My husband and I took our friend's 11 year old daughter to this zoo, and we all had a great time. They have a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians--from adorable to intimidating. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. I had purchased a discount voucher for our tickets, and it included a photo with one of the animals. Our young friend got her picture taken with a boa constrictor. We got to see one of their demonstrations. One of the staff showed a half-dozen of the animals and explained where they live, what they eat, etc. and also took questions. The children in the audience were very inquisitive, and the zookeeper was patient and adept at answering the questions.
The building is quite warm, and they do not have air conditioning so I wouldn't recommend going during the hottest part of summer. Our early fall visit was warm, though still enjoyable. The staff mentioned that many of the animals hibernate in the winter, so a visit at that time might prove less interesting since the animals would be less active. It was definitely worth the hour drive from the Cities, and I would recommend it--especially if you have children who are fascinated by snakes, alligators and the like. They offer birthday party packages, and had an area devoted to that.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.