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“Good things come in small packages”

Washington Park Zoo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Washington Park Zoo was founded in 1928, encompasses 15 acres on a hilly sand dune close to the lake, and is home to more than 200 animals. It is owned and operated by the City of Michigan City, Indiana.
Reviewed July 29, 2014

Yes it's a small zoo however it's an old zoo that's not in a big city. They are fixing things up slowly.
My kids and I like the zoo because it's small and can make a day at the lakefront without missing anything. Spend a few hours at the zoo and have lunch there too, walk over to the splash pad or beach then there's the mall for a few hours.

3  Thank Justamyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"observation tower"
in 10 reviews
"washington park"
in 22 reviews
"across the street"
in 16 reviews
"small children"
in 11 reviews
"monkey island"
in 6 reviews
"white tiger"
in 4 reviews
"perfect size"
in 5 reviews
"animal enclosures"
in 4 reviews
"gift shop"
in 7 reviews
"nice fall"
in 2 reviews
"worth the climb"
in 2 reviews
"afternoon visit"
in 2 reviews
"weekend trip"
in 2 reviews
"bird feeding"
in 2 reviews
"otter exhibit"
in 2 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 2 reviews
"bird area"
in 2 reviews

137 - 141 of 201 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2014

Although this is a small zoo, we felt that it could have been so much nicer if it was managed properly. A good example of a well run smaller zoo would be the Naples Zoo in Naples, FL.

The enclosures for many of the animals are outdated and harken back to a time when animal happiness wasn't considered. It's really sad to see several of the animals endlessly circling around in cages that are too small or barren such as the ones here.

Several former exhibits were closed. They looked as though they were abandoned with years of overgrown vegetation and no intentions of ever re-purposing the space. There was one area near the front of the park that was a former exhibit- a load of roof trusses and other construction debris was sitting there, seemingly for years. There's only one bathroom. There was a classroom / bathroom building near the top of the hill with a dedication plaque showing that it opened in 2012 but it was closed. Not convenient when you need to change diapers or have mobility issues.

Perhaps the problem is a lack of revenue. Then do something! Increase the admission price a dollar or two- it wasn't that high to begin with. Have lockers available for rent. Increase concession locations throughout the park. Another idea- don't close the gift shop 30 minutes before the park closes. It's on the way out of the zoo but we observed several potential customers simply bypass it at closing time since it was locked up. Also- the popular aviary exhibit was closed a full hour before closing time. What sense does this make? The zoo closed at 5pm and I observed what looked to be most or all of the staff leaving at 5:01. How about some pride and pay people to clean the place up after hours?

I think this zoo needs some serious investment by the municipality or a corporate sponsor or it needs to close. Right now it looks like it's being allowed to decay and the animals are paying the price.

1  Thank fdwt994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2014

Well, I know they are trying hard but this zoo had more closed exhibits than open ones. The poor red tailed hawk was all puffed up and just looked totally unhappy in his very small cage. He could not fly in his cage for sure. Maybe they move him at night to bigger enclosure but I who knows. The monkey exhibit was closed, the aviary which might be the only real draw was closed too. On the plus side it is cheap. No elephants, giraffes or large animals. They had tigers (white and orange) bobcats/mountain lion, 2 bears, white tailed deer that you can see on the roads in any of the neighboring towns, kangaroo, 1-otter, there were some monkeys in cages but not the large monkey exhibit. We went on a cool day in July, no rain.

Thank MooseS123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2014

This is a very nice small zoo, enjoyed our visit, kids would love it. The tigers and bears were especially cool!

Thank Daddin458
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 10, 2014

We were looking for things to do with our toddler (other than the beach) and found that Washington Park Zoo was a good stop. While I was fascinated by it's history as a WPA project, the animals were enough to keep our son entertained. The tigers were beautiful but woefully kept in a small enclosure, as were the monkeys. They apparently used to have more monkeys on their "Monkey Island" but they recently closed it after 80 years, and you can see why - it is kind of creepy even without the monkeys. Other than the animals, try to climb the tower which is another WPA project and the highest view in Michigan City. Makes for good picture.

Thank kellsbells7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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