One of the reasons we started this website was to share discoveries that no one seems to know about. Harmony Park Safari is such a discovery. It's a drive-through safari with goats, deer, zebra, bison, llamas, ponies, emus, wildebeest, zebu, camel, and alligators. The camel and alligators are behind fences but everything else comes right up to your vehicle. Not only are your kids going to love it, but you'll probably have a blast too.
You'll have to sign a waiver before entering and you're required to keep your window at least halfway up though there's no one there to enforce the rule and I'm guilty of leaving my window down most of the time.
Once you exit, pull into the parking lot and visit their new-ish Reptile Room which replaces the old trailer and is at least 2-3x as big. They have a respectable collection of snakes, frogs, turtles, crocodile, etc. They usually have some alligator and turtle hatchlings. Walk into the fenced area and feed the tortoises. These guys are pretty cool and your kids will love feeding them. In fact, for some people this may be better than the safari. There's no supervision to speak of and I've actually picked one up to see how heavy they are (spoiler: very heavy). I made the fortunate mistake of sitting down to feed one only to have another one start to crawl on me to get at my cup of lettuce. Under a certain temperature, they put the tortoises away so make sure it's warm. Or call first but don't expect anyone to answer ;)
For completeness sake, you'll also see a baboon, kangaroos, a macaque, a donkey, geese, and peacocks around the park.
Travel south on the Parkway to Hobbs Island Rd and take a left. After about 8 miles you'll see a big sign announcing the safari. Take a right on Cloud Cove Rd. and the park will be up just a ways on your left. Click here to see it on Google Maps.
The park is open 10:00am - Sunset daily (including weekends) March through November.
Don't bother looking for official information about them online. It doesn't exist. We try to update this article annually.
They used to charge a set amount per car but now it's $7 $8 $9 per person (times are tough I guess). Children under 3 are free. Food buckets are $5 each and lettuce cups are $1 each. Cash only. And apparently no pets allowed.
Don't take your brand new car. The rams and deer have antlers and while they're eating the food off the ground near your car you may get some minor scratches. One particular goat likes to paw at your door too.
Buy lots of food. I usually recommend one bucket per child and more if you plan to get involved. If you buy too much, take a left at the end of the trail and make another loop to get rid of your excess food.
Stay back from other cars. Be sure to leave some distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. For one, you don't want to cause the people in front of you to rush. Second, it's hilarious to watch the herd of animals stampede to your car once they realize their previous food source has driven off and there's nothing left on the ground. Almost simultaneously, they start looking around for another car, see you, and make a beeline to get your treats.