For years we have been discussing going to The Wilds, but actually, haven't made the trip. The Wilds is owned by the Columbus Zoo and is a nonprofit conservation center. It's huge, spreading itself over 10,000 acres of Cumberland, Ohio. It offers tours throughout the day around the conservation. Although it's only an hour and a half away from Columbus, there always seemed to be a reason not to go. Well, that changed yesterday. My brother-in-law & I wanted to have an adventure out of Columbus. So we packed up William and set out to see what all the hype about The Wilds was.
After pulling into the conservation, we parked and then jumped on a bus to go to the greeting building to purchase tickets. We immediately wanted to do the open-air safari but there are two other options available. There is a closed bus (which is cheaper) and then a safari truck tour (which is more expensive and it's more like off-roading). William's ticket was completely free! Which was an awesome perk! What we completely didn't think about was bringing binoculars. Luckily, you could rent a pair when you purchased tickets. We did. It was so worth it! William carried them around the whole trip. He was obsessed with them!
12:30 was our tour pick up time. Around 12:15ish we wondered over to the pickup area. We learned that although you're given a designated time for your tour if a tour before you has space they will let you go with them. We jumped on our tour and was on our way to explore!
At first William was a little angry because he thought we were going on another long car ride. Until, he spotted the animals! He was so excited! Seeing his little face light up when he saw the camels was absolutely adorable.
A little ways into our safari we stopped at the center to get out and see birds + fish. This was perfect! We paid for a stick to feed the birds, which was so worth it. The birds came right up to us. William was at first a little scared but then was so amazed.
After feeding the birds. We headed down the path to feed the fish. (Yes, you do have to buy the feed but only $.50) The fish were massive!
William of course refused to walk back up the path. So, guess who had to carry him?
We continued our tour throughout the safari. All together about 2 hours long. Altogether 3 stops. Each stop has a concession stand and bathroom. As we set off through the rest of the tour we ran into quite a few animals. William's favorite? The giraffes! He was so excited he did a dance. I'm not sure where this obsession came from but was so darling to watch!
Yes, there are rhinos. They came extremely close to the bus. Though they did not attack it. Below is a picture of the safari truck you can take and a couple more little friends we saw.
The last five minutes of the ride William fell asleep. Clearly, he had too much fun! Our overall trip was amazing! William's little face lite up. We had been to the zoo numerous times but this adventure was something completely new. We really would like to go back. Except next time actually stay at The Wilds lodge. If you plan on going I would recommend going as soon as they open. We, unfortunately, didn't get out of the house early.
The perfect ending to our day: A glass of wine right before bath time!
Cheers to another delightful stroll!