Day Trippin’ :: Safari Park


Memphis is full of culture and family-friendly things to do, which is one of the reasons that I love it so darn much. But every once in a blue moon, it’s nice to get the heck out of town to do something different… I’m talking about day trippin’, y’all. What’s better than a pseudo-vacay without actually having to pack up a house full of children, pets, and ALL THE THINGS? Nothing.

Hands down, my favorite day trip is Tennessee Safari Park. 

Wait, you’ve never heard of Tennessee Safari Park? (Insert record backscratch)…Let me introduce you to the place guaranteed to delight you, your kids, and the grandparents, too.

Safari Park is a hidden gem located in Alamo, Tennessee – far enough to feel like you’re out of the city, but close enough to skip the pricey hotel costs. There are OODLES of exotic animals that you don’t see everyday (like emus, camels and kangaroos), and the best part is that you can get super close. The park itself is a 20 acre zoo area that features lots of hands on activity for the family – from a petting/feeding area (my kids’ fave) to a 5.5 mile car tour (my fave). You can purchase buckets of feed for the animals, which bring ALL the animals to your car. 

FYI’s:  If you’re not comfortable with animals sticking their heads in your car and/or animals attempting to make out with your husband, keep the windows rolled up. See Exhibit A below for the G-rated version.

EXHIBIT A: Animal trying to woo my husband. I get it – he’s pretty cute.

Thinking about taking the trip? Here’s what you really need to know.

How far is it? You can find directions here, however in *Mom Hours, it took me about an hour and a half to arrive from Memphis. This will vary depending on your starting point in town, so it’s best to map it out first.  {*Mom Time accounts for reentry into your home to snag the other shoe, unanticipated pee stops, time pulling over to breastfeed and/or threaten children that you will MAKE EVERYONE WALK HOME if they don’t stop fighting}. Also, note that it is very easy to miss the turn into Safari Park from the main road, so blast that GPS.

When is it open? The park is open Monday through Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5. 

What’s it gonna cost me? Mom, Dad, and other grown ups are $16. Kids between 2 and 12 are $12. Under 1? You’re free, you lucky thing. Hit the ATM before you leave because Safari Park is CASH ONLY.

What can I bring? Whatever you’d like (within reason – don’t get too crazy now). Strollers, baby wearing, and snacks are all fine. If you need special accommodations, make sure you call first 731.696.4423

What do I wear? Sneakers. Sunscreen. Comfy clothing. Because you can interact with the animals a bit, you may want to bring a change of clothes for littles. But you probably do that anyway – duh, you’re a Mom.

Is Safari Park wheelchair friendly? Yes. Almost all areas are wheelchair friendly due to paved walkways and few stairs. The only area of caution regarding wheelchair access is the large tour bus (seen here, usually for field trips), as there is not a ramp for on boarding. For a regular visit, you’ll probably not need this.

Exhibit B: Another shameless animal flirting with my spouse.

The bottom line is that Safari Park allows you to do something different when the regular Memphis spots feel a little ho-hum. It’s fun for the entire family, and you’re guaranteed to get an awesome nap when you leave. That’s an entire hour and a half in the car without MOM-MOM-MOM-MOM on repeat. To me, that is worth the admission price times ten.

{And if those shameless animals try to steal your husband, don’t say I didn’t warn you.} 


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Jeanie is a perfectly imperfect mama, transplanted to Cordova fresh out of graduate school. She and her husband, Matt, had no intent on making Memphis “home” – but ten years later, they’re still here (and love it!). They have three saucy gingers, along with three “fur babies”. Between homeschooling and chairing graduate Psychology departments online, life is never boring in the Whinghter house. It’s no surprise that Jeanie fancies coffee, but she also loves bargain shopping and embarrassing her children with her questionable singing/dancing skills. She’s had more #PinterestFails that she can count and has perfected the art of giving a good pep talk (watch out, puberty!). Motherhood has slowly transformed her into the “uncool” Mom she thought she’d never be, yet she’s never felt cooler or more content with her life.