Looking for a fun, family attraction in the Springfield, MO area? The Dickerson Park Zoo is everything you’re looking for. During our recent family vacation, we had the pleasure of checking out some family friendly locations in the Springfield area. Our favorite place was the Dickerson Park Zoo.
Established in 1922, the Dickerson Park Zoo has a long history in the Springfield, MO area. An important and popular tourist attraction, the zoo has grown in size and popularity over the years. They are now the home to a huge variety of animals and have successful breeding programs in place.
Beautiful peacocks freely wander the park and you’re likely to catch one with all their colors on display. My sons were amazed that they were just walking around freely! My oldest was a little afraid but got over it fairly quickly.
The zoo is full of hundreds of animals from around the world and they have different sections for you to explore. “Tropical Asia” features elephants, tigers and siamangs. “Missouri Habitats” features gray wolves, mountain lions, river otters and black bears. Reptiles in the Ambler Diversity of Life Building. Children’s playground and water feature. They also have a cafe, gift shop and train ride (seasonal).
I love that Dickerson Park Zoo partners closely with many of the businesses in Springfield. They get fresh produce donations from grocery store chains and the Edible Arrangements store. A company donates street sweeper brushes that the animals love to use for scratching. The local universities even sponsor the bear and tiger exhibits! It is wonderful seeing the zoo bringing so many people together!
My sons loved the petting zoo! The goats, miniature donkey and other animals were not shy about eating food right out of your hand. The food is available for purchase and be sure to be prepared for lots of giggles of delight from your kids as they get slobbered on in the process. I loved that they had sanitizer available for everyine after you fed the animals.
We also enjoyed the elephant demonstration. They show how they care for the elephants and teach them tricks that assist with their care. Watch for demonstrations scheduled on the day of your visit. The demonstrations are only do a few times a day (plenty enough for you to catch one.)
Helpful Tips for your visit to Dickerson Park Zoo:
- Outside food and drink are not permitted but are available for sale at the gift shop, vending machines and small restaurant. Outside coolers and lunches are not permitted, but there is a picnic area just outside the zoo gate and you can exit and return if you present your receipt.
- This zoo has lots of walking so you may want to bring a stroller or wagon if you have little ones who may get tired. Strollers are available for rent and will fit up to larger toddlers and preschoolers.
- The train and the food for the petting zoo and feeding the giraffes do cost extra, but still very affordable.
- The zoo is sectioned out and organized by region of the world. Grab a map from the ticket booth and follow the signs to make sure you see everything. It can be easy to miss a section if you’re not paying a attention.
- The Dickerson Park Zoo does occasionally run coupon offers and special promotions. Check their event page for more details.
- They are also part of the AZA reciprocal program, so if you have a zoo pass to another zoo, you’ll qualify for a zoo discount.
- Find answers to commonly asked questions and other great information about the Dickerson Park Zoo here.
We really loved the Dickerson Park Zoo and recommend it as a stop for families in the Springfield area whether you’re a local or just visiting. For more information visit www.dickersonparkzoo.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."