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The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center

120 Reviews
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The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center

120 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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kzsull01 wrote a review Sep 2020
Windsor, Connecticut294 contributions217 helpful votes
My husband and I visited the Zoo in Forest Park in Springfield, Massachusetts on the morning of Sunday, September 13, 2020. We arrived about 10:00AM when the zoo just opened and stayed for about an hour. It was easy to social distance during the time that we were at the zoo and the path to help navigate you through the zoo in one direction made it that way. The set-up of the path through the zoo was actually easier than in prior visits, most recently in June of 2019. We took the entrance to Forest Park on Route 5 and we definitely needed directions and a map to find the zoo. The staff member/gate attendant at the ticket booth was very helpful and provided directions and a nice map of the park. Even with directions and a map it still was a bit confusing finding the zoo from the Route 5 entrance. Perhaps it is easier to find the zoo from the main entrance to Forest Park at 293 Sumner Avenue, which I believe is now open. However, the park itself is beautiful driving from the Route 5 entrance to the zoo. There were a lot of people walking around the park, including a lot of people walking their dogs, at the time we drove through the park to the zoo. I mention some of the parts of the park outside the zoo that we enjoyed after what I write about the zoo below. We parked in the zoo parking lot once we got to the zoo. The weather was nice out and sunny and we were able to see most of the animals. We were able to see more animals than last year when it was drizzling out. This zoo is not like it was many years ago when it had lions, tigers, bears, elephants, rhinoceroses and hippos, primarily indoors. The zoo is small and totally outdoors, at the time of our visit, but has a very interesting collection of a wide variety of well-kept exotic and indigenous animals, comprised of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. All the animals have a nice comfortable habitat with a lot of room to move around. The write-ups about each animal are very informative and helpful, providing details about each type of animal and such information as their predators and prey and other fun facts, all very educational. The animals are nice to take photos of except some of them were not in a position to take a good picture of. In particular, the leopard was very nice, but too fast to take a good picture of and the alligator was in a corner that made it hard to take a photo of it and the red fox was curled up sleeping. We were not able to feed the animals at the time of our visit. The zoo is particularly a very nice place for parents with small children. However, anyone could enjoy the zoo. The zoo exhibits include: large timber wolves, gray/silver and red fox, sheep, goats, deer, rabbits, pigs, miniature horses, miniature donkeys, miniature mules, ferrets, North American mink, Virginia opossum, beaver, porcupine, raccoon, common marmoset, spotted leopard, bobcats, camels, llamas,alpaca, kangaroos, wallabies, lemurs, monkeys, turkeys, emu, chicken, roosters, peacocks, parrots, cockatoos, ravens, red tailed hawk, bald eagle, owl, snakes (including a Boa), geckos, an American alligator, an Argentine black and white tegu (large lizard), bearded dragon, Chinese water dragon, tortoises, an armadillo, frogs and much, much more, However, some of the animals, such as the armadillo, did not come out at all while we were there. Maybe they were still asleep or just shy. After we left the zoo we drove through Forest Park, which is quite nice with its rolling hills, rose gardens, aquatic gardens and much, much more. We parked in the Carriage House parking lot and walked up Laurel Hill to visit the Barney Family Mausoleum, which was very impressive and interesting and a nice tribute to the primary landowner and creator of the park, Everett Barney and his family. We took pictures around the sight of the mausoleum. We used a museum pass from our local public library for admission into the zoo, which made our visit a good value. However, we did pay for parking, since the zoo is in the Forest Park city park. Parking is $3.00 for Massachusetts residents and $5.00 for non-residents. The zoo has a very good variety of different types of animals, all quite interesting and worth seeing. The zoo is definitely worth a visit. Also, the park itself is very nice to drive through or walk around.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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Rachel R wrote a review Sep 2020
West Wareham, Massachusetts176 contributions19 helpful votes
My husband and I brought our kids here, located within a gorgeous park, a big playground right outside the entrance $10 for adults and only $5 for kids so can’t beat the price The zoo itself is very small, it only took us less than an hour to see the whole thing. Of course my kids look at an animal for 5 seconds and then move on 🤷🏼‍♀️ They do have a lot of animals that you don’t normally find in the wild, such as raccoons, a skunk, groundhog, and farm animals. Nothing bigger than an Emu or a donkey. Would definitely return, maybe it’s worth it to get a membership? All the animals have their names printed on their enclosures so you can come back to check on Mr. Pricklepants the Porcupine.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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James C wrote a review Jul 2020
Brooklyn, New York1,191 contributions201 helpful votes
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Great small zoo that has enjoyed yuh to see and enjoy that it is a must see in Springfield. The staff was so nice and inviting. The path was really easy to follow and a really good morning or afternoon especially for kids.
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Date of experience: July 2020
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2244tiger wrote a review Sep 2019
Orlando, Florida42 contributions23 helpful votes
I spent about 90 minutes exploring this little zoo. A good collection of animal ambassadors. Clean and kept up, but still a "little neighborhood zoo" feel. Really enjoyed chatting with some of the staff about the animals they were working with. Got to see up close the snake feeding. $10 for an adult - great price for a great experience.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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CarpeDiem0626 wrote a review Sep 2019
West Hartford, Connecticut277 contributions94 helpful votes
Thankfully this little gem remains despite the deterioration of the park itself. It's worth a trip with young children. My husband scoffed when he first saw where I was taking him and our grandkids, but at the end said "that was a great little zoo". There is easy parking, nearby restrooms and great little playscape all right outside the entrance to the zoo. Inside you can see farm and exotic animals ranging from donkeys to lemurs, leopards, kangaroos and bald eagles. Bring a stroller for your little ones and lots of quarters if you'd like to feed some of the animals. Not a huge zoo. Just a nice place to stroll through in an hour or so.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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