Ever have the desire to dip your hands into a shallow pool and pet the smooth surface of a stingray? If that's on your become-one-with-nature bucket list, you can make it happen at Phoenix Zoo. Other close-up and hands-on adventures include strolling through Monkey Village, where primates swing freely around and above the pathways, and hopping onto the back of a camel for a ride. This massive facility is home to more than 3,000 intriguing animals and over 400 species. Barns, a petting zoo and splash pads are just a few ways kids can learn and work off some of their excitement. Plenty of educational opportunities fill the annual calendar, helping visitors understand animal behaviors and needs. And Phoenix Zoo often finds ways to offer fun after closing time, like the yearly ZooLights holiday event, during which time the park becomes illuminated by festive displays that celebrate the season.