As a mom to busy young kids, I’m always looking for ways to burn off some of that cooped up energy! (And often, the cheaper, the better.) Knowing I can’t possibly be alone in this hunt, I wanted to give you (local) readers some reviews on the places we have discovered and are still discovering. I always love when I stumble upon a list of ideas of where to take my family for a fun outing and hope this (ongoing!) list proves helpful to you as well.
All of my reviews will be categorized as “Kids Play” if you want to search for all of the places we’ve discovered! Also, I was in no way compensated for any of these reviews. These are just my honest opinions about our adventures!
West Coast Game Park Safari
We were recently planning a trip to Wildlife Safari and camping in the general region, and then 90+ degree weather hit and it wasn’t looking to cool down if we ventured to Southern Oregon. Having heard about a “similar to Wildlife Safari” place in Bandon, we shifted vacation plans and headed towards the small coastal town and cooler temps.
We found a really great State Park right there in Bandon (Bullards Beach State Park) where we rented a yurt. On one of our days camping, we headed the 9 miles or so south just outside of Bandon, to the West Coast Game Park Safari.
I have to admit, upon driving up and seeing a small gravel parking lot in front of a giant wood fence and a smallish looking house, I immediately felt a little unsure of what I had gotten ourselves into. I had heard from numerous people that it was “similar to Wildlife Safari” so I didn’t even bother to research it any further. I was expecting a drive through experience like at Wildlife Safari but as soon as we arrived, I knew that wasn’t the case.
We parked, got out and wandered into the house-like building. It was a small gift shop and a young lady behind the counter. Still a little unsure what we were even getting ourselves into, I was a little hesitant to pay the admission cost which was around $55 for our family (2 adults, 1 four year old, 1 two year old and an infant). We bought a couple cones to feed the animals for $1 each also.
As we walked through the back door of the house into the game park, I knew our money was well spent. Immediately we saw monkeys, wallaby’s, foxes and a few other critters. We were able to get up close and personal with them! This felt like a very intimate zoo or petting zoo. Like a “behind the scene’s” look at these wild creatures.
See the joey in her pouch?!
After seeing these few animals, you can push through another gate and all of the sudden, you are fully immersed in wildlife. Goats, deer, sheep, peacocks, llama and donkey are just roaming freely. I know Zeek was in heaven getting to see all these deer right up close like that.
Asher was (understandably) a little unsure of all these huge animals right next to him, so his daddy pulled him up on his shoulders for a less frightening feeding of the deer.
However, he quickly decided he didn’t want to feed these deer and held the cone up as high as he could.
Daddy started walking, Asher still holding the cone above his head, and all the animals just started following…
…and following. Skyler said he felt like Evan Almighty.
This was Asher’s reaction every time we set him down and then a deer would start wandering over to him. “Get me outta here!”
First time in history that Zeek was like, “MOM! Take a picture of me!” He is obsessed with birds and peacock’s are pretty high up on his list of cool.
They had special petting areas where they brought out different animals. We got to pet the little black bear cubs, ferrets, a baby fox, baby opossum, and even a baby skunk.
It was unreal how close these animals were! It was so cool to be able to watch them and their mannerisms up close.
Some sort of bird eggs that we found…
Now let me break it down…
Name: West Coast Game Park Safari (Bandon, OR)
Children under 2 – Free
Children (Ages 2-6) – $7.00
Children (Ages 7-12) – $10.00
Adults (Ages 13+) – $17.50
Seniors (Ages 60+) – $16.50
AAA, Military, etc. Discount – 10%
Cleanliness: The grounds were very well kept – other than the to-be-expected animal droppings from the free roaming animals. However, even with that, we saw several zookeepers walking around constantly sweeping up and removing the droppings. The animals all looked well taken care of.
Safety: No safety concerns! There WAS one episode where a big male deer was a little aggressive with my feeding cone. He cornered me against a fence and was pressing his head into me until I gave him my feeding cones. We had just bought 2 more cones for the boys to feed the animals and this male deer bullied his way to the 2 cones before I even had the chance to hand them off to my boys. Zeek was mildly annoyed and didn’t like the “mean deer”…
Employees: The staff were all friendly and very knowledgeable. The front gal seemed a little less than thrilled to be at her job and could use a bit more pep in her step to really greet folks coming in and explain how the park works, but she wasn’t UNfriendly.
Other: They had many many more animals than I’m showing you with my photos! They had black panther, elk, llama, camels, bobcat, leopard, cougar, emu, capybaras. TONS of animals to see!
Cons: Very very minor, but worth noting… A few of these cages had some “camera hole openings” in their fences so you could stick your camera through for a picture without getting fencing material in the shot. Such a great idea! Except most of the holes were high up and at 5’2″, I was too short to reach to put my camera through the holes. :( Also… could work on curb appeal so that newcomers are confident that they are coming to something spectacular, and not just a thrown together mom and pop petting zoo.
Rating: A, suited for all ages
Overall, we really enjoyed our time there and are really looking forward to going back. The boys loved the animals and talked about it for days. I think Zeek’s dream came true when seeing the deer so up close and personal. He also loved seeing the huge elk and black bear and the white tiger was his favorite. I am *pretty* sure they have buy one get one deals in the Entertainment coupon book, so I think I may buy one this fall when it’s released and we can try to go back again next summer. It’s worth it even at full price, but at half price would be even better! :)
Thanks West Coast Game Park, we had a great experience and family fun day!