Jungle Island is an intimate zoological park located in downtown Miami. The entertainment destination combines the beauty of the city’s tropical climate with a vibrant jungle landscape that’s filled with rare and exotic animals, and it’s one of the most visited venues in the area. From weddings and quinceañeras to enchanting Candlelight concerts, this magnificent venue also hosts a series of events throughout the year in the lush surroundings of the outdoors.
If you’re looking to get there by public transport, you can take the 93, 113, 119 and 120 buses or hop on the green or orange line on the subway. It’s located on Watson Island and you can find Miami Children’s Museum directly opposite.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Jungle Island
1. The park went by another name
Founded in 1936 by Francis Franz and Louise Scherr, Jungle Island was initially named “Parrot Jungle.” Before the park was constructed, Scherr was a frequent visitor at Monkey Jungle – a 30-acre monkey haven located in South Miami. The owner, Joseph DuMond, encouraged Scherr to open her own park, and after a lot of debating, Scherr decided to join forces with Franz to create what is known today as Jungle Island.
2. Nudists once roamed the island
Before Watson Island made way for all the wildlife in the zoological park, the island itself was actually used as a nudist beach. After the plans came through to convert the island into an animal-friendly park, it finally opened on December 20 to around 100 visitors. Admission cost 25 cents and Scherr would give a guided tour around the park to show off its vibrant collection of birds, flowers and trees.
3. Famous faces have visited
Jungle Island has long been a popular spot for famous and notable figures to check out. From politicians like Winston Churchill and former US President Jimmy Carter to A-list celebrities including Steven Spielberg, huge names in Hollywood and the political world have paid this Miami paradise a visit.
A magical series of Candlelight concerts continues to light up Jungle Island with the help of thousands of flickering candles. Gifted musicians are dazzling audiences with renditions of hits by the likes of ABBA, Bad Bunny, jazz legends like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald as well as the spellbinding songs of the Día de los Muertos festivities. Surrounded by rolling streams and gushing waterfalls, this place provides the perfect setting to enjoy spectacular live music performances in.
What else can you do at Jungle Island?
As Jungle Island is a premier zoological park, one of their main attractions is, of course, the animals. You can buy a general admission ticket that allows you to explore the island and discover the vibrant wildlife that calls this place home. If you’d like to get up close and personal with the animals, then you can buy an animal encounters ticket which grants you access to feed and pet flamingos, wallabies, giant tortoises, capybaras and more.
In addition to Jungle Island, Miami has a range of remarkable venues that are hosting this series of unforgettable Candlelight concerts. Filled with stunning live music performances and a sea of flickering candles, these concerts are sure to make for the perfect evening plan to enjoy with friends, family, that special someone or even just on your own.