Planning a trip to Salt Lake City?
Tracy Aviary is the oldest aviary in the United States and it's one of my family's favorite downtown activities. This “bird zoo” is located in Liberty Park – one of Salt Lake City's largest public parks.
Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City, Utah is the sort of place that many local families have heard of, but not yet visited. They are missing out! Tracy Aviary offers the same kind of fun that you get at Utah's Hogle Zoo, but it's smaller, less expensive and less crowded.
Here's what you can expect from a visit to Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City.
Indoors or Outdoors?
Tracy Aviary is mostly outdoors – much like a zoo – but there are a couple of indoor areas. The South American Pavilion is all indoor. Some bird shows are held indoors. Destination Argentina has a small indoor section.
We like walking around and seeing all of the exotic and local birds on display. Peacocks roam freely and visitors can get a good look at pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, hawks, vultures, kookaburras, emus, owls, hornbills, herons, swans, and many more.
The indoor South American Pavilion features toucans, tanagers, bitterns, curassows and other brightly plumed specimens, along with a nursery for incubating and hatching eggs and nursing newborn birds, all on display for visitors.
Pink flamingoes, swans and backyard birds of Argentina greet visitors at the Destination Argentina exhibit.
The Great Salt Lake is home to many interesting birds and Aviary guests can see and learn more about some of them in the Wetlands enclosure.
Owl Forest is a newer exhibit. It's home to several species of owls, and some rustic tree forts where my kids had fun playing.
My son's favorite part of visiting the aviary is the bird show, where trainers show visitors beautiful birds from around the world and the amazing things they can do. It's not much different from bird shows we've seen at other zoos, but the amphitheater is much smaller, so you're guaranteed a good seat.
If your kids love to volunteer, they'll have a pretty good shot at the Tracy Aviary shows. In one show on a chilly, overcast day in March my daughter was chosen to help with one bird trick. Later when an adult was needed, I was practically begged out of the audience to let a toucan hop across my arms. So fun!
My daughter's favorite part of the Tracy Aviary is feeding the birds. We fed the conures, and letting those colorful little South American birds perch on our arms (and backs and shoulders and heads) to eat apple pieces from our hands was the best part of our day.
This is a scheduled activity for a limited number of visitors. Arrive at the park in advance and make reservations at the entrance gate. The cost is $3 per person for a 15-minute experience.
This is just one of the Nose to Beak Experiences available at Tracy Aviary.
Don't Miss Andy
Andy is Tracy Aviary's 60-year-old Andean Condor. He is probably the biggest, oldest and most famous bird in Utah.
Andy has a large enclosure in the northwest corner of Tracy Aviary. It's next to a small play zone for kids. Be sure to see Andy sometime during your visit.
Ways to Save
There are a few ways to save money on your admission to Tracy Aviary.
- $5 after 5 – Pay just $5 per person after 5 PM on Monday nights, June-August
- Connect Pass – Tracy Aviary is included in the Visit Salt Lake Connect Pass. This pass is occasionally discounted on Groupon.
- Annual Membership – We have purchased a Tracy Aviary membership more than once. It pays for itself in about 3 visits. Reciprocal benefits increased our savings when we visited the Ogden Dinosaur Museum, Hogle Zoo and Ogden Nature Center.
Explore Liberty Park after you visit Tracy Aviary. It's an old park with lots of shade trees, large lawns and a big playground. It even has a carousel and a couple of other rides.
The Tracy Aviary is one of Salt Lake City's best activities for families – especially young children. It's not too big, not too expensive and it is usually uncrowded. We have purchased a Tracy Aviary membership three times, because we enjoy the aviary and because it has reciprocal benefits at other local destinations.
Good to Know
Where: 589 E. 1300 S., Salt Lake City Utah. It's inside Liberty Park. Drive into the park and head west. There is a parking lot next to Tracy Aviary.
When: 9 AM to 5 PM every day. Open until 8 PM on Mondays, June-August. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
How Much: $12/adult (age 13+), $8/child (age 3-12). Discounts for students, military and seniors. See the Ways to Save section above for money-saving tips.
How Long: 1-3 hours
Amenities: Free Parking, Restrooms, Gift Shop, Cafe