C.C. asks from Oswego, IL on April 22, 2009
Need Advice on How You Would Rate the Cosley Zoo in Wheaton.
The Fam and I plan on going to the Cosley Zoo on Friday. The weather is gonna be delightful and since it's free, we are all over it. My husband thinks it'll be a dud since the free zoo by us is kinda whack but for free..what can ya expect? I've gone online and the Cosley Zoo looks cute and seems to offer a lot for a free place. Anyone ever been there and if so, what do you think of it? I'd appreciate your feedback. Wheaton is over 30 minutes away from us and the last time I took the boys out for a long day of "fun" we ended up going to Legoland and it wasn't what we expected. :-) THANKS ALL FOR YOUR KIND ADVICE AND FEEBACK! :-D
So What Happened?™
Thanks to those who responded to my question. We went to the Zoo on Thursday and enjoyed it very much. Because of your great advice, we ended up going in the afternoon and bringing a lunch. All of the animals were out that day, with the exception of the reptiles, but it was a real nice place and very nicely done! Parking was great since we came late and we plan on going back this summer when there's supposed to be lots of activities for the kiddos. Oh, and the caboose out front is fantastic too! thanks again! :0)
J.V. answers from Chicago on April 23, 2009
We only live 5 minutes from Cosley, so I have to admit I use to go there before I had my daughter! (My tax dollars support the place, after all). It is small, but they have a bunch of different animals, and at 10am, for 1 dollar, you can feed the ducks! During the summer, they have a lot of activities going on. Not sure if they are totally set up, with all their summer animals out and stuff, you might want to call. They have a nice area to picnic lunch, so if you weren't planning on doing that, you might want to. I'd call ahead, though, and see if everything it set up. I was there about a month ago and half the birds weren't out and they didn't have things totally set up for the summer crowd.
Do keep in mind that it is small, so it won't fill a day, more like a morning.
M.K. answers from Chicago on April 22, 2009
I LOVE Cosley Zoo...but I live 2 minutes from it. It's an extremely well-kept zoo that features animals "native" to this area only (which are, primarily, midwest farm animals: cows, goats, sheep, horses, pigs, ducks, chickens, rabbits, fox, coyotes, raccoons, and owls).
Other than viewing the animals, there is a small sandbox for the kids and a very large picnic area. There is a railroad car that has educational-based exhibits for the kids to touch and play with. Other than that, there aren't other attractions (trains, merry-go-rounds, etc.) As it warms-up, you can pay $1 for a handful of food to feed the ducks at 10am.
Be advised: on nice days early in the season (like this Friday!) parking in the main lot is impossible if you get there after 10-10:30am. There is another lot somewhere, but I don't know where it is. Definitely look it up before you depart!
I think it's great that the kids can be so close to the animals (unlike at Brookfield). But you'll be able to see the whole zoo in about 30-40 min. If you are taking the time to come all the way out here, perhaps you can plan on a second stop at Northside Park, which is a very short drive from the zoo. Maybe do your lunch at Northside after seeing the zoo.
Personally, I think Cosley is worth at least one trip out here.
J.C. answers from Chicago on April 22, 2009
We love Cosley Zoo. It's small but lots of fun. Its kept up very well too. It takes us about 30 minutes to get there & well worth the drive. There is another free zoo at Philips Park in Aurora thats small but nice with an awesome park & a beautiful botanical area, so bring your camera.
L.R. answers from Chicago on April 22, 2009
I LOOOOVE Cosley Zoo! The previous poster mentioned all the animals that you can see. I was just there last week and I will tell you that the owls, turtles, snakes and some of the birds are still not out yet. Also, there wasn't sign stating this, but the peacock wasn't out either, which is my daughter's favorite. They have signs stating they will be back in the spring so I'm thinking that will be soon. They also just remodeled the caboose train car they have there ~ it's really cute with some educational things. You can do the whole zoo in about 30-40 minutes. Also, definitely get there either early or around lunchtime or later since trying to get a parking spot is near impossible. The parking lot is way too small. I know there is parking on the side streets, but I've never had to park there.