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Safari North Wildlife Park

If your family’s idea of fun includes watching primates frolic in outdoor pens, hand-feeding a sweet giraffe named Puzzles or looking eyeball-to-eyeball with a sandhill crane, Safari North Wildlife Park is just the place for you. Open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., this wonderful local zoo boasts amazing exhibits from different continents. The sprawling acres of this park includes “must-see” exhibits of exotic animals like striped hyenas, red kangaroos, macaws, muntjac deer, lynx, a black spotted leopard, coatimundi, Nilgai antelope, bears, zebras and water buffalo. A new addition to the park in 2015 was Gator Falls, an exciting chance to see one of the largest exhibits of alligators in the Midwest from an observation platform. There are also plenty of animals to view that are more familiar to us North Americans like black bears, whitetail deer, lynx, skunks, raccoons and even a very big cougar. So if your need to “go wild” comes with travel and monetary restrictions, Safari North is an affordable option right in our own backyard. To learn more about this wildlife park, visit them on the web at: http://safarinorth.com/plana-visit.html

Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo (RAD Zoo) in Owatonna

If you’re up for a road trip, the RAD Zoo works to put a fun and educational spin on creepy-crawlies. Known as Minnesota’s premier reptile destination, RAD Zoo opened in 2009 and is home to over 150 kinds of animals from all over the world. Visitors can view amazing creatures from the reptile and amphibian world including snakes, turtles, lizards, crocodilians, toads, frogs and salamanders. RAD Zoo also has a daily Everglades Encounter show that educates visitors on the animals of the Florida swamp and even provides an opportunity to pet an alligator or a snake. To learn more about this unique experience opportunity, visit RAD Zoo on the web: http://www.theradzoo.com/.

County Fairs

Though not necessarily categorized as “wild,” county fairs are great places to get some hands-on experience with farm critters. I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of seeing beautiful equines in the horse barn or playing with the floppy-eared goats in the petting barn. I even like to give the piggies a friendly scratch (they like it behind the ears) on occasion. If smaller animals are more your style, there are entire 4H and FFA buildings dedicated to rabbits, chickens and even a goose or two. The Crow Wing County Fair dates for 2016 are Aug. 2-6. Cass County Fair runs June 23-26. The Pillager Fair runs July 7-10.

Have a Roaring Good Time

Rebecca Flansburg is a proud mom of two, a freelance writer, blogger and project manager for the national children’s literacy event Multicultural Children’s Book Day. When not happily writing and creating content for others, she appreciates being outside, reading and thrifting. You can connect with her on Twitter as @RebeccFlansburg or via her blog Franticmommy.com. Summer 2016 | her voice 21

Her Voice Magazine Summer 2016  

• Making Waves: We love our lakes, but do we care enough to preserve them? Claire Steen does. • A Snapshot of Cuba: While close in distance,...

Her Voice Magazine Summer 2016  

• Making Waves: We love our lakes, but do we care enough to preserve them? Claire Steen does. • A Snapshot of Cuba: While close in distance,...

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