Thursday, April 10, 2014


Williams, AZ is a historic town, full of charm and "western" culture. Once a stop on Rte 66, it is the gatekeeper to the Grand Canyon, which lies about an hour north. It is in Williams, AZ that you board the train that treks through the desert highlands to the Grand Canyon, or turn off I-40 to take the road north. Williams also lies about an hour and 15 minutes from our house, so it makes a nice day trip.

One of the things I had my Fun Dollars earmarked for this pay cycle was a trip to Bearizona. Bearizona is a new attraction added to the outskirts of Williams in 2010. Before mom came out to visit, she said that she wanted to do "fun stuff", and this is something fun to do with both kids that she has yet to experience. The last time I went there with the kids was exactly one year ago when my father came out to visit.

The first experience for the visitor to Bearizona is the three mile drive-through. You cross a cattle guard between electrified fencing and drive your car right into the habitat of each species of animal. From Dale Sheep to White Bison, Black Bears and Grey Wolves, each enclosure is unique to the species it houses. The natural landscape is greatly preserved, but the park has added several amenities to each enclosure to make it just right for the animal within. For example, they uses old buses and cars piled up and cemented over to build a life-like cliff side for the Big Horned sheep to climb. They paint over it to make it look as if it had just risen out of the earth. It's a very green operation they run.

After driving through the habitats and seeing the animals up-close, you park your car and walk through the Fort area. This is also a very green experience. They used the logs from the pine trees felled during construction to erect a fort-like fence around the walk-though area. In this space, they have smaller species like bob cats, baby bears, otters, and beavers. They recently finished construction on their raptor arena. They do shows three times a day where they talk about the different birds of prey and allow them to fly over the heads in the audience.

Carrick's favorite part of the park (besides seeing the bears) is the petting zoo area. They keep small goats, ducks and exotic chickens in this space and let the kids play in with them. This go-round, Lily was big enough to play with the animals too. She especially liked the goats, since they didn't mind her petting them while they ate. The ducks and the chickens were not as easy to pet, and Carrick enjoyed the challenge of trying to catch one to pet.

So, if you ever find yourself in need of a family-friendly get-away, whether you live in the area, or are visiting the Grand Canyon, check out Bearizona.

Part of my entrance fee to Bearizona- $10.00

Balance this pay cycle- $30.00

Happy Spending!

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