News

Rebranded Reston zoo to open this weekend with self-drive safari

Nova Wild — formerly known as Roer’s Zoofari and, before that, Reston Zoo — will partially reopen this weekend with a new self-drive safari.

Customers will get the chance to experience different animals like bison, llamas, and emus from their vehicles. Tours begin Saturday, Feb. 11 and will continue every Friday through Sunday thereafter at the zoo, which is located at 1228 Hunter Mill Road. Each tour is 30 minutes.

The rebranded zoo isn’t expected to fully open until early March, Josh Reid, a spokesperson for the zoo told FFXnow. Reid said an official opening date is not yet available.

Tickets are $10 per person. Kids 3 and under are free. A cup of animal feed is available for purchase for $5.

The nonprofit is also working with Lumagica, a company that specializes in light shows, to bring a light show with more than 50,000 LED lights representing migration patterns to the zoo from Feb. 17 through April 19 to celebrate the zoo’s grand opening.

Tickets for the “Great Migration” light show are available online.

The zoo changed ownership late last year, FFXnow previously reported. Founder Tara Campbell Lussier — a real estate agent and a mom of four — says she looks forward to reinventing the zoo that she used to visit as she grew up in Reston.

“I’m excited to give local families the chance to experience wildlife firsthand, and we’re modernizing the property to create an optimal experience, both for our visitors and the animals that live here,” Campbell Lussier said.

The owners of the zoo stress the prioritization of animal welfare, education and conservation. It’s formed as a nonprofit organization with accreditation by the Zoological Association of America and American Humane.

Before the ownership changed, patrons of the zoo were offered a tram-assisted tour that brought its animals near the vehicle.