Zoo in Herrin

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Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden has been providing a close-to-home adventure for visitors of all ages for more than 80 years. Situated on 50 acres of rolling hills, the zoo features more than 700 animals from all areas of our spinning communal spaceship. Explore the flora and fauna of the Amazon Rainforest in the new Amazonia exhibit. Like Tarzan or a biologist on stilts, visitors can view swinging monkeys and perched tropical birds socializing in the upper echelons from the suspension bridge. The 45-foot-tall roof allows space for the forest of tall jungle trees, palms, and a roaring waterfall to form a true canopy.

1545 Mesker Park Drive
Evansville,
IN
US

Although it's home to more than 50 species of exotic animals, Lazy L Safari Park doesn't have much in common with your average zoo. At this family-run agritourism and ranch operation, visitors don't just stare at animals from behind a glass barrier; instead, they interact with animals such as deer, antelope, and more. Whether they're admiring a powerful Burmese python, staring into the eyes of a Ring-tailed lemur, or feeding a flock of cheery parakeets, visitors get up close and personal at their own leisure.

2763 County Rd. 618
Cape Girardeau,
MO
US

Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary, a USDA–approved big-cat rescue facility, plays motherly host to a roaring family composed of five tigers and a lone lioness with a sultry swagger. Adopting philanthropists can align with their striped or unstriped spirit animal, choosing from noble felines such as the elder Mohan—a white male tiger with blue eyes, a pink nose, and a natural screen presence—or Raja—the relentlessly caring mother of sisters Gracie and Thor.

19620 State Route B
Ste. Genevieve,
MO
US

From the black widow spiders to the massive grizzly bear, all of the creatures at The Saint Louis Zoo showcase the beauty and diversity of the natural world. At the same time, they encourage guests to learn about the world's ecosystems, and the importance of protecting species under threat.

  • Size: 90 landscaped acres house nearly 20,000 animals, representing more than 800 species from every continent except Atlantis.
  • Permanent Mainstay: As its name implies, the 1904 World's Fair Flight Cage pays homage to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition's?popular aviary. This aviary inspired the creation of the Saint Louis Zoo, and today, the Flight Cage surrounds visitors with a flurry of North American bird species.
  • Eye Catcher: Sea Lion Sound includes a 35-foot underwater viewing tunnel, where guests can watch the marine mammals swimming overhead and all around them.
  • Don't Miss: The immersive River's Edge area mirrors the wild with breathtaking accuracy. As they walk along the winding path, explorers observe African wild dogs, black rhinos, and hippos?both above and below the water.
  • Hop Aboard: Taking visitors on a 20-minute, round-trip tour of the zoo, the Emerson Zooline Railroad includes educational narration as the train travels past some of the most popular animal exhibits.
  • Hands-On Experience: The Monsanto Insectarium's Not Home Alone exhibit includes replicas of a kitchen, porch, and garden, encouraging visitors to search through drawers and cabinets while learning more about common household critters.
1 Government Dr.
St. Louis,
MO
US

Grant's Farm has been home to two titans of the US?one a general and president, the other a brewer who forever changed America's bar scene. The first of these was the farm's namesake, President Ulysses S. Grant, who in 1885 built a four-room cabin, needing only a few days, the help of some loyal friends, and an '80s-style montage. After a few transitional owners, August Busch Sr. bought the farm in 1907 and had that same cabin restored to its original condition.

While visitors to Grant Farm can still view that historic cabin today, the grounds have grown into much, much more. More than 280 acres host over 900 animals from 100 unique species, one of which has starred in commercials for decades: the Budweiser Clydesdales. A behind the scenes tour of the Clydesdale Stables reveals more than 50 of these stallions, from weanlings to full-grown, six-foot-tall equines. Meanwhile, Zebras, Black Buck Antelope, and other exotic animals roam across Deer Park, and Tier Garten hosts interactive elephant shows and goat feedings.

Back indoors, the bauernhof (farmstead) stands as a 19th-century relic with antique stables and carriages. It also houses non-antique bartenders, who pour complimentary samples for of-age visitors. They can also point families to more complete dining locations, including Grant's Farm Deli.

10501 Gravois Rd.
Saint Louis,
MO
US

Though built as a private home in 1901, the Victorian mansion stood vacant for years?until its first children's hands-on exhibits opened to the public more than 30 years ago. Since then, The Magic House's curators have worked to engage children of all ages in learning and creative thought through a range of interactive multimedia exhibits. Their exhibits enable visitors to service cars, climb treehouse ladders, and go fishing in a child-centric community, or play with pumps and pipes in a waterworks playground. They can also climb a three-story fairy-tale beanstalk or use detective skills, fingerprint analyses, and secret passageways to solve mysteries.

Museum staffers also organize a range of themed birthday parties, during which attendees play and complete special tasks as time travelers, scientists, or fairy-tale nobility. Family programs encompass monthly visits from outside professional artists, and special events designed to get the whole family moving. Visitors can refuel for exploration at the on-site Picnic Basket Cafe, whose menu highlights whole grains and healthy ingredients.

516 S Kirkwood Rd.
Saint Louis,
MO
US