Have you ever had a zebra put it’s head in through the window of your car? You haven’t? Well, you’ve got to Franklin Drive Thru Safari! It’s located about two hours from Houston (depending on where you are in Houston, that is). It is a drive thru safari where you can see and feed all kinds of amazing animals right from your car!
I think I had just as much fun as my kids did on our little excursion. I think it’s a fun day trip to take no matter what age you are. We live in the suburbs of Houston so it was about an hour and thirty minute drive for us.
I have to admit that I was a bit worried when I got there. Did I make a bad choice? Were the animals mistreated and miserable? I had read through a ton of reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and Google first and the only thing I could find were posts about guests to the park who were obnoxious.
I was relieved to see that all of the animals seemed healthy and happy with a ton of space to roam. The staff told me that some animals are taken from zoos who no longer want them and that some were going to be euthanized. So, you can feel good that you aren’t going into a bad episode of Tiger King.
Franklin Drive Thru Safari is located at 4324 W US Highway 79 Franklin, TX 77856. There is a drive thru section that you can go around as many times as you want and there is also a gift shop, restrooms, a small playground with picnic benches, Lemur Island, a reptile exhibit, a giraffe exhibit, monkey exhibit, goat exhibit, and more!
Before you go
The main thing you should do before you go is to check the weather. If there is rainy or other inclement weather, the park will be closed for the safety of the animals and guests.
You should also know that you’ll be super close to the animals, so if that freaks you out this isn’t the place for you.
Best time to go
We went during a weekday and it was perfect. It was actually quite busy for a weekday but the animals were still really hungry. If you do go on a weekend, definitely go early and be sure to check their Facebook page too. Most of their negative reviews aren’t about the park itself but about long waits on the weekend. So either go early on the weekend or try to go on a weekday.
The price is $15 per person over the age of 2 to enter the park. You can purchase feed for $5 a bucket. You can also purchase food for the monkeys and lettuce for the giraffes separately. They also offer a Lemur adventure and a visit to the baby animal room for additional fees.
I’d also recommend buying one bucket of feed per person or child. We bought two and I really wish we would have bought four or five. It seems like a lot, but you can go through however many times you want.
The animals come right up to you and will eat out of your hand. If that’s a little too close for comfort you can feed them from your bucket. Just be careful because some will try to steal the bucket from you!
Of course, be sure to drive really, really slow for the safety of the animals.
Feed the giraffes
OK, so it does seem a little pricey. It’s $1 per leaf of lettuce to feed the giraffes but feeding the giraffes is so fun! My son was amazed and kept saying, big giraffe all the way home. He thought it was the coolest thing ever. It may seem overpriced for lettuce but the proceeds go towards feeding and caring for the animals.
I’d recommend getting at least five or six leaves to feed the giraffes with.
Baby animal room
I heard fantastic things about the baby animal room. You can hold and feed all kinds of new baby animals! I have two toddlers so we had to skip it. I was afraid that my kids aren’t old enough to be gentle. We will have to go back when my two are older.
There is an extra fee to go in the baby animal room but the other guests said it was so worth it.
Lemur Island is only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. You can travel on a pontoon boat to you guessed it, an island filled with lemurs. There is an additional fee to do this excursion. We went on a weekday, so we weren’t able to go but I’ve heard it’s really cool.
Things to bring
Some things you might want to bring on the Franklin Drive Thru Safari are snacks or a lunch (for humans, not the animals of course) and antibacterial wet wipes.
I wiped my hands and wiped our car window with the wipes after we left the drive thru. They also have restrooms for you to wash your hands in.
Also, be sure to bring your phone or camera so you can take lots of pictures! Although this is a drive thru safari, there is a section to walk around so wear comfortable shoes too.
Remember to check the weather, to go early on the weekend or to go on a weekday. They also stop taking customers close to closing time so be sure to check before going.
I’d also recommend buying one bucket of feed per person or more. Feeding the giraffes also seems pricey but is so worth it!
I would say that you should probably plan to spend at least an hour here but you could easily do four hours here seeing everything and taking a snack or lunch break.
The Franklin Drive Thru Safari is a fun day trip from Houston. It would also make a fantastic homeschooling field trip.
It is seriously a really cool adventure. I didn’t post all the pictures I took because I don’t want to spoil the adventure for you guys if you decide to visit. There were seriously so many animals and the park was a lot bigger than I expected.
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I am in no way affiliated with Franklin Drive Thru Safari, all opinions expressed are my own.