Chicago with Kids: Cosley Zoo

Venue: Cosley Zoo

Website: http://www.cosleyzoo.org/

Location: 1356 North Gary Avenue, Wheaton, IL  60187.

Hours: Summer Season Hours: Daily, 9am – 5pm

Admission: Adults: $5.00 (non-Wheaton residents); Children 1-17 are FREE.

Parking: Cosley Zoo is a facility of the Wheaton Park District.  Parking in the park district lots is free.

Cosley Zoo

Our Experience: My mom and I took my little guy to the Cosley Zoo last Saturday.  I have never been to Cosley Zoo before, (I’d never even driven by!) so this was a brand-new experience for all of us.  If you’re like me and are venturing to the Cosley Zoo for the first time, you should know that it’s a very small zoo.  Being from the Chicago area, I’m used to visiting the two very large zoos we have here (Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo), so I guess I just assumed that Cosley Zoo would be similar.  It isn’t…but for me that was a really good thing.  Cosley Zoo is perfect for younger kids (mine is 2 and a half) and it only takes about an hour to walk through and see it all.

Walking in, you’ll pass some picnic tables, the Wild Side Gift Shop and concession stand, and my son immediately noticed the sand pit (and asked why I didn’t bring his sand pail…oy!).

Cosley Zoo - Sand Box

After that, we saw their chickens and guinea hogs before exploring the big red caboose.

Cosley Zoo Caboose

My son loved the activities inside the caboose like a “Whose Feet Are These?” lift-the door game and some real horseshoes too!

Cosley Zoo Caboose Collage

We had a ball watching the many ducks hanging out at the duck pond.  There are also certain times that you can feed the ducks for only $1/cup!

Cosley Zoo Duck Pond

The Vern Kiebler Learning Center was also really fun.  Outside were some cows, horses, and llamas; and inside were sheep, goats and hissing cockroaches!

Cosley Zoo Barn

I only wish Cosley Zoo offered more animal interactions.  We were able to touch a turtle, but that was the only close encounter we had with any of the animals.

Cosley Zoo Turtle

I did read, however, that if you book a birthday party at Cosley Zoo (which I am seriously considering), part of the package includes an animal visit.

Cosley Zoo Duck Pond Pavilion

Overall, we had a great time while visiting Cosley Zoo.  Next time we’ll be sure to bring a picnic lunch!  The best part of the day though?  Just spending some time with my little man.  Experiencing things through his eyes has been such a joy to watch.  Can’t wait for our next adventure!

Cosley Zoo Fun

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