents (and amount of treasures) vary by bag.

About Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

The park is open May 1- mid October on the following days:

  • Monday, Wednesday – Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Last admission is one hour before closing.

Admission is free for kids 2 and under, $10 for ages 3-11 and $14 for ages 12 and up. ($12 for ages 62+) Memberships available.

8313 Pratt Lake SE, Alto, MI 49302 | 616-868-6711 | Website | Facebook

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