Every few years, we take our Kindergarten through 2nd grade students to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park outside of Halifax, Pennsylvania. Last week, we loaded up our kids on a bus and went on an adventure!
I’ve been to Lake Tobias a few times as a child, and twice as a teacher, and as we were walking around and exploring, I thought it might be nice to write about some can’t miss elements of Lake Tobias! Summer break is just around the corner, and this would make a great day trip for your family!
Visit the adorable goats in the petting zoo!
The girls in our group were so excited to go pet the goats! The bigger goats were very friendly. In fact, they know that people tend to bring food with them, and that’s what they go looking for.
The baby goats are a little more shy, but they are the most adorable little things I ever did see! Some of them have very soft fur and will stand there and let you pet them for a while. I even got one to cooperate long enough to take a selfie with me!
Just be prepared…there is a very good chance that you will step in poop!
Feed animals at least once.
There are several opportunities throughout the park to feed animals. They offer carrots and popcorn on the safari, pellets at the petting zoo, and various dispensers throughout the park.
You may want to feed animals at every turn, but you don’t necessarily need to.
I would, however, recommend picking one place, preferably the petting zoo or safari, and purchasing food to feed the animals there.
If the thought of elk and llamas eating from your hands freaks you out a bit, I would advise starting with the petting zoo.
Ride on a safari tour bus.
This is probably my favorite part of the park! Lake Tobias took old school busses, detached the roof, and made open-air tour busses that drive through grassy fields in the midst of many species of animals.
We had a tour guide named Buck, who did a great job! He was funny, but it was over the kids’ heads. He told us about the animals we were seeing as well as a little history of the park.
One of the coolest parts is that in July, they are getting a giraffe! Who would’ve thought a giraffe would ever take residence in little Halifax!
The animals came right up to the sides of the bus. The kids were able to pet elk and other animals. One female elk, named Emma, even came up onto the tour bus with us and allowed all the students to pet her!
The whole experience reminds me a bit of Jurassic Park, except the animals roam free and there is no chance of getting eaten by a T-Rex!
Stop by the reptile show.
About four times each afternoon, there is a brief show in the reptile exhibit. Some employees of Lake Tobias show off and share information about some frogs, alligators, snakes, and a sloth named Chewy.
At the end of our show, the students were given the opportunity to look around at the other exhibits and touch a snake and an alligator on their way around the building. I do not know if this opportunity is given to everyone who attends these shows or if it is just available for scheduled groups.
Check out the gibbons exhibit.
While we were enjoying lunch in one of the pavilions, we kept hearing this screaming noise that sounded slightly like children yelling, but a little too uniform. Eventually we figured out it was one of the animals, but it wasn’t until we made it around through all of the animal exhibits that we discovered what was making the noise.
The last pen we came to contained two gibbons. These apes had very long arms and were like acrobats flying though the air and playing on the ladders and swings they had available.
Once in a while they would come over to us, cling to the fence, and just look at us, chin in hand. They were adorable, funny, and boisterous!
Learn about the history of Lake Tobias Wildlife Park in the J. R. Tobias Museum.
This building has been added in the last 3 years. A timeline, along with pictures and descriptions of the progress of the Park is located in the walls. There is also the opportunity for kids to build a small zoo using toys and feel different animal pelts and feathers.
The kids and I had a wonderful day exploring Lake Tobias Wildlife Park! The weather was perfect and we got to visit so many fun animals!
Have you been to Lake Tobias before? What is your favorite part? I would love to hear about it! Feel free to post pictures on social media using #herruralhighness so many of us can enjoy them!