Bowmanville Zoo

Last week we took our very first trip to Bowmanville Zoo located in Bowmanville Ontario. Although much smaller in comparison to the Toronto Metro Zoo with far fewer animals, Bowmanville Zoo definitely has its perks, especially for families with young children.

Bowmanville Zoo offers:

  • Daily animal shows (in July and August) at the Animatheatre, which is a barn with about 400 seats
  • Three different rides suitable for young children (carousel, spinning teacups, and speedboat) FREE with admission

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  • Splash Bash play area equipped with sprinklers and fountains (the water is not freezing unlike at the many splash parks I have taken my kids to)

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  • Camel rides for all ages, for $6 (children 3 and under FREE)

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  • Photos with a lion cub for $10 a photo
  • Picnic area with picnic tables
  • Horse-pulled wagon ride for children 11 and under FREE

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  • Approximately 44 different animals to look at, including lions, tigers, kangaroos, wolves, giraffes, and zebras


  • Lots of trees, and lots of shade
  • A sand area equipped with big slides
  • Opportunity to feed certain animals such as goats (Animal feed can be bought with admission for $2 or in front of some animal enclosures

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  • Zoo Café, which offers sandwiches, hot dogs, and softs drinks and a concession stand which sells snacks and drinks
  • Gift shop
  • Rain cheque available if it continuously rains for one hour during your zoo visit


  • The zoo does not allow family pets
  • Plastic (saran wrap, plastic straws, plastic bags, etc.) are not allowed into the zoo and therefore all packed lunches must be litterless

I packed a picnic-style lunch for my children in their 6-compartment Yumboxes, which included:

  • A mini sandwich with cheese, lettuce, and tomato
  • Fine herb flavoured turkey slices
  • Chicken meatballs, sliced (recipe will be posted soon!)
  • Pasta salad with arugula, red onion, red pepper, and tomato
  • Stuffed green olives
  • Strawberries & blueberries
  • Chocolate pudding

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The adults had chicken sandwiches, meatball subs, bean burritos, pasta salad, and fresh fruits. We packed a lot of water and fresh lemonade as well.

My children thoroughly enjoyed their day at Bowmanville Zoo. There were so many things for them to do that they didn’t even miss the penguins and polar bears that they look forward to seeing every year at the Toronto Metro Zoo. The kids especially liked that the animal enclosures were close together so that they could walk instead of being pulled in their wagon. If you have children 11 and under, a trip to Bowmanville Zoo can definitely be great family fun!

Click HERE to download a free child’s admission ticket.

To learn more about Bowmanville Zoo, hours of operation, and ticket prices, visit HERE.

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