If you are a fan of sloths then you are in the right place! And of course you probably would like to hold one. We are going to provide you with the clearest information on where to find a place to interact directly with sloths in North America.
The best places to hold sloths in the United States are mostly located in the South. Since sloths are accustomed to warmer weather (and actually need the natural warmth for their health), the southern United States provides a climate that is much more suitable to their needs. We’ll provide for you descriptions of the very few places where you can hold a sloth in North America.
Florida’s warm climate is ideal for sloths and for the type of trees that sloths like to live in, so it’s no surprise that one of the most amazing sloth-holding experiences is in that state. Wild Florida Airboats has a Gator Park, which has not only alligators, but many other animals, including our favorite rainforest layabouts. For a price of $225 anyone 8 years old or older can feed, interact AND HOLD sloths. You can make reservations with Wild Florida Airboats for the VIP Sloth Experience on their website.
Wild Florida Airboats has a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor based on over 2500 reviews, so it is a safe bet not only for sloth lovers, but for a whole family looking for a wildlife adventure. This park is located in Kenasville, Florida. The closest airport is in Orlando, but you would still need to drive to get there.
Florida has another recommendable option for holding a sloth in Miami called Safari Edventures (education + adventure, get it? :) ) Even in a place like Miami that is full of fun, this attraction is one of the top rated things to do in Miami, according to TripAdvisor.
Sloths are just one of many animals at Safari Edventure, but you do get to hold them! Another interesting thing about this park is that it is a non-profit and most of the animals (according to their website, and we’re not sure about the sloths) are rescued animals.
So, you can certainly fly in to Miami for this experience and for many more (Miami is a great town for tourism).
Another place where you can hold a sloth is in a surprising place not known for its warm climate: Canada. At the Little Rays Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre in Hamilton Ontario there is also a VIP sloth experience. To best understand this experience, we’ll give you the words of someone who lived it first hand. Thatgirlkali provided this review:
“...we got up close and personal with a sloth named Roger! We did the sloth encounter that is offered at an additional charge...and it was worth it IMO. While hanging out with Roger, we also had the opportunity to meet Chloe..who had some major bed head going on, but was absolutely adorable!
Meeting a sloth in person, without having to travel to Costa Rica, was actually really incredible.”
She was also kind enough to share some amazing photos:
To book a sloth experience, you have to contact Little Rays Reptile Zoo directly, by email, email@example.com or phone at 905-549-6868!
Hamilton, Ontario is about 50 miles from Toronto. For a lot of American sloth fans this isn’t a far drive. Little Rays Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre-Hamilton is actually less than an hour drive from Niagara Falls, New York. If you aren’t in the northern United States you might want to fly to Hamilton or one of nearby cities like Toronto or Buffalo, New York.
The great state of Texas offers two options to get to hold sloths. The Houston Zoo boasts the Sloth Encounter at their park. This is an up-close experience with our lazy forest friends. The zoo has an elaborate recreation of a sloths habitat where you are led on a tour by experts. There is also a special setup that allows you to get very close to the sloths.
However, you will not actually be able to hold the sloths here :(. Keep that in mind, as well as the other details:
- You must reserve the time of your visit on the zoo’s website:
- The cost is $220 per person ($195 if you happen to be a member of the Houston Zoo).
- Participants must be at least 8 years old.
- No pets or flash photography.
Although there are some restrictions, this is a highly rated experience. The lack of holding is said to be for the safety of the sloths and for the humans. We suppose we should respect that and still give this place a try.
Houston is one of the largest cities in the US and has 2 airports you can fly into as well as plenty of hotel options.
A few hours north in Fort Worth, Texas is an aquarium called SeaQuest. Beyond fish and other marine life, SeaQuest also has a sloth name (ironically) Flash. You are invited to ‘hang’ with Flash at SeaQuest for the price of $19.95 (plus park admission). You can schedule your visit with Flash on the SeaQuest website. (You should do so at least 1 day in advance).
SeaQuest’s Sloth interactions include:
- 5-7 minutes with the sloth and handler
- Up-lose encounter including a chance to pet the sloth and take pictures,
- Feed the sloth
- Learning from the handler.
Fort Worth is a rather far drive from Houston, but you could visit both cities in one trip if you like. Otherwise, you would probably fly to Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. While in the “Metroplex” you can visit the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and Six Flags in Texas along with other activities in the area.
Perhaps seeing sloths in your natural habitat is more of a thrilling idea (we think it is!) If that’s the case here are some options for amazing experiences where you can hold a sloth in the wild: