February 16, 2018

Spring Break Checklist for our guests

Spring Break (March 3-18) 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.

Hand-feeding giraffes is perfectly acceptable at Fossil Rim. For any other animal, however, toss your feed pellets out to the side of your vehicle for your safety. The rules and tips within this checklist should help you have a great Spring Break visit.
  • Arrive early to get a free bag of feed. In order to receive your free bag, please arrive between 8-9 a.m.
  • Note the changing hours of operation. The park will open at 8 a.m. throughout Spring Break. For March 3-11, 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 12-18, the gates will close at 4:29 p.m. and the last car must be out of the park at 6:30 p.m.
  • 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 didn’t come through Glen Rose on your trip, head there now to a gas station if you need to. It won’t take long.
If you decide to purchase an annual membership this Spring Break, our Membership Associate Ashley Hess is going to give you three extra months for free!
  • 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 3-18 and receive three extra months free! That will set you up all the way to the end of June 2019.
  • 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.), and be sure to call 254.897.2960 to check your available start times for the Safari Tour.
Booking a guided tour is definitely your best bet during Spring Break. Not only will tour guides like Beverly White be able to teach you so much about Fossil Rim, but the tour vehicles can utilize many alternate routes and avoid heavy traffic.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Even if you do not know the layout of Fossil Rim on a detailed level like this aerial map of the Main Pasture, doing the best you can to provide your specific location will really help us if you need to report your vehicle breaking down, if you see an injured animal, or if you see guests breaking the park rules.
  • 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.
  • 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.
When you are in the third pasture, aka the Main Pasture, please do not feed the sable antelope. They are especially aggressive, so we want them only to be fed by our animal care staff.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Make sure everyone uses the restroom before entering the park. It may be several hours before you get the opportunity again.
  •  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.
Being an early bird during Spring Break will pay off. If you arrive between 8-9 a.m., you will get a free back of feed with your admission purchase.
  •  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 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.
  •  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.

-Tye Chandler, Marketing Associate 


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  • Can we still get military discount if we do the Crack of Dawn tour? . is the crack of dawn price in your trucks or personal vehicle ? Is military id all that is needed for discount?

    • Christy, sorry for the delay. We had a ton of spam comments keeping some legitimate comments lost in shuffle.
      You probably figured it out by now, but we do tour discounts if you have a membership. You can get 10% off an annual membership with a military ID.

  • I just bought two tickets for a tour and my e-tickets would not print out! They are for a tour 3pm on Wednesday, March 14th.

    Barbara Swyryn

    • Apologies for the late reply. We had a ton of spam comments keeping some legitimate comments lost in shuffle.
      Anytime you have a question or concern about anything, you can call 254.897.2960. Or message us on Facebook.

  • The Scenic Wildlife Drive has road markers numbered from 1-32 – every quarter mile – to help visitors identify how much of the drive they’ve completed and help staff find them if a problem arises.

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