Spring Break Checklist for our guests

Tye Chandler :
Posted February 4, 2019

Spring Break (March 2-17) marks the busiest time of year at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, and for good reason. School is out, the weather is generally beautiful and there will be an abundance of baby animals. There are some important things to know ahead of time, however, to ensure that you have the best experience possible.

If you arrive before 9 a.m. on Spring Break, you will get a free bag of feed.
  1. Arrive early to get a free bag of feed. In order to receive your free bag, please arrive between 8-9 a.m.
  2. Note the changing hours of operation. The park will open at 8 a.m. throughout Spring Break. For March 2-9, the gates will close at 3:29 p.m. and the last car must be out of the park at 5:30 p.m. For March 10-17, the gates will close at 4:29 p.m. and the last car must be out of the park at 6:30 p.m.
  3. Fill up your gas tank before entering the park. You don’t want to brush aside this tip now and run out of gas in the park later. Even if you don’t come through Glen Rose on your trip, head there to a gas station if you need to. It won’t take long.

    If you purchase a membership online during Spring Break, you get three extra months for free AND 10 percent off the regular price.
  4. Purchase a tax-deductible membership. It’s always a good time to support Fossil Rim with a membership purchase, considering it pays for itself after just two visits. You can visit up to 362 days a year, plus you get discounts on additional guests, feed, guided tours, education programs, lodging, food at the Overlook Café, items at the Nature Store, and zoo discounts (Dallas & Caldwell Zoos). Buy a 12-month membership between March 2-17 and receive three extra months free! That will set you up all the way to the end of June 2020. Purchase in person or by phone at (254) 898-4250, but also consider if you purchase online at https://fossilrim.org/become-a-member-new/ you will get three extra months free and 10 percent off!

    A Crack O’Dawn Tour is 25 percent cheaper than a Safari Tour, plus it likely means even more animal sightings. A guided tour can avoid heavy Spring Break traffic by taking alternate routes that guest vehicles cannot use.
  5. Book a guided tour. For one thing, you’re going to learn a lot more about the park and the animals on a tour than you will on your own. Also, you won’t encounter the same level of Spring Break traffic in the park, considering the tour guides have access to alternate routes in a number of locations. The Crack O’Dawn Tour, which is a 25-percent discount off the Safari Tour price, starts at 8 a.m. each day and will include a free cup of feed. Your other tour options are the standard Safari Tour or the Behind-the-Scenes Tour (9 a.m. or 1 p.m.), and be sure to call 254.897.2960 to check your available start times for the Safari Tour. Call that phone number to make your reservation, or reserve online at https://fossilrim.org/tickets/.

    Spring Break means longer lines and more traffic, because it is our busiest time of year by far. We will have some activities to keep the kids occupied, but please be patient and know we are working hard to get everyone set up for their trip into the park.
  6. Please be patient. With our highest rate of visitor traffic all year, things are likely to take a bit longer during Spring Break. On the Gosdin Scenic Drive, be courteous to your fellow visitors. If you are in line at the Admission Office or visiting one of our facilities at the Overlook, just know our employees are working as hard as they can to make your wait as short as possible.
  7. Know where you are. The Gosdin Scenic Drive has road markers numbered from 1-24 – every quarter mile – to help visitors identify how much of the drive they’ve completed and help staff find them if a problem arises.
  8. If your vehicle breaks down, we can help. Call 254.897.2960 and provide your location along with the make, model and color of your vehicle. Sharing your cell phone number is helpful.

    Please only hand feed the giraffes. You are potentially putting yourself in danger if you hand feed any other animals. Toss the feed away from your vehicle so the animals are less likely to bump into it.
  9. If you see an injured animal, please let us know. Call 254.897.2960 and use your Animal Identification Guide to let a staff member know what animal is hurt, the injury and the location. Please be more descriptive than “deer” or “antelope,” for example.
  10. If you see guests breaking the rules, we need to know. Call 254.897.2960 and provide the following info: the rule being broken; the make, model and color of the vehicle; the location of the people in question or their last known location; tell the staff member if you have a cell phone picture/video to share.
  11. Speaking of rules, only hand feed the giraffes. You are putting yourself, your passengers and your vehicle in danger if you hand feed any other animals. Toss the feed away from your vehicle so animals are less likely to bump into it. Please set a good example for other guests.

    Please do not feed the sable antelope at all. Located in the Main (third) Pasture, these are our most dangerous herbivores and could potentially harm you or damage your vehicle.
  12. Don’t feed the sable antelope at all. Though beautiful, they are our most dangerous herbivore species. Don’t put yourself or others in harm’s way. Consult your Animal Identification Guide if needed; they are located in the third pasture you enter.
  13. Don’t grab or restrain the animals. Hopefully the previous two tips made this obvious, but remember these are wild animals with horns and antlers. Be careful not to lean out of your window with animals nearby.

    If you bring your own lunch or purchase food from the Overlook Cafe, there are picnic tables at the Overlook area for you to use.
  14. Pack snacks and water for your group. The drive will last several hours and snacks will help keep your passengers content. If you bring a lunch or purchase it from the Overlook Café, there are picnic tables available at the Overlook for you to enjoy.

    Please travel in the right lane when possible and only enter the left lane when you need to pass someone. Obviously, heavy Spring Break traffic may dictate that you have to stay in the left lane if both lanes are full.
  15. Make sure everyone uses the restroom before entering the park. It may be several hours before you get the opportunity again.
  16. It’s okay to pass or let another car go around you. If you want to take pictures or observe an animal and not feel rushed, just pull over into the right lane of the road so people can pass you in the left lane. In fact, generally drive in the right lane and just use the left lane for passing.
  17. Stay in your vehicle with doors closed at all times. All tailgates, hatchbacks and van/car doors must stay closed. You may ride in the back of a pickup, but there must be a legal adult in the back and you must remain seated on the bed of the pickup.

    Be sure to read the full list of road rules you will sign; the list will be attached to your receipt. Fossil Rim reserves the right to remove anyone from the park without granting a refund if they are in violation of these rules, so it is definitely important to be aware of them ahead of time.
  18. Be sure to read the full list of road rules you signed that is attached to your receipt. Fossil Rim reserves the right to remove anyone without granting a refund if they are in violation of the road rules or for any other reason.
  19. Lodging pricing is at our holiday rate during Spring Break. If you want to stay in The Lodge or Foothills Safari Camp cabins from March 2-17, please note that it will be at our holiday rate for both weekdays and weekends.
  20. Have a good time. Fossil Rim is a great place to spend the day. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll drive home with some excellent memories.

    Have a great visit with your family and friends. Between reading this checklist and the road rules you will be provided with in the Admission Office, you will know all of the important info and be able to concentrate on having fun and learning about these awesome animals.

-Tye Chandler, Marketing Associate 

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