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Phillips Park Zoo, Aurora

4.3
#4 of 13 in Things to do in Aurora
Phillips Park Zoo is located on the grounds of Phillips Park, in Aurora, Illinois, USA. It was originally established in 1915, and is still open year-round with no admission charge. It was once home to exotic animals such as giraffes and monkeys, but the zoo's focus changed to native animals after Brookfield Zoo was opened in 1934.HistoryAfter Phillips Park Zoo was established in 1915, a bird house was built in 1916. By 1920, the zoo had 5 black bears, 10 monkeys, 6 elk, 3 buffalo, 2 foxes, 1 wolf, and 1 deer, in addition to hundreds of birds. Unfortunately, a hailstorm destroyed the original bird house in 1933. After the loss of the bird house and Brookfield Zoo opening in 1934, the Phillips Park Zoo refocused on displaying native animals. In 1937, mastodon bones and tusks, which were found in the park, were on display at the zoo causing it to also be known as a museum. Only two major projects took place in the zoo history between 1937 to the 1980s. In 1950, a barn was built. Then in 1964, a water wheel was added to the zoo. Swans and other farmyard animals now have their exhibits around these original structures. From the 1980s to present time, the zoo has created new exhibit areas and added additional animals. The latest of these additions was the cougar exhibit which opened in 2005. Extensive work has also been done on the exhibits for otters, wolves, elks, and remodeling the reptile house. Animal additions included two bald eagles named Kenai and Denali, and Chopper the Caiman.
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Phillips Park Zoo Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
148 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Was looking for a new unexpected experience and I found it. Although I was there in Nov & didn't get to see the gardens, the zoo was great. It was a bit tricky to find the entrance, but once I did it ...  more »
  • This is a little zoo that you’d never even knew existed unless you are looking for it. It’s a very quick trip but it’s still something to do on a day off.  more »
  • philips park was a place everyone always went to and it didn't matter the time of year , golf course , waterfall , sprinklers , lake for fishing with a large island to walk around , a nice smaller zoo...  more »
Google
  • Nice little zoo with plenty of picnic and playing area in the surrounding woods. If you are planning a family reunion or a party and you want to have it at an outdoor space, this would be a great consideration especially if you have lots of children who will attend. The staff is informative and very helpful. The grounds are clean and well kept. Some of the animal displays are a little sad (especially the alligators) but most are small and appropriate.
  • Used to love this place but not so much anymore. Took a group of children to the park and found out that the scheduled story time I noted in an event book wasn't happening, the splash pad didn't open until 11am, groups of children were waiting, tram only runs on certain days now, park area was closed off from zoo area due to construction and most of the animals were unable to be seen. We ended up leaving feeling disappointed. It's summer and hot I believe splash pad should begin as early as 9 am, tram should run every day to accommodate travelers to the park and scheduled events should take place when set. We live super close and will go back for time to time but we're not happy with our last visit.
  • This is a very small free zoo. Good for a half hour or maybe an hour. Some of the cages for the larger animals have viewing glass so you don't have to look through the fences. But some do not have glass. The eagles and peacocks must be viewed through the fence(s). Too bad since I'm an American Eagle bird fan. But it's still a fun zoo to visit.
  • Free admission. Great for younger kids, because there is enough to see without running past their attention spans (or nap times). There is also a nice park for them to play in.
  • A nice spot to bring the family to or to take pictures. They have a beautiful sunken garden and my niece did her prom pics here. And my kids loved the train ride. There's so much for the family to do here.

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