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“far cry from years back” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Zoo in Forest Park

Zoo in Forest Park
302 Sumner Ave., Springfield, MA 01138
413-733-2251
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Ranked #8 of 19 Attractions in Springfield
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Attraction details
Owner description: This zoo, featuring over 200 exotic and domestic animals, was the inspiration for Dr. Seuss and his stories. Dedicated to wildlife education, the zoo provides educational programs for children and adults.
Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“far cry from years back”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

Thank the Lord this zoo has been overhauled since the 70's. I recall the deplorable housing for the lions, monkeys, and others in that terrible jail of a lion house. It was heartbreaking. The Polar Bear had to be shot dead during an attack on a visitor who ventured too close. I believe she lost her arm, but she broke rules by reaching inside his cage. Pony rides were available also, but sadly, the zoo's riding mare Daisy Mae, became so run-down, she was ordered to be withheld from use, by the SPCA. If the Zoo keeps the new lion, may it be assured he will have ample room for plenty of excercise as well as some other big cat comraderie.
I do not know when and how the Zoo took on new venues, but it was long overdue.

Visited August 2012
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43 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Boxford, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Nice walk on a pleasant spring day”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

This is a small zoo but can be a good choice for an hour or so if the weather is nice. We arrived at 10 am when the zoo opened. The animals were very active. A zookeeper told us they are more active in the morning when the temps are not as high. The biggest disappointment is that many of the exhibits had no signs telling what the animals were or anything about them. A few had a simple sign: "wolf crossing" or "lemur lane." There was a llama in the enclosure with the one-humped camel and two-humped camel and several visitors were convinced the llama was a baby camel. The goal of most zoos is to be an educational institution, but if there are no signs to educate the public about the animals which are displayed, it lessens the value of the experience. You have to pay $3 per car (MA residents) or $5 (out of state) to get into Forest Park, and then an admission fee of $8.50 per person to get into the zoo. There are only port-a-potties in the zoo, though the Senior Citizens Center (about a block away inside the park) has bathrooms. However, the day we were there, the Men's Room had an "out of order" sign on it.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwick, Rhode Island
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“An hour for the zoo, a 1/2 day for the park.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

The zoo itself is small, and it has a petting zoo area. My boys (ages 8 and 9) enjoyed feeding the camels and got to see a handler playing with what might have been a baby lion in a glass-front enclosure (we weren't sure if it was a lion b/c of its markings, and there was no one to answer questions.) An interesting array of animals: rabbits, sheep, monkeys, exotic birds, porcupines, kangaroos, llamas, black bears, lizards. The zoo was clean (raked dirt/gravel) and not crowded. They have a "train" (no tracks--it runs on the road) that makes a loop around the main road of the park, outside the zoo. Probably more entertaining for younger kids who are train obsessed. It cost us $38 for admission for 4 plus the train ride, but pricing gets lower the younger your kids are. There's a nice playground in front of the zoo, and a smaller playground behind it. There's a snack bar outside the zoo, but we didn't eat there. The zoo took us about an hour to see everything, then we went geocaching in the park (there's lots of caches.) Forest Park is a good sized park with lots of well maintained trails, ponds/lakes, picnic tables, and playing fields.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Small nice zoo.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Good for about an hour with the kids. Not a full blown zoo. Smallish. But maintained well. I would actually expect it to be free like Chicago's Lincoln park zoo. Admission is 8.5$ adult and 6.5$ kids. So not outrages but still. Maybe it's free for locals but I'm not sure.

Visited April 2013
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Springfield, Massachusetts, United States
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great mid-size zoo”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

As zoos go this one is pretty good. if you have kids it's a must see. It's pretty inexpensive and has a good variety of animals.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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