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June 6, 2018

Roaring Springs NOW OPEN at ZooTampa!

By Laura Byrne

ZooTampa recently unveiled its latest expansion and it’s pretty much the ‘coolest’ thing to debut in Tampa Bay this summer!

Get ready to take the plunge into Old Florida! Roaring Springs is a brand new area of the zoo that opened Saturday, June 9, 2018!

There are so many things to love about this most recent expansion, so we’re breaking it down into 5 things we LOVE Roaring Springs at ZooTampa.

The Atmosphere inside Roaring Springs.

ZooTampa Roaring Springs

Roaring Springs was inspired by Old Florida. You truly get the sense of being in an old Florida town, complete with a school house, post office, and country store.

ZooTampa Roaring Springs
A peek inside the red school house.

We’re pretty sure your kids are totally going to dig the the school house and country house! You may even get a few demands to build something just like it in your backyard! The school house is complete with desks inside to let your child’s imagination run free.

ZooTampa Roaring Springs

The country house is just so darling. Your little one can swing on the front porch or step inside and relax in the rocking chair with a mini cradle at their side.

This play area was designed for imaginative play. It also happens to be a really great photo opp, so keep those cameras handy!

Roaring Springs ZooTampa

We love the post office that greets you as you walk through the main entrance near the carousel. You and the kids can pick up post card and send a sweet message to grandma!

ZooTampa Roaring Springs

Be sure to drop into the Country Store for a locally sourced gift like candles or honey! They also have swimsuits, flip flops, towels and sunscreen just in case you forget.

ZooTampa Roaring Springs

Roaring Springs: The Ride

ZooTampa Roaring Springs

ZooTampa is not attempting to become a theme park, but they did want to provide visitors like you with a FUN new way to cool down. The boat ride features a three-story plunge into the crisp cool water of the ‘springs’. It’s exactly what you’ll need to cool down after a hot Florida day!

Watch as we went for a test ride a couple of weeks ago with our July 2018 cover kid:

Roaring Springs was designed with the littlest ones in mind, so even some preschoolers can give it a go! (They must be at least 36 inches tall to ride.) If rides are not your cup of tea, then head to Lookout Landing to get a front row view of the splashdown and a good soaking to keep you cool all afternoon!

Roaring Springs ZooTampa

You will get a behind the scenes look at animal care at the zoo.


The Animal Care Campus has mostly been out of view from visitors of the zoo until now. The clinic is a corner anchor of the new area that will give the zoo an opportunity to talk more about the care they are providing for animals.

You may even spot the animal ambulance parked outside if it’s not in use!

The food and drinks.

ZooTampa Roaring Springs
Chef Itza Henderson and his son, 9 year old Isaiah.

We LOVE the menu Chef Itza Henderson (he’s the best!) put together for Joe’s Diner at Roaring Springs! We tried everything and we can assure you…it is all sooooo good! The conch fritters and fish tacos are a must and the desserts like key lime pie and strawberry shortcake also need to make an appearance on your must-try list.

ZooTampa Roaring Springs
Fish Tacos from Joe’s Diner at Roaring Springs.

We are also loving the fresh squeezed orange juice and lemonade! There’s also an option for grown ups looking for something with a 21+ kick– the iced-tea with bourbon was pretty amazing.

Roaring Springs ZooTampa drinks

Roaring Springs is just the beginning.

This is perhaps the most exciting thing! ZooTampa is NOT DONE expanding. The goal is to not only provide you with more to do, but allow them to care for even more animals. You can read more here. It’s a WIN-WIN and we can’t wait!


Here’s our BEHIND THE SCENES sneak peek of Roaring Springs before opening day in 2018:



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