Bramble Park Zoo ~ Watertown, South Dakota

After I was unable to attend a field trip to the zoo with the preschool class I helped aide this past school year, Andrew and I decided to make a trek to Bramble Park Zoo on our own. Bramble Park Zoo is open year round (with the exception of some holidays) and has longer hours in the summer. They are a smaller zoo, but their slogan of “Come Closer” rings true and makes it worth the $10 admission price for those 13 or older.

In total we spent about an hour at the zoo. There were 2 school groups there while we visited, but despite the zoos small size, we didn’t feel overwhelmed. Part of that may have been that they offer “animal encounters” in their classroom setting for large groups visiting and one group was in doing that as we walked past the barn.

When we first walked in, we were surprised to see that an entire bird enclosure exhibit was closed off. My guess is they are working to revamp this exhibit. We turned to our left and were able to start off visiting some of the primates. One monkey in particular was very upset that his food dish was empty and was causing quite a bit of ruckus by pounding and swinging his dish against the side of his cage.


We then meandered over to the Bison habitat. There was a sweet baby bison and also several birds (quail like things) that seemed to be attempting to make a break for it, and eventually did find their way under the fence and out to the walkway. That was certainly entertaining. We also were able to get up close and personal with a camel. I love how close you can get to the animals at this zoo without being in harms way!

From there we walked over to the tiger exhibit. Again you could feel like you were right there with the tiger as large windows put you just a glass pane away from the beast.


From there we checked out some of the other large cats and also tried to check in on the bears, but clearly they were inside as we walked by. We then checked out the large birds and also the waterfowl. The waterfowl are located at the back of the zoo and it’s a nice peaceful walk to get back to them.

Bramble Park Zoo also has a well maintained barnyard area, where of course you can feed the goats and also pet several of the other animals. They also have a fairly new otter exhibit, but the otters didn’t seem to be in it the day we visited.

Before leaving, we decided to check back once more with the bears, and I’m glad we did! They had just been fed and both were enjoying a tasty meal of fruits and veggies. But my favorite was the one who choose to enjoy his meal with a seat at the table!


While Bramble Park Zoo may not be the cheapest attraction to visit given it’s size, it’s well maintained and it’s clear they’ve been working to improve exhibits little by little. I always like to see that my money is at least going somewhere helpful when I pay to visit a zoo! We enjoyed our hour there and I would visit again in a year or so. I could see people with kids coming here often if they lived close enough!

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