- $120 for a Zoo On The Go birthday party ($200 value)
During the party, animal experts bring five exotic animals to a house or party location for a nearly 45-minute experience. The hands-on experience allows children one-on-one time with the animals and instructions on how to pet them. Animals can include mammals, snakes, birds, and more. The package also includes animal-themed invitations to be printed out from home.
The Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center
Visiting The Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center is a lot like stepping into a nature documentary. Guests can take a self-guided journey to meet more than 200 creatures from across the world. They may stop by the habitats of the black and white ruffed lemur, the western bobcat, and the spotted leopard. Along the way, guests might learn a lot: for instance, that the Bennett's wallaby carries its young in a pouch, and that the critically-endangered cotton-top tamarin has lost more than 75% of its native habitat.
But in at least one way, the zoo accomplishes something that David Attenborough never could. Visitors can actually reach out and touch a creature during discovery programs. They can even adopt certain animals, perhaps helping provide tasty grasses and career guidance to a red kangaroo.
These programs exemplify the nonprofit zoo's dedication to wildlife education and awareness, something they hope to instill in their visitors from an early age. In the summer, educators spin "Animal Tales" for rapt young audiences and hold a Zoo Camp, where kids start to learn about diet and animal care. As kids' love of animals grows, the zoo invites them to volunteer as Crew in Training members. Once they hit college, students can become interns working on projects such as field studies of the patas monkey.
The Zoo in Forest Park is not operated by the City of Springfield. The Zoo is an independent 501c3 non-profit organization. The Zoo is not responsible for any Forest Park conditions including parking and bathrooms.