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Family Fun at Sharkarosa Ranch

Submitted by on October 3, 2013 – 7:51 amNo Comment

Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch

Outdoor Fall Family Fun at Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch


by Holly Duenas

The sound of my six-year-old’s pure laughter on the safari ride, the delight in her eyes when she was able to pet a baby kangaroo, and the dance moves she rocked while on the barrel train ride (they play, “I like to move it, move it!” while the kids ride which turns them all into the cutest dancing lemurs you’ve ever seen), made Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch a new family favorite for us this past year.

Our family knew very well of Sharkarosa as my husband helped build the Kangaroo enclosure years ago as part of a friend of ours Eagle project. It was an awesome project done on behalf of the young man’s little brother, who passed away after a battle with cancer. Sharkarosa was smaller than, but their heart was big. This little boy loved animals and many times they would bring baby animals to visit him in his home to make him smile and bring him joy. So, Sharkarosa is a place I respected and knew was a place that thought of others. And they had lots of animals. That’s really all I knew of Sharkarosa.

Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch CamelWe never made it out there as a family (just kept having babies…that keeps you busy!) but my husband and I finally (along with our baby and 2-year-old) had the opportunity to attend my six-year-old daughter’s Kindergarten field trip to Sharkarosa this past Spring.  And wow, we had been missing out! This place is awesome. Its budget friendly, not too big, not too far away, and has everything a family with kids needs to have fun.  Even if you don’t have kids, but are an animal lover, you will definitely enjoy it.

So what exactly is Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch? It’s a non-profit 126 acre ranch near Lake Ray Roberts  open to the public on the weekends (March through November so hurry and go!), with lots of rare and exotic animals in a unique setting. It’s like a scaled down version of a zoo, except the animals are close-up and personal and living in more natural settings. The mission as stated on their website is, “… to provide the North Texas community with the opportunity to experience rare and endangered exotic wildlife in a unique and personal setting.” And that’s exactly what they do.  

Have you ever met a Zorse or a Zedonk? Heck, I don’t think I even knew these existed until we visited Sharkarosa! Those are just two of the interesting animals they have there. Others include Kangaroos, Horses, Zebras, pigs, boas and cobras (yikes!); Bobcats, Capybaras, Sloths, Macaws, Mini Donkeys, Skunks, Emus, Deer, Binturongs and Porcupines. Oh, and how could I forget the Bears?! Those were my personal favorite. The bear we saw was just 10/17chilling to some Jungle Book music. So cute and funny. The most fun way to see most of these animals is on the “Safari Train” which is about a 20 minute drive through lots of the animal habitats and a driver that gives you all the details of each animal. There are times during the ride where you stop and the animals come up and eat right out of the side of the tram. There are times when you are allowed to pet some of the animals too. My kids went bonkers over this!  We got some adorable pictures.

Sharkarosa Train RideThe other family favorite as I mentioned above is the kids barrel train. It just added a lot of fun to our day. There are also lots of presentations on different animals all over and also a petting zoo. The presentations are very interesting. We saw a presentation on a cobra (uncaged…so I hope the guy was defanged!), a skunk (again…a scary creature..but we were told he no longer could spray us and we hoped they were right!), and a kangaroo. We loved the lemurs too! We didn’t enter the petting zoo section with the field trip in April but we took our entire family (all 7 of us – and yes, we survived!) back to Sharkarosa in June (with my Groupon-yesss! Scored a great deal!). That’s when we experienced the small petting zoo. Four out of my five kids enjoyed that. One of my kids freaked when a goat got too excited and started jumping. I will say though that one of the employees noticed this and removed him from the pen. I appreciated that!

So obviously we loved Sharkarosa enough to go back and let our older two kids experience it. And yep, they loved it too. I love that this is an experience that doesn’t break the bank and doesn’t take up an entire day. It’s just enough to make the day enjoyable and still get to go home and relax for the rest of the day (or get those Saturday chores done…wait, who am I kidding? Just relax..) But it’s definitely a place where lots of fun memories can be made. And you can finish off the day by hitting a local restaurant for lunch or dinner afterwards. That’s what we did! Prairie House is just a few miles away and delish! So if you are looking for a fun fall activity that is kid friendly and affordable, add Sharkarosa Ranch in Denton County to your list of places to see!


myskoop.comHolly Duenas is a stay-at-home-mama of 4 kiddos (with one more on the way!), wife of one studly man, hard-core blogger, and creator of the new family fun site,


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