Growing up, my family always had annual passes to the zoo. When we moved to the Dallas area and had kids, we bought zoo passes for our own family. Visiting the zoo, and learning about the animals, continues to be a favorite activity with my kids – and I love me some lemurs, so…I love the zoo, too.
When we were in Springfield, Missouri, we spent a morning at the Dickerson Park Zoo. Between the “pea hawks” (as my kids insisted on calling the peacocks), feeding the giraffes, seeing the lions, and riding the trains, the Dickerson Park Zoo was a huge hit with our family!
Of course, one of the first things the kids asked to do was ride the train! We promised they could – after we visited the animals. Rain was in the forecast, and we wanted to get as much in as we could before any downpours got in the way.
Of all the animals, they were most intrigued by the peacock! There were a bunch of them hanging around, and one guy was really shaking his feathers at a lovely lady peacock. I don’t think the kids had ever seen a peacock in such form, and they were fascinated. Jack kept saying, “Take a picture, Mom! Take a picture!”
The Dickerson Park Zoo also has a playground, a picnic area (outside the park), and a Children’s Zoo. Because I get really excited about goats and donkeys, we bought a ton of feed and let the kids feed all the critters.
And yes…we did ride the train!
- Take a stoller if you have littles. It’s hilly!
- Don’t forget sunscreen and bottled water – and snacks for the kids.
- There are places to eat inside the zoo. You can also bring a picnic, but you’ll have to leave the park to eat and then come back to finish your visit (or visit in the morning, have a picnic for lunch, and enjoy car naps on the way home, woohoo!).
- Bring some cash to buy giraffe crackers and train tickets. They’re only a few dollars each, but you need cash to buy tickets. You can buy them in the gift store with a credit card, but it’s just easier if you have the cash.
You can find directions to the zoo, hours, and admission prices for the Dickerson Park Zoo here.
Want to know what else to do in Springfield with kids? You can see all of the posts from our Springfield adventure here.