Alabama’s Hidden Gem
Every summer I write a series called “Exploring your Backyard” where I focus on a state that is within a few hours drive of Tennessee. This year my focus was the great state of Alabama!
Like most parents, I spent my every waking minute trying to figure out how to entertain my daughters during the summer and throw in a little education so they will not lose all of their brain cells by doing nothing but playing video games, building houses on mind-craft, complaining they are bored every second of the day, or just simply getting on my nerves by fighting all summer.
While I was working with the City of Huntsville to promote Huntsville Restaurant Week I found out about Harmony Safari Park. Harmony Safari Park is one of those little-hidden gems that you will not know about unless a local told you there is a one of a kind place that your kids will absolutely love.
Who knew there was a drive through zoo in Alabama? Did I say drive through zoo where you stay in the car and the animals come to you!
When entering the park you pull up to a small building to pay ($9.00 per person/cash) and you are given strict instructions to stay in your car at all times. Make sure you purchase at least one bucket of food for the animals ($5.00 per bucket). We purchased 1 bucket and still ran out of food. The animals are well aware the cars have treats just for them so be prepared to have at a minimum of 4 to 5 animals surrounding your car at any given time.
The attendant made sure we knew to drive slowly through the park and to take our time to enjoy the animals, and of course; give them goodies. Once we entered we decided it was ok for Madison and Camille to get out of their seatbelts and let the windows down to feed the animals.
The park only gave us buckets but we had plastic cups in the car, which allowed the girls to scoop the treats into their own cup and feed the animals through each window. The animals are very friendly and they aren’t afraid to get up close and personal in anticipation of receiving a treat.
What kind of animals are at Harmony Safari Park?
I might have nightmares for the rest of my life thinking about those EMUs! EMUs are for the most part very docile animals and I am sure the EMUs at Harmony are very nice animals, but those little beady eyes and long beaks scared the bejeezus out of me. They would run up to the car and stick those scary looking beaks right through the window! Needless to say, I am good if I never see another EMU.
My daughters loved the Zebra, which came right over to the car like he knew the girls had been waiting to pet him from the moment they laid eyes on him across the park.
How precious are these Llamas? Look at those eyes and I swear one of them winked at me and my heart melted just a little. Isn’t he like the sexiest Llama you’ve ever seen? Ok, this is getting a little creepy but look at those eyelashes!
The Most Beautiful Deer
Harmony Safari Park has lots of different animals from deer, steers, bison, emu/ostrich, pigs, zebra, etc. They even have a giraffe, but you can only see it on the back side of the park and it was in an enclosure.
They also have a “petting” zoo that allows you to walk around and touch the animals. The petting zoo has turtles, baboons, lemurs, alligators, pigs, and birds. The tortoises are the main attraction in the petting zoo because of how large they are; plus they are roaming around like they are king of the castle.
Watch the video below of how much fun my family had and please share!
They also sell lettuce for the tortoises if you want to feed them, but please be careful when feeding the tortoises because the last thing you want is to be bitten by a tortoise.
Lastly, they have an indoor reptile house with many snakes, lizards, frogs, and bugs; so don’t leave before you check out the reptile house.
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Harmony Park Safari is located at 31 Clouds Cove Road S.E. in the New Hope community. Call them at 256-723-3880. Check out their Facebook page for updates on whats new at the park.