Claws “N”Paws is an old fashioned animal park in a deeply wooded setting. We visited here on a warm, sunny June day and there were busloads of people here when we arrived at about 10 a.m. You enter through the gift shop so be aware that your children will be tempted at every turn. We had a coupon from one of the tourist bureau brochures that gave us $1 off an adult ticket. We were a large group, but I believe the adult tickets were still $16.00 and children were $11.00 with the dollar discount. Even the two-year-old had to pay to get in. There were no freebies here except for the month old baby.
The first exhibit you pass is the lion. The animals are caged, but they have large areas to roam. No it doesn’t look like the Serengeti as most new and modern zoos do, but the animals appear to be well kept and reasonably happy. There is a nice mix of the exotic and the every day.
The children can feed the giraffe with the help of a member of the staff and they particularly enjoyed this. There are many attempts to entertain the younger guests all over the park. There is a dinosaur bone dig where children get a shovel and dig in the dirt for small dinosaurs. The staff is ever vigilant for anyone who might be having difficulty locating one; they are directed to an area where the fossils are more prevalent.
There are many photo opportunities available. Children are encouraged to climb aboard the covered wagon or enter the teepee set up in the Wild West area. They can also mine for gemstones for an additional fee. A show is offered in a pavilion several times a day and children get to hold and touch snakes and lizards. The kids loved that. This park is truly geared toward children but some of their offerings are beautiful and unique. The white Bengal tiger was magnificent and there was an albino wallaby that was the cutest thing. I loved the Fennec Fox, which I thought was the most adorable animal I’ve ever seen.
The paths are tough walking and unpaved. There is no way a stroller could be used with great success. This is a rustic setting so be prepared to watch out for tree roots and stones in the paths. There have been upgrades since the time that we visited but the park is still a good clean wholesome day out.
There is nothing slick about this operation, but on a warm day, it offers a lot of shady coverage and more than enough entertainment to keep kids and adults happy. There is a snack bar and a large picnic area offered. The gift shop has some beautiful stuffed animals and lots of other things as well. If you are looking for a great day out without a lot of fancy displays this is the perfect place for good old fashioned fun.