Have a WILD time!
What makes a good trip a great trip? Seeing some beautiful animals along the way. The Chicago Southland is home to some animal-related attractions and hosts some pet-related events that will have you oohing and awwing at the cuteness.
Brookfield Zoo is one spot you won’t want to miss if you spend time in the Southland. It really is a special place, where you will see more species than you ever knew existed. A new feature at the zoo is the 3D theater in the Discovery Center where you’ll be treated to a show to excite your senses about animals that live far away or may have lived long ago.
The Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Forest Preserve District of Will County have nature centers and visitor centers where you’ll find native creatures either as part of an educational exhibit or perhaps you’ll encounter some out in the nearby woods or along walking trails. Plum Creek Nature Center in Beecher is one. It has a honeybee exhibit and resident reptiles as well as a bird observation area and a pollinator garden. Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland features exhibits on natural history and you’ll see native birds of prey, snakes, turtles and fish.
Make a trail ride part of your visit by making a reservation at A Ranch 394 in Chicago Heights or Forest View Farms in Tinley Park. Horseback riding, horseback trail rides and pony rides are available onsite.
Two times a year, a show dedicated to cold-blooded creatures comes to Tinley Park. The two-day North American Reptile Breeders Conference brings together vendors, sponsors and advocates for an enlightening and exciting weekend.