A family of four standing against a fence among the fall foliage, featured on a blog about NOVA Wild.

Photo by Melissa Driggers Photography

Discover All The Wonders Of NOVA Wild Conservation Park

When you have younger kids, it can be really easy to fall into a cycle where screens are your default mode of entertainment. Parenting is stressful, and it can be hard to find a break without turning on an episode (or twelve) of Bluey. If the Heeler family has you itching to break away from the television and make some memories, I would love to tell you about NOVA Wild. This amazing organization is dedicated to bringing nature to Northern Virginia thanks to its conservation efforts and its wilderness park. 


About NOVA Wild


NOVA Wild was founded originally as the Reston Zoo and served as a favorite spot for the community for years. Tara Campbell Lussier was one of the many Reston children who grew up familiar with the park, so when it became available decades later, she jumped at the opportunity to transform a piece of the city’s history. Tara turned the park into an ethical zoo that prioritized the animals’ welfare while still giving families the chance at a wildlife encounter. Every employee at the zoo has been thoroughly trained to ensure they treat the animals with the dignity needed. Their goal is to continuously improve the park so families can learn more about wildlife firsthand. The non-profit zoo also funds conservation efforts so we can continue to appreciate these creatures for a long, long time. 

Wild Amounts of Fun

NOVA Wild rests on over 30 acres and features over 200 animals. The park features both a walk-through and a drive-through section. So you can experience wildlife in the way that works for you. With the drive-through interactive safari, you can stay relaxed while getting to see animals, including the Asian water buffalo. Following the tour, you can walk through the zoo and find animals, including cheetahs, wallabies, capybaras, and birds. The zoo gives you the ability to customize your visit by purchasing tickets for NOVA Wild Encounters. With this option, you’ll have a zookeeper by your side as you meet sloths, kangaroos, fawns, anteaters, or capybaras. The site does have a snack bar as well as food trucks. So you can spend an entire day amongst the wildlife and refresh when needed. 


NOVA Wild offers additional experiences that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Their Private VIP Oasis gives you a relaxing space where you can pack a cooler and unwind while supporting animal welfare efforts. Need a stretch? NOVA Wild lets you book some goat yoga so you can exercise with some friendly creatures before getting to explore the rest of the zoo. The park also lets you book field trips and private events for an unforgettable party. 



With NOVA Wild, you can ditch the screens while getting to know animals from all across the globe. Check out this one-of-a-kind zoo for an adventure your family will remember for years to come. 


If you need another way to make some family memories, we should chat. I’m a Northern Virginia family photographer, and I love working with families to create gorgeous portraits so they can hang onto this time for years to come. As a mom myself, I know how quickly time flies by, and I want to help you slow it down a bit! If you’ve been considering booking some portraits for your family, I’d love to have a conversation so you can decide if I’m the photographer for you. Contact me today to get the conversation started! 


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Melissa Driggers is an award winning Northern Virginia photographer. Her work has been featured in various magazines. She offers styled maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her true to color, timeless style.
Melissa serves Fairfax, Springfield, Alexandria, Arlington, Manassas, Woodbridge and surrounding areas in Northern Virginia & Washington DC