Trip Planner:   USA  /  Illinois  /  Bloomington  /  Zoos & Aquariums  /  Miller Park Zoo

Miller Park Zoo, Bloomington

(4.1/5 based on 190+ reviews on the web)
Miller Park Zoo is a zoo located in Miller Park; a public park in Bloomington, Illinois, United States. It is administered by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Bloomington.HistoryThe first city money was spent for the care of animals in Miller Park in 1891. Although there was at least one deer, there is no definite list of the animals that the first payment supported.The zoo was started when a circus lion cub ended up on a farmer's farm around 1900, and was eventually given to the city of Bloomington. The lion, later named "Big Jim" died on March 26, 1912. After Big Jim's death, funds were raised to construct the Koetthoefer Animal Building by Bloomington architect A. L. Pillsbury. Ground was broken in 1913, and the building was opened to the public in 1914.The first real expansion of the zoo was in 1960 with the construction of the Woodland Wing, which at one time housed two sea lions. In the mid-1970s, the Woodland Wing became the Tropical Rainforest Exhibit, the Animal Building was updated, and the sea lion/otter pools were built.The Entrance Building/Education Center was opened in 1992, the wolf exhibit in 1993, Wallaby Walkabout in 1994, the bald eagle exhibit in 1995, Animals of Asia in 1996, Zoolab in 1999, the Children's Zoo Complex in 2001, and the Tropical Rainforest Exhibit in 2004. These additions more than doubled the size of the zoo.Over the years, the zoo has seen a very wide variety of animals. There have been chimps, lions, a polar bear, moose, mountain lions, black bears, penguins, an elephant, bison, gray wolves, alligators, squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys, bats, foxes, North American porcupine, raccoons, and many other species.ExhibitsTropical America Rainforest - saki monkeys, scarlet ibis, troupial, saffron, finches, brown basilisk, two-toed sloth, coatimundi, callimico monkeys, agouti, boa and more
Work out when and for how long to visit Miller Park Zoo and other Bloomington attractions using our handy Bloomington trip generator.
Create a full Bloomington itinerary

Plan your trip to Bloomington

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.
  • I may be biased because I am a local, but I love our zoo. There are so many learning opportunities packed here. There is a self guided rainforest room, and always a ton of volunteers and staff around ...  more »
  • We love this zoo! They have reindeer, bald eagles, some big cats, seals, & a walk through kangaroo area 
  • Looking for a small zoo that's perfect for the entire family, and especially for little ones who want to walk? Miller Park Zoo is the place! From the pink flamingos to the sun bear, your family can st...  more »
  • Hosted my sons birthday party there over the past weekend. The party was located inside the facility and was due for a 3 hour span of time. Unexpected gas leak happened and had to evacuate the building and they were unsure if we would be able to renter for the party. We moved our party outside and continued on. 30 mins later they informed us we could re-enter and I would be given a refund for the party and they still took the time to bring out the animals I asked for. I was very pleased with how apologetic they were and accommodating for the situation! Would defiantly recommend a birthday party there even under the circumstances we had a blast!!!
  • What a nice zoo. Turned out to be a great day to walk around and explore such a nice place. Everyone was was very friendly and the exhibits were all very nice.
  • Great zoo with Tigers, bears, and apes. Has indoor and outdoor sections and is in a beautiful park with a lake, war memorials Inc a ww1 tank and great playground for kids. Nice Petting section and friendly staff.
  • Nice little zoo in central Illinois. Cool animals and parks right next to it for kids!
  • It's a nice zoo, but there are problems. I'm usually not an anti-zoo person, but the size of the exhibits for the animals is very small overall. Some of the animals on display have very large natural territory (such as the snow leopards) but with the tiny size of these exhibits, I am really worried about how stressed the larger animals might be. The leopard cubs especially were acting stressed. I can't see how healthy a big animal like a tiger or leopard can be happy living in cages smaller than my own apartment. The meercat exhibit is smaller than my bathroom.