in

Family Fun in Illinois: Scovill Zoo

Family Fun in Illinois: Scovill Zoo

My family and I first visited the Scovill Zoo in Decatur, Illinois back in June 2013. I also took both my kiddos to see the animals last summer. The small zoo originally began as a farm in 1967. Home to 96 species spanning six continents with around 500 animals in residence, Scovill Zoo is now is one of 210 zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Two other attractions on the grounds of the zoo that both my kids enjoy are the Z.O. & O. Express Train that travels a one-mile path through the zoo and the Endangered Species Carousel that consists of thirty hand-carved wooden animals, each representing species protected and endangered.

Heather and Poppy at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson Small Deer at the Scovill Zoo

Alligator at the Scovill Zoo Prairie Dog at the Scovill Zoo

On our first visit, my family and I spent the afternoon at the Scovill Zoo. My favorite animals were the baby goats in the petting zoo. A few of the kids came right up to me, almost begging to be petted. I also really liked the gray wolf, which walked right up to the viewing glass on the edge of the huge enclosure. The prairie dogs and meerkats fascinated my daughter. She loved watching the little critters scurry in and out of their tunnels. We all loved riding on the train around the edge of the zoo. My daughter really loved riding on the tiger on the Endangered Species Carousel.

Prairie Dogs at the Scovill Zoo Poppy and James Looking at the Prairie Dogs at the Scovill Zoo

Meerkat at the Scovill Zoo Cow at the Scovill Zoo

Pigs at the Scovill Zoo James and Poppy Petting the Goats at the Scovill Zoo

One facet of the Scovill Zoo that I appreciate as an animal lover is the mission of the zoo to help cheetahs survive by donating five cents of each paid zoo admission. The money collected goes to the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Conservation Centre. As a fan of big cats, I loved seeing the two African cheetahs, Jafari and Runako, from the train. Both were born in Africa before coming to live at Scovill Zoo. Cheetahs have been placed on the list of threatened species, and part of the money collected goes to helping cheetahs and humans coexist more peacefully.

Zebras at the Scovill Zoo 1 Zebras at the Scovill Zoo 2

Gray Wolf at the Scovill Zoo James and Poppy Looking at the Gray Wolf at the Scovill Zoo

Cheetahs at the Scovill Zoo Water Birds at the Scovill Zoo

During our second trip to the Scovill Zoo, my kids and I spent a lot of time looking at the Humboldt penguins in the exhibit that was new since our first visit. The zoo received ten Humbolt penguins in 2013 from St. Louis, Philadelphia, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Syracuse, and Sedgwick County, Kansas. The goats in the petting zoo were again a favorite during our second visit. Both my kiddos really liked the zebras. The zoo is a great spot to spend a few hours with children, so, if you are ever in the Decatur, Illinois area, I highly recommend visiting the Scovill Zoo.

Capybara at the Scovill Zoo Tortoises at the Scovill Zoo

Bald Eagle at the Scovill Zoo Humbolt Penguin at the Scovill Zoo

For more information, visit the Scovill Zoo website.

Image Credits

Family Fun in Illinois: Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Heather and Poppy at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Small Deer at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Alligator at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Prairie Dog at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Prairie Dogs at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Poppy and James Looking at the Prairie Dogs at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Meerkat at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Cow at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Pigs at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
James and Poppy Petting the Goats at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Zebras at the Scovill Zoo 1 © 2013 Heather Johnson
Zebras at the Scovill Zoo 2 © 2013 Heather Johnson
Gray Wolf at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
James and Poppy Looking at the Gray Wolf at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Cheetahs at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Water Birds at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Capybara at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Tortoises at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Bald Eagle at the Scovill Zoo © 2013 Heather Johnson
Humbolt Penguin at the Scovill Zoo © 2015 Heather Johnson

Puffy Snow Paint Craft

Puffy Snow Paint Craft

Upcycled Sock Snowman Craft

Upcycled Sock Snowman Craft