You Haven’t Lived Until You’ve Visited A Reptile Petting Zoo
The highlight of a visit to Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland is hanging out with, feeding and even coddling its two very mature Aldabra tortoises, some of the largest living tortoises in the world.
Reptiland is a combination indoor and outdoor reptile zoo that features a diverse and eclectic mix of reptiles and amphibians, everything from alligators to black mambas to Komodo dragons. One room is reserved for exotic tree frogs, another holds monster snakes like anacondas and pythons.
But it’s in the summer when the zoo really comes to life. Starting in late spring, Reptiland features a special aviary with birds known as budgies that visitors can feed. And if feeding birds seems a little too Mary Poppins for you, step outside and get your Jurassic Park on. The zoo’s summer showcase is the exhibit Dinosaurs Come to Life, which features life-size, animatronic dinosaurs roaring, spitting, and bellowing as you trek through the outdoor exhibit.
Reptiland has been a feature of central Pennsylvania since 1964. Located in Allenwood near the west branch of the Susquehanna River, the zoo was the brainchild of Clyde Peeling, a reptile expert who thought reptile gardens should be more like zoos and less like carnival attractions. During the 1980s and 1990s, Peeling was a regular on the late night talk show circuit, showing off the reptiles from his collection.
And for the last 50 years, Reptiland has lived up to Peeling’s ideal. It’s a popular spot for schools and tourists, and it prides itself on helping visitors find a comfort level with its creepy and crawly collection.
Typically it takes visitors roughly two hours to work their way through the zoo. Of course, you can stay as long as you like. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Reptiland is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission for visitors 12 and up is $14. For kids 3 to 11 it’s $12. Kids 2 and under get in free.