We love it when readers write in with their favorite recommendations for activities, family trips, parenting tips and sanity savers. We also appreciate your inquiries about places you've heard about. Thanks to Springfield Moms reader Jennie Alt for bringing Wildlife Prairie State Park to our attention.
This is a popular and unique destination within a 90-minute drive of Springfield. The vistas overlooking the bison and elk are breathtaking, and the natural setting enclosures provide wonderful views of a variety of animals. Thanks to staffer Kari Thevenot for compiling information below.
Wildlife Prairie State Parkis located in Peoria, Illinois, about 1.5 hours north of Springfield. Be sure to check their website prior to going to confirm operating hours.
What is it?
The Wildlife Prairie State Park is a 2,000 acre zoological park, which is home to more than 150 animals, including wolves, bears, bison, waterfowl, cougars, otters and many more. There is a train ride through the park, fishing, as well as hiking. In addition, there is also a place to eat and a visitor center gift shop. For visitors wishing to stay overnight, there are cabins, cottages and even renovated train cars!
Where is it?
The park is located just outside Peoria, 10 miles west of downtown.
What is the admission fee?
Admission is $7 for visitors ages 13 and older, $5 for children ages 4-12, and FREE for children 3 and under. Admission is also free for members of the park. Special rate of $18 per carload on Wednesdays. Discounted admission during the months of March, November and December.
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