2218 N. Prospect Road
Peoria Illinois 61603United States
Midwest Living Recommends
The Peoria Zoo's African exhibit turns a traditional day at this long-time zoo into a memorable safari.
This classic small zoo almost doubled its size and elevated its allure with its new Africa exhibition. You can find yourself eye-to-eye with a giraffe on the elevated walkway that surrounds the circular exhibition. Look for rhinos, zebras, antelope and giraffes wandering across the area and stand inches from a lion playfully pawing the glass. You can cool off in the older part of the zoo, which has plenty of shade. Look for snakes, reptiles, bats, monkeys, a camel, emu, porcupine, tortoise, black swans, sea lions and a petting zoo. You can see it all in an hour and a half to two hours, making it perfect for young children. After the zoo, you'll have half a day for other nearby attractions. Enjoy a picnic, the playgrounds and Luthy Botanical Garden, which, along with the zoo, creates the centerpiece for Glen Oak Park. The gardens, inside or out, offer a welcome splash of color and plenty of pretty places to sit down and soak it up. You can plan an animal-themed double-header with a stop at Wildlife Prairie Park on Peoria's outskirts. Complement the morning safari with a look at native Illinois wildlife: wolves, bears, buffalo, otters and more. Admission charged.