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Best Animal Habitats & Zoos in Las Vegas (Wild Vegas!)

Las Vegas is a bustling city known for its energetic nightlife, themed hotels and casinos, fine dining, shopping, and endless entertainment options. But Las Vegas has even more to offer, including a wide array of animal habitats and zoos.

The best Animal Habitats and Zoos in Las Vegas are:

  1. Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
  2. Lion Habitat Ranch
  3. Shark Reef Aquarium
  4. Siegried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat
  5. Springs Preserve

To help you choose the best animal habitats and zoos in Las Vegas to visit, I’ve compiled a list with everything you need to know – complete with why each location is one of the best, where it’s located, costs, and other things to expect. It’s time to get in touch with your wild side!

White tiger in Las Vegas
You can see white tigers at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat.

Best Animal Habitats and Zoos in Las Vegas

The first thing to mention is that the animal habitats and zoos in Las Vegas are not your normal city zoo fare. Everything in Las Vegas is done in its own special Vegas way, and that includes the animals.

Does Las Vegas even have a zoo?

If you have been to Las Vegas before, you may be thinking that Vegas doesn’t have a zoo, and you’d be partially correct. While Las Vegas does not have a traditional zoo, there are plenty of opportunities to get close to some amazing animals in habitats you won’t find anywhere else.

The animal habitats and zoos in Las Vegas are often situated in some of the city’s most prominent resorts, with plenty of experiences and activities for visitors of any age.

To help you decide which of the animal habitats to visit while in Las Vegas (or to help you see how many you can fit into your trip), I’m going to walk you through each in detail.

I’ll explain why each habitat or zoo is one of the best, where you can find it, how much it will cost to visit, and other things to expect.

In no particular order, here are the best animal habitats and zoos in Las Vegas.

1. Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

Flamingo habitat in Las Vegas
See the flamingos at Flamingo Las Vegas!

Why It’s One of the Best

Situated right on the Las Vegas strip, the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat is a beloved wildlife attraction in Las Vegas – and the only one of its kind!

The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat is a vast 15-acre habitat featuring a flock of Chilean flamingos that you can see up close and personal.

This habitat doesn’t limit itself to just flamingos, though – visitors can also see an array of other feathered friends like parrots, Sacred Ibis, Ring Teal ducks, brown pelicans, and swans.

Not only that but many non-feathered friends can be found at the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat. You may just spot turtles and koi fish, too.

This is a great place for visitors to take photos with the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat’s resident parrots!

That’s all pretty amazing, but what’s even better is that this animal habitat is open to the public and free of charge!

Where It’s Located

You can find this animal habitat at the Flamingo Las Vegas Resort on the Las Vegas Strip. It’s easiest to find the habitat by entering the resort’s main entrance off the Strip.

Down the main entrance to the left, you’ll find the Habitat Walkway that leads you to Flamingo Wildlife Habitat’s entrance.

Check this link on the Flamingo Resort’s website for a map of the resort showing where you can find the wildlife habitat.

Costs and Other Things to Expect

The Flamingo Wildlife Habitat is great in a number of ways, but one of its best attributes is that it’s completely free!

The habitat is open to the public daily, and its hours are from dawn to dusk. Visitors can also view the twice-daily pelican feedings at 8:30am and 2:00pm.

For more information about the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat, you can view their webpage here.

2. Lion Habitat Ranch

Lion Habitat Ranch in Las Vegas

Why It’s One of the Best

You’ll trade in feathered friends for furry felines at the Lion Habitat Ranch.

At this animal habitat, not only can you view the ranch’s many regal lions at a close distance, but you can get even more up close and personal with many of the animals found here!

Visitors can book a package to hand-feed one of the ranch’s giraffes, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and lion’s enclosures, and even hand feed a lion!

Where It’s Located

Lion Habitat Ranch is a short jaunt from Las Vegas proper and is located in Henderson, Nevada.

A car ride or a ride-share service will only take about 17 minutes to get you to Lion Habitat Ranch from the Las Vegas Strip.

For specific instructions on getting to the habitat ranch, you can view this page on their website.

Costs and Other Things to Expect

The Lion Habitat Ranch is an animal habitat that you’ll need to pay to get into, but it’s well worth the cost.

There are some free options – all children aged 3 and under can get in for free, as can one child aged 4-14 with the purchase of an adult ticket.

According to the Lion Habitat Ranch’s admission webpage, general admission rates for adults range from $20.00 to $25.00, and there are discounts for students, seniors, and Military members. The habitat also offers family rates.

You can see a full breakdown of the Lion Habitat Ranch’s general admission costs here.

Other experiences, like feeding the giraffes or lions, cost extra. Those rates can be found on the habitat’s experiences page here.

The Lion Habitat Ranch has different operating hours for each season. During the spring, its hours are 11:00am to 3:00pm, and during the summer, its hours are from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The park is currently closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Because the operating hours are limited, make sure to plan ahead if you wish to visit this wild park!

3. Shark Reef Aquarium

Shark Reef in Las Vegas
At Sharks Reef you’ll get to see these fearsome and beautiful animals up close and personal.

Why It’s One of the Best

At Shark Reef Aquarium, it’s time to forget about feathered and furry friends altogether – this animal habitat is for creatures of the aquatic variety.

Shark Reef Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in North America – its tank holds 1.3 million gallons of water!

Those 1.3 million gallons of water are home to over 2,000 species of aquatic life and fish, like sharks, sea turtles, piranhas, exotic freshwater and saltwater fish.

Shark Reef Aquarium is designed to feel like an ancient temple that is slowly sinking into the ocean and leads to a shipwreck-reminiscent tunnel.

Inside the tunnel, visitors can get a nearly 360-degree view of the aquarium’s largest creatures, including five species of sharks! Simply stand and watch (or gawk) as sharks and other species of fish swim around and above you.

While visitors of Shark Reef Aquarium might not expect a hands-on, up-close experience with the animals, the opposite is true – visitors can enjoy several of the aquarium’s “touch pools.”

These “touch pools” house eels, crabs, stingrays, and other animals that visitors can gently touch and get familiar with. If you’ve ever wanted to say you’ve pet a stingray – this is your chance!

Not only that, but visitors can book an experience to feed the sharks or sea turtles. Guests can even take their experience a step further and dive with the sharks (if they’re brave enough, that is!).

Where It’s Located

Shark Reef Aquarium is located in the well-known Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Visitors can navigate to the aquarium by entering Mandalay Bay through its main entrance or through the parking garage.

Find a map of the entire hotel and casino on their website by visiting this link.

Costs and Other Things to Expect

Shark Reef Aquarium’s timed entry costs are reasonable at:

  • $29.00 per adult
  • $27.00 per senior
  • $23.00 per child age 5-12
  • Free for children age 4 and under

Timed tickets allow you to gain entrance on a specific day and time. Shark Reef also sells “anytime tickets.” These tickets run $36 for adults and a few dollars less for seniors and children 5 and up. These tickets must be used on a specific day, but you can enter the attraction anytime during normal operating hours.

Nevada residents will get discounted admission rates to Shark Reef Aquarium, and family packages and annual passes are also available for purchase.

Extra activities like turtle feeding, shark feeding, and shark diving incur additional costs.

You can get discounted tickets ahead of time here.

Shark Reef Aquarium is open from 10:00am to 8:00pm every day of the week.

Note: There are so many more fabulous aquariums in Vegas! You can find my article showcasing the best aquariums in Las Vegas here.

4. Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat

Dolphin in Las Vegas

Update: Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden is closed pending the takeover of The Mirage by the Hard Rock Hotel. It is not currently known whether the Secret Garden will reopen or not. I will update this post once I know for sure.

Why it’s One of the Best

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat brings together the best of both worlds of the animal kingdom: aquatic friends and furry friends alike.

Visitors can see animals like bottlenose dolphins (they sometimes even have a baby dolphin!), leopards, white lions, and the famous white tigers. There are very few other places you can see exotic white tigers and lions outside of Las Vegas!

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat also offer exclusive activities for visitors, like yoga with the dolphins, painting with the dolphins, swimming with the dolphins, behind-the-scenes tours, and trainer tours.

Watch the dolphins play, view the white lions and leopards in their comfortable habitats, and experience some of nature’s most exotic animals at this animal habitat.

Where It’s Located

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is located in the Mirage Las Vegas, a resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat is located near the Mirage’s pool entrance and can be found by entering through either the main entrance on the Strip or the parking garage entrance.

For specific instructions on finding Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, take a look at this link from their site.

Costs and Other Things to Expect

Tickets to the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat are well worth the cost – admission includes unlimited access for the entire day!

General admission costs are:

  • $22.00 per adult
  • $17.00 per child age 4-17
  • Free for children under 3

Other activities and experiences like painting with the dolphins will cost extra.

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat’s hours are 10:00am to 5:30pm daily, and the last admission is at 4:30pm.

A full breakdown of costs and hours can be found on their website here.

5. Springs Preserve

Butterfly habitat at Springs Preserve
During the Spring and Fall, you’ll find a lot of butterflies at the preserve inside the popular Butterfly Habitat.

Why It’s One of the Best

At Springs Preserve, visitors will get to experience the myriad of animals that call the desert – Las Vegas’s natural climate – home.

Situated in the middle of the city is this adventure-filled, 180-acre preserve full of animal habitats, exhibits, and other sights and activities.

Springs Preserve features live animal exhibits and habitats with native Mojave Desert wildlife, like Desert tortoises, Gila monsters, pocket gophers, cottontail rabbits, gray foxes, and lizards.

The preserve also features a Wetlands Bird Habitat, where feathered friends like Western Screech owls, Green herons, and Hooded orioles can be spotted.

That’s not all, either – the preserve has a butterfly habitat in its Botanical Gardens, where visitors can watch free-flying butterflies.

Seasonal activities and other events are put on at Springs Preserve all the time for visitors of all ages, like a Brews & Blues Festival, Ice Cream Festival, Haunted Harvest, Spring, and Autumn Plant Sales, fragrance-making classes, dog shows, weekend brunches, and weekend films.

To view the Springs Preserve’s full event calendar, check out this link from their website.

There’s no shortage of animals to see and things to do at the Springs Preserve!

Where It’s Located

Springs Preserve may sound like it’s out in the middle of nowhere, but the opposite is actually true – this animal habitat and zoo is located right in the middle of Las Vegas.

A short car ride or easily accessible bus ride can take you to Springs Preserve, located on Valley View Boulevard in Las Vegas.

For Springs Preserve’s exact address and directions, take a look at this link from the Springs Preserve website, even complete with bus routes to the preserve.

Costs and Other Things to Expect

General admission rates for Springs Preserve differ depending on visitors’ ages and if the visitors are Nevada residents.

Springs Preserve also offers a wide array of discounts for visitors like seniors, military members, students, AAA Members, and even Bank of America account holders.

The full breakdown of Springs Preserve’s general admission prices and discounts can be found here. Discount eligibility options and rates can be found on this page.

Special events and activities at Springs Preserve will have varying and sometimes additional costs. Tickets to these events and activities are sold separately from general admission tickets.

Springs Preserve is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. It’s open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Special events may cause the preserve to close early or have different hours, so be sure to check operating hours before you visit.

Preparing for a Trip to Animal Habitats and Zoos in Las Vegas

If you’re preparing for a trip to any or all of the main animal habitats and zoos in Las Vegas, there are some things you may want to know beforehand.

What should you bring? When are the best times to go? These questions aren’t as exotic, but they’re still important. Let’s find out!

Things to Bring

When visiting an animal habitat and zoo in Las Vegas, things to bring will vary depending on the people you’re going with (especially if you’re bringing children). Generally, the things you’ll need are:

  • A camera or phone to take photos with
  • A bottle of water for each person
  • Snacks (especially for children)
  • A stroller for small children
  • Hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses if outdoors (Las Vegas gets hot!)

It’s important to look up the rules and FAQs of every animal habitat or zoo before you go, as some items may be prohibited.

For example, most animal habitats will not allow outside food or drink. Additionally, many zoos nowadays will not allow any straws in the facility.

Just remember that no matter where you go or who you’re going with, don’t forget to bring your sense of wonder!

Best Times to See Animals in Las Vegas

Many visitors to animal habitats and zoos in Las Vegas wonder when the best times to go are. This is especially true of indoor animal habitats, as the animals can be asleep or out of view.

So, when should you go to the animal habitats and zoos in Las Vegas to see the animals in their most active state?

Best Days

The best days of the week to visit animal habits and zoos in Las Vegas tend to be weekdays, specifically in the middle of the week.

The habitats and zoos are less busy, have fewer crowds and shorter wait times, and easier access to the animal habitats and exhibits. It also tends to be easier to glimpse the animals.

Best Time of the Day

Regardless of the day you decide to visit the animals in Las Vegas, the best time of the day to go is typically in the morning.

Unless there’s a show, feeding, or training at a specific time, most of the animals are typically more active in the morning, especially before and after they’re fed.

Animals and Zoos in Las Vegas – Final Thoughts

Las Vegas may be known for its entertainment, nightlife, casinos, fine dining, and shopping, but this bustling city has no shortage of energetic animal habitats, zoos, and wildlife.

From indoor animal habitats (often situated inside hotels and casinos) to outdoor zoos, sanctuaries, and preserves, Las Vegas really has it all.

There’s something for every person, regardless of age, too – Las Vegas’s zoos and animal exhibits offer a wide array of activities, events, and hands-on experiences that visitors of any age are sure to enjoy.

Remember, they may say, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,” – but your memories of Las Vegas’s amazing animals are sure to stay with you for a lifetime.

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