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“Good Place to Spend a Day!”

Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden
Evansville, Indiana
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Good Place to Spend a Day!”
Reviewed March 25, 2013

The Mesker Park Zoo has really improved in the last few years. When the weather is nice, we like to go here. Normally, we do not take the tram ride, we walk it. (which you will get a good work out) My kids are old enough to walk it, if they were littler I would take the tram. On a hot day, with a stroller, it will wear you out! The Amazonia starts the zoo, which is great! The whole exhibit is wonderful, you get a real feel for the Amazon. There are some things in the zoo, that are hit & miss. Some things haven't changed in 15 years & they could improve on the buildings with the birds/indoor monkeys. The area where the zebra & giraffes are in, kind of seems a sad area for them to live..I would like to see them expand this area for them to roam & enjoy. Overall, my kids are always ready to go to the zoo. As am I. It makes for a good day or afternoon outdoors. This may not be comparable to a big city zoo, but, we always have a good time.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank funmom_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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333 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Evansville, Indiana
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Member”
Reviewed February 8, 2013

I am a member of our zoo and I visit almost weekly during the summer months. As a local I love it. It's a great and safe place to go for a walk on a nice day and my 2 year old loves to see the animals. Our zoo is great for such a small city, but it does have some work that needs to be done.

Pros:
1. It's small but not too small - you can walk it at a leisurely pace in 2-3 hours easily, its small enough that my toddler walks it easily (except for the hills), but it isn't so small that you feel you wasted your money
2. We have a good diverisity of animals - for a small zoo we have a large array, I'd say we are on par with the Nashville zoo for variety and they are a much bigger market
3. It's reasonablly priced - it's only $60 for our family membership with unlimited access (we always ask for this as a Christmas gift every year) and the membership is honored or gives us discounts at zoos nationwide, you can go visit the Nashville Zoo for a day trip or as part of a weekend away for free for a change of pace, If you are visiting the area its about $9 for an adult but if you look alot of times you can find coupons
4. The Amazonia exhibit is great (it's on a level that you would expect at a larger zoo) and the children's zoo area is nice with lots of things for little ones to play on
5. Staff is always friendly
6. There is an array of other activities to do as well (most for a small fee)- paddle boats on the lake, bumper boats (this are the battery powered ones aimed at 5-7 year olds), giraffe feeding
7. I know I saw a few complaints about them but I love the peacocks/peahens roaming the zoo wild. I've never had one act threatening to me. Be smart people they are a wild animal - don't feed them and give them their space and you'll be fine
8. Free parking and plenty of if

Cons
1. Part of the zoo are very old (remember we are one of the oldest zoos in the Midwest) and it's starting to show
2. We have several empty exhibits that are in need of new occupants
3. Our big cat cages are horrid. I feel so bad for the lion and tiger every time I see them, several other areas are in need of major rennovation as well (giraffe/zebra exhibit)
4. Other than the giraffes, rhino, lion, tiger we don't have alot of the traditional animals you think of when you think zoo - to me I'm fine with that I'd rather have smaller animals that we can care for than have larger animals living in bad enclosures - I mention this for tourist, don't plan on seeing elephants or polar bears.
5. I do agree the drinking fountains tend to have 0 water pressure, leaving you to have to buy your drinks and they are priced high like all other zoos I've ever been to
6. Be prepared for a walk - yes it is a small zoo but this is Southern Indiana it's a hilly walk.

In summary - if you are coming to Evansville as a visitor stop by and give our zoo a look, it's worth the money and the few hours especially if you have younger kids to entertain. There is park nearby with picnic area, play ground and a disc golf course so back a picinic lunch and make a day of it.

If you are are local go out and support your zoo, it can't make improvements without money and it can't get money without visitors.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Michelle L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Owensboro, Kentucky
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Fun for the Whole Family!”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

My husband and I have been taking our son to Mesker for a few years now. We have fallen in love with it and are now members, so that we can go whenever we would like. A family membership is only $59, and it includes free admission, free tram rides, and discounts to other zoos and aquariums. Regular admission is reasonable too at $8.50 for adults and $7.50 for children (2 and younger are free). This is a perfect outing for a family on a budget. We can easily make a day of Mesker taking our time to enjoy all of the inside and outside exhibits.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank KY_grl_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Nice Break From Hoosier Winter”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Amazonia, a massive greenhouse-style exhibit next to the entrance is warm and humid all year, and it's a nice 20-30 minute, downhill sloping attraction if you have small children or if you're too old to enjoy walking the whole zoo. I take grandkids there sometimes just an hour before closing: jaguars, tapirs, squirrel monkey, sloths, and several tropical plants beckon. It's fun to watch the progress of the papayas when they bear. About a 10 minute walk into the zoo, unpleasant in wintry weather, are the zebras and giraffes, always a hit with the kids. Although it's against zoo policy, my grandkids often gather autumn leaves to feed the giraffes, who crowd the fence to lean over and eat from the children's hands. Great Kodak moments. For a small city like Evansville, this is a very nice zoo. No elephants, and Donna the hippo (1954-2012) died this past year. But it's a relaxed, user-friendly zoo where your grandkids may smell like goat when you get back to the parking lot. Not a place I'd travel to from out of the area, but a bargain for locals who get an annual membership.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Megahaole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great for concerts & family fun!”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I've seen concerts as well as enjoyed the zoo! It is a good activity to plan with a group, all ages.. And won't hurt a budget

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank KellyL2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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