Calgary Zoo upped the cute level in Alberta this past May with 4 adorable pandas.
Da Mao (male) and Er Shun (female) will be sticking around in Calgary until 2023 but twin cubs Jia Panpan (male) and Jia Yueyue (female) will be leaving the Calgary Zoo in 2019. Ready to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to see pandas up close and personal in Alberta? Here’s your chance.
Discovery Wildlife Park provides “forever” homes to orphaned wildlife and zoo animals in need of a home. This unique zoo has plenty of play space for the kids, too (as if animals weren’t enough!). With Daily presentations the Park’s passion for helping visitors understand animals shines. The Wildlife Park has even been featured on Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild!
Whether you’re there on a day trip, come regularly with a season pass, or are staying the night at the campground (WHAT?! A zoo with a campground?!) Discovery Wildlife Park is a fun day out in between Edmonton and Calgary.
Where is Discovery Wildlife Park?
15 minutes south of Red Deer, the Discovery Wildlife Park is located a short drive off Highway 2 outside of Innisfail, Alberta. The zoo and campground are centrally located to make an easily accessible experience for Alberta families to enjoy.
What to do at Discovery Wildlife Park
There are 29 animal enclosures at Discovery Wildlife Park, most with multiple animals in them. See a tortoise and turtles; lions, a tiger, and bears (oh my!); macaques, wolves, elk, deer, and even raccoons – just to name a few. Remember to bring your camera for some great photo opportunities.
Discovery Wildlife Park has so many play structures for the kids to climb all over! Be sure to check them all out:
And don’t miss the sandpits, too!
Walk with a Wolf (extra charge)
If everyone in your group is 52″ (4’4″ or 132cm) or taller, you can book a special experience and go for a 15 minute walk with one of the Timber wolves and learn their story. Lots of photos are encouraged!
Bear Photos (extra charge)
Not quite tall enough for the wolf walk (that’s okay, we aren’t either!)? Attend the bear safety presentation and book a photo with one of the bear family members. What an incredible souvenir!
Book an After Hours Encounter (extra charge)
If you’ve still got energy after a day at the zoo, or you’re staying in the campground, consider adding one of these major memory makers:
Behind the scenes cat tour
Visit with raccoons
Visit with camels
Visit with serval cats
Walk with a wolf (must be 52″ tall; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult)
Bear encounter (must be 8+ years old)
Note that children 2 and under must be held at all times. Wagons and strollers are not allowed.
Dining Options at the Zoo
The Honey Bear Concession offers your typical concession stand fare:
hot dogs and smokies
nachos and cheese
You can always pack a picnic to enjoy, too!
Discovery Wildlife Park Accessibility
Zoos are an incredible opportunity for everyone to get close to animals in a way that some of us just aren’t able to in nature. Discovery Wildlife Park tries to keep their space for both the animals and humans.
Golf Cart Rentals
If you or a loved one have trouble getting around, there are 4 electric golf carts available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to seniors and those with accessibility restrictions.
All zoos have a tight balancing act between the health and safety of their animals and welcoming all visitors. Discovery Wildlife Park has a Service Animal Policy published on their website for those with service animals to review before visiting.
It’s always recommended that you call ahead to discuss the details.
This quiet, cool room is a chance to get away from the crowds, and for moms and dads to change or feed little ones, or just take a quiet moment. They have kids books and toys and complimentary diapers in case you under packed.
Zoo Admission and Hours
Discovery Wildlife Park is open every day 10am to 5pm, May 1 to September 30th in 2023. Last entry is at 4pm.
Day Passes run $1 (2 and under), $14 (3-12 year olds), $18 (13-17 and 60+), and $21 (18-59 year olds).
If you’ll be visiting more than three times in a year it’s worth checking out a membership. If you buy before May 1, 2023 your savings begin on your third visit.
Membership benefits include a 10% discount in the gift shop, on bear photos, off Light the Night admission, and Cabin and RV site rentals.
Other Discount Opportunities
Discovery Wildlife Park offers a military discount of 10% off daily admission for CFOne card holders and their immediate family.
Group rates for organizations with 15 people or more attending are available when booked in advance.
School and youth groups of 15 or more paid people (including parents, teachers, and other chaperones) get a steep discount when booked and paid in advance. Be sure to check the website for rates and details.
Camping with the Animals
What a unique experience! Alberta Mamas still have to try out the campground, but how cool is it that you can CAMP at a ZOO! There are 49 powered sites (30 and 50 amp available) and 17 cabins available (minimum 2 night cabin booking). There’s a stocked trout pond (there’s a small fee, but no fishing license is required – this could be a great way to introduce kids to fishing if you don’t want to buy a license), and propane firepits are available to rent.
Other things to do in the area
Be sure to check out these other things to do around Innisfail: