Looking for a low key way to introduce your child to the zoo? Then look no further than Cosley Zoo! This small but well maintained and fun zoo is a great way to get up close and personal with animals, as compared to other zoos like Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoo, and a fraction of the cost.
This 5 acre zoo includes both farm and native animals and focuses its work on education the community about these animals. The native habitats created for the animals are well kept and many of them are just plain lush and gorgeous all year round.
There are 20 exhibits at the Cosely Zoo, featuring over 150 animals so that you can happily spend a few hours there exploring all there is to see. There is also an interactive sandbox open seasonally, which is always a hit with kids (not so much with parents, but oh well, it’s fun to get messy).
My boys love visiting the water exhibit at the Cosley Zoo, walking over all of bridges and watching the ducks, geese, and other water features. You can feed the ducks for $1 per serving from 10-10:30 and 3-3:30.
Another fun exhibit is the “hands on” train. Within this redesigned train car, there are lots of puzzles and other manipulative toys to play with that feature animals and other nature elements.
With Cosley Zoo’s dedication to education, they have many different events and activities available for adults, children, and groups to learn about all of the animals showcased at the zoo, including backpacking programs, behind the scene tours and chicken feeding.
There are also different programs that you can sign up for through the Wheaton Park District, ranging from story times to camps and even learning how to complete zookeeper tasks.
Food and Refreshments
One of my absolute favorite parts about the zoo is that it is on such a small and contained scale that it is a breeze taking both of my boys there at once—without any help. A great way to keep things more manageable is by packing a lunch, especially since there are great picnicking spots throughout the zoo. There is also a café that serves kid friendly fare if you simply want to sit back and relax instead of preparing food for your trip.
Oh, and we highly recommend the ice cream bars and popcorn. Because what is a zoo visit without a little treat?
Non residents are charged $5 for admission, $4 for seniors, and children under 17 are free, no matter where they live.
If you are looking for other animal activities, simply search “nature” or “zoo” in the search box.
Have fun exploring!
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