Tennessee Animal Safari Park and Paris, TN

To celebrate the completion of school I wanted to take the kids to the Animal Safari Park near Jackson, TN!  I have heard great reviews from friends that have gone so we took the day and planned a mini-vacation to west Tennessee!  We also saw signs that would direct us to the state parks we visited on our mini trip to Pickwick Landing! It would take an additional 90 minutes to travel from Pickwick to the Safari Park so we decided to travel north from Jackson for the rest of our trip!

Here's our route!

Nachez Trace State Park

This was a great stop because it was about halfway on our trip.  If the weather is nice, it's a great place to stretch your legs and use the restrooms before making your way to the Safari Park!  The kids enjoyed looking at some of the artifacts in the glass cases at the visitor center and you can park near Cub Creek Lake and hike a short 1/2 trail (Fern Trail) before heading back on the interstate!

Safari Park

The main attraction!!!  We had an absolute blast on the safari!  The cost is $16 for adults and $12 for kids and is ONLY the admission.  It is extra to buy food.  I think it was $3.00 a bucket or you could buy 4 for $10.  That is the best deal.  I was not expecting the drive through the park to be so long and we ran out of food about halfway.  The safari drive takes a good amount of time so if you have just spent a few hours in the car you may want to ask to use the restroom before entering the safari section of the park!!!  They have a parking lot at the zoo section where you can stop and use the restroom before the drive!

The kids will have an awesome time but beware for the ostrich and birds!  They can be aggressive!!! We learned that when an ostrich pecked my arm when I didn't have the food out the window for it!!!

We also liked how they give you a picture guide of all the animals!

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After the driving section, you can park and enjoy the walk through the zoo to see many more animals and a goat petting zoo!  They also have some birds and reptiles inside the gift shop to learn about!  It was pretty stinky - I think due to the egg incubator.

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I think you could easily plan 2-3 hours for the experience!  We will definitely be back!  They have plenty of areas for picnic lunches if you planned a trip as part of a school or homeschool group!

Dry Hollow Farm AirBnb

When I asked the kids if they enjoyed the safari or our stay on the farm they both said that the farm overnight experience was more fun!!!  I was SO IMPRESSED with this location that I want to make sure to share the information with everyone!  Kathryn's Airbnb and working farm is wonderful!  We had the log cabin to oursleves which has 1 queen bed and 1 twin bed as well as 1 small couch that could work for a child.

I loved sitting on the porch watching the kids play with the baby goats and run around the pasture!  They truly had a blast!  Kathryn even has local artisan gifts and soaps available for purchase in the cabin!  I bought a beautiful basket and some extra soaps to bring home with us!  If you are not on Airbnb, use my signup link here: www.airbnb.com/c/raeannag8 and book your vacation to Dry Hollow Farm!

Paris, TN

A nice French restaurant or bakery is what this little town needs!!!  I wouldn't make a special trip to Paris just for the Eiffel Tower park, but if you plan to stay at Dry Hollow Farm to get away, the quick 30 minute drive up to Paris through beautiful farmland is a fun little trip!  The kids were so excited to see the tower!
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There is a really nice park for the kids to play on and if it is in season, they have a public swimming pool in the Eiffel Tower Park.  It is $6 for the kids to swim all day and there are 2 diving boards and 3 water slides!

After checking into the farm and playing with the animals we went and had a late dinner in Paris to see the tower at night.  When we woke up the next morning we played outside at the farm some more and then drove to Paris around 10am.  The kids swam from about 10:30-12:30 and we left to make our way home!

Johnsonville State Park

On the way we made an unscheduled but wonderful stop at the Johnsonville State Park museum!  There is a lot of information about this Civil War battle on the Tennessee river that complemented what we learned at Shiloh a few weeks ago!  I highly recommend stopping in the museum to check it out!  You can also drive around the park grounds and see some beautiful scenery near the river and go on a hiking trail if you need to stretch your legs!  Or, just stop in the museum and gift shop for some Civil War education!  The kids made it about 15-20 minutes through the interpretive movie they had but it is very well done and informative about the area!  The docent also told me that the first week of November is a great time to visit for their reenactments and family activities!

Thanks for reading this far!!!  I love writing about our adventures!  I'll be posting our end of the year homeschool recap next week!  Au revoir!

(If you do want to add a few things to your itinerary, I did notice signs for the Casey Jones railway museum and a cotton textile museum (West Tennessee Agricultural Museum)!  My kids weren't up for more stops but we may try to visit the Casey Jones museum next time we do the Safari!)  You can see many more interesting sites at the Cotton Junction Trail!

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