Spending the day with the family in nature is a great way for everyone to bond and create lasting memories. When you’re out walking in a park, it’s fun looking for animals, birds, reptiles, and insects. You can make a game of seeing how many different species the kids can spot, and whoever has the largest list gets a reward.
It may seem daunting trying to find the perfect spots to take the kids to see local wildlife in the Coppell, Texas, area. So, our team at Crème de la Crème has put together a list of places to see a variety of animals in our area.
Coppell Nature Park
The 66-acre Coppell Nature Park is one of the best places in the Coppell area for your kids to look for wildlife. The nature park is part of the larger Wagon Wheel Park and is home to the Biodiversity Education Center. Inside the education center, kids can enjoy hands-on environmental education and learn about the local Coppell flora and fauna.
While walking around the park in the spring and fall, watch for migratory birds. In the past, rangers and volunteers have spotted over 130 species of birds that migrate through Coppell Nature Park. As you stroll along the banks of Cottonwood Creek, look for turtles, fish, frogs, and wading birds.
When the grasses start to grow in the spring, your kids will have a blast searching for bugs like colorful ladybugs, shining beetles, and odd-looking grasshoppers. You can visit Coppell Nature Park every day from sunrise to sunset. After a fun day at Coppell Nature Park, there are also several family-friendly restaurants around Coppell you can head over to for a tasty meal.
Location: 367 Freeport Parkway in Coppell
Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch
Your kids will get a kick out of seeing large and small exotic and endangered animals in a unique setting at Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch. This wildlife ranch is a licensed non-profit organization whose mission is to teach the benefits of conservation to the public.
The little ones will have fun touching select animals at the petting zoo or getting up close at the animal encounters area of the ranch. Lots of baby animals are born in the spring and this is a good time to visit Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch. Types of wildlife you’ll see at the ranch include bearded dragons, miniature horses, squirrel monkeys, and white lions. You can also see black bears, pot-bellied pigs, and alpacas. Bring a picnic with you, and after seeing the animals, enjoy your meal in one of the shaded picnic pavilions.
Visit Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 11670 Massey Road in Pilot Point
Andrew Brown Park East
Bring a camera and binoculars with you when you visit Coppell’s largest city park, Andrew Brown Park East. This 118-acre park has nature trails, a pond the kids can fish in, and a playground. As you and the family walk along the banks of the pond, look for raccoon tracks. These comical animals come to the shore at dusk and dawn to feel around in the sand for little fish and bugs to eat. If you’re lucky, you may even spot fox prints as they come to the pond to have a refreshing drink of water.
In the green open spaces of this awesome Coppell park, your little explorers can search for caterpillars, chase butterflies, and watch grasshoppers jump around. If you want, you can cast a line in the pond and catch and release small local fish like bluegill, bass, sunfish, and catfish. Once the youngsters have finished fishing, have them check the surface of still areas of the pond for aquatic bugs like the water boatman, giant water bug, or water striders.
Search for logs submerged in the shallow water for caddisfly larvae. These bugs build little protective houses or shells around their bodies using materials they find, like stones, sand, broken shells, and leaves. These insects are sure to delight the kids who find them. When handling bugs, have the children do so gently so as not to harm them, and always return the bugs where the little ones found them. This park is open from dawn to 11 p.m.
Location: 260 Parkway Blvd. in Coppell
Everyone in the family will enjoy spending the day surrounded by horses and barnyard animals when they visit Stockyard Stables in Fort Worth. This unique Texas cowboy adventure offers trail and carriage rides and has a petting zoo that the youngsters will get a kick out of. As you and the older kids ride along the Trinity River on horseback, watch for birds that live along the river. You may even catch a glimpse of turtles sunning themselves along the shore.
After your trail ride, you’ll want a family photo standing next to a live, authentic Texas Longhorn cow. Then, let the small children touch and feel the animals at the petting zoo. You can buy cups of special feed unique for each barnyard animal so the kids can squeal with delight as the critter takes the food gently from their hands. Come in the springtime when there are baby lambs, sheep, and goats.
One of the key reasons to bring your family to Stockyard Stables is to teach the kids about Texas’ rich history of cattle farming using horses. They’ll learn about this important part of Texas while getting to pet animals and touch handsome horses and Longhorn cattle.
Location: E. Exchange Ave. in Fort Worth
While seeing wildlife is exciting, please don’t feed or approach them. Organized ranches or preserves may have special feeding stations and food if you want to feed tame animals in a safe setting.
Our team at Crème de la Crème hopes you enjoy taking your kids out in nature to look for local wildlife, birds, and cute little bugs. Which outdoor location was your favorite? What kind of wildlife did you see? Is there a park, nature preserve, or cool spot to see critters we missed? If so, let us know and we’ll add your recommendation to our list.