For families living on the West Side of Houston (areas like Spring Branch, Memorial, Copperfield, Cypress, Katy, & Jersey Village) ~ this is quite the treasure. In the middle of Bear Creek Pioneers Park is a small wildlife habitat and aviary containing rescued and rehabilitating animals. Many have been injured and are not capable of surviving in the wild. Locals just call it “Bear Creek Park Zoo”.
While not as expansive as the Houston Zoo located in Hermann Park, we thoroughly enjoy a closer view, slower pace, and the fact that it’s FREE. The zoo is situated along War Memorial Drive on the end closest to Eldgridge. Visitors find a walking, stroller, and wheelchair friendly path leading to an aviary and a string of fenced areas.
The aviary contains various birds like owls, macaws, peafowl, doves, pigeons, and parrots. If you are fortunate (or perhaps unfortunate!) you’ll be able to witness the aviary keepers feeding the birds of prey. It’s an interesting opportunity to witness how these birds dismember rodents to eat. Our children enjoy talking to the macaw that often mimics their words. It’s a terrific opportunity to listen to the various calls each bird makes.
For about 1/3 of a mile, you’ll find a row of fenced enclosures. We enjoy watching bison, pot-bellied pigs, goats, emus, donkeys, sheep, and deer. Over several of the enclosures are signs giving details of the history of the animal, feeding preferences, and scientific facts. Built into the fences are “camera ports” where you can take up-close pictures of the animals. Like the larger zoos ~ the animals are more likely to be active on days where the temperature is moderate.
Recommended ages: All. This is the perfect visit for all ages. Those with small children will enjoy the fact that they can get a closer view than at larger zoos.
How do I set up a trip? The zoo is FREE and open to the public 7 days a week from 7am to 10pm. Our Cub Scout Den enjoyed a specific program regarding the aviary. E-mail the park to coordinate staff directed events.
A note about parking. There is plenty of parking all along the zoo. Feel free to start at any point and meander around.
What else is there to do nearby? Explore Bear Creek Pioneers Park! Really, the park offers so much that it’s easy to make an entire day of it. Playgrounds, War Memorial, Tennis Courts, Walking Trails, and more.