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Zoo Ed-Ventures

The Henson Robinson Zoo is home to over 80 species of animals native to Australia, Africa, Asia and North and South America. The Zoo participates in scientific research and conservation efforts as well as provides a fun, educational environment for people of all ages. Some notable animals are: African Penguins, Eurasian Vulture, African Painted Dogs, North American Black Bear, Cougars, Spider Monkeys, Langurs, Boa Constrictor, Naked Mole Rats, Lemurs, and so much more!

With over 200 animals and covering 15 acres, the Henson Robinson Zoo not only connects people with nature, but we also connect families with family. Our mission is to create an awareness of the fascinating diversity of life around us and to foster a sense of stewardship for every visitor, and beyond.  A family trip to the zoo captures the imagination of all and these memories last a lifetime. Building these memories between families and friends while educating about and conserving our species worldwide is what brings a smile to our staff every morning as we open the gates.

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SHARE OUR LOVE OF WILDLIFE BY LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE WORLD AROUND US!

Our Zoo’s education programs offer opportunities for animal lovers of all ages to discover the animal kingdom. With zoo classes, guided tours, and a fantastic education staff, the Henson Robinson Zoo provides fun, hands-on connections to the animal world.  We offer a variety of educational and conservation-oriented programs. These guided experiences offer guests unique opportunities to discover more about animals and our role within our environment throughout the globe and right here in central Illinois.

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On-Site Programming

Henson Robinson Zoo | Zooper Edventures For Ages 6-9

Hop on over to the Zoo to discover more about animals and their ecosystems in Zooper Edventures 1. Have a wild time in the classroom with fun animal games and crafts! Explore the Zoo and observe some beastly behavior! This is a drop off class, and only students ages 6-9 are allowed. Registration and payment are required at least 24 hours before the start of class.

Henson Robinson Zoo | Zoo Tots For Ages 2-5

Price includes 4 total classes, with each class held on Wednesday mornings at 10:00-11:00 am. ZooTots classes are a chance for you and your pre-schooler (ages 2-5) to share a fun and educational experience at the zoo together. Each hour long class includes a story, animal visit, cool craft, games, and zoo admission for enrolled students and 1 adult.

Registration and payment are required at least 24 hours before the start of class. Your registration fee includes one adult and one child. When registering, please ONLY register the child that will be attending and not the adult. If you would like to enroll one or more additional qualifying children from your household, an additional fee would be applied per child.  Due to space restrictions, we ask that only one adult attends with your child or children. Each class will have a different theme.

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Zoo Parents Night Out Fall

Are the kids acting like a bunch of WILD animals? Do you need a break? If so, the zoo has you covered. We are offering a NEW Parents WILD Night Out.

Bring your kids ages 6-12 out to the zoo to play, create, and learn about the zoo animals and conservation while you enjoy a few hours out. This event runs from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Pick up starts as early as 8:00 pm. Pizza, snacks and drinks will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own packed meal.

 

Register for these great programs! Or call the Zoo Directly at 217-585-1821.

register for a Henson Robinson Zoo activity  

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More Zoo Programs

Bring the Zoo to You!  "Zoo to You" - Animal Outreach for K-12:

​Are you looking to enrich your NGSS life science curriculum or animal unit, to get help earning a badge, to reward students with a fun assembly for good behavior, or to have a unique guest speaker or activity for your after school program, residents, or group members?

If so, you need a Zoo To You program! The Zoo’s Education Department has a wide spectrum of fun and educational program themes for audiences of all ages that we can bring to YOUR facility. We can perform our programs for a variety of audience sizes from a single classroom to a school assembly. However, due to the size of our program animals and the increase in noise levels for larger audiences, we ask that assembly audiences be limited to 150 students or less.

Multiple assembly programs may be required to accommodate all students. Typically, our programs are 45 minutes. The number of animals in the program depends on the program theme requested.

Contact the Zoo Education Department through our Staff Directory to inquire about program themes or to help us create a custom theme for your needs. Please note this is not a petting zoo. It is an educational program.

Interactive Zoo Experience - Interpretive Booth

Are you looking for a “Zoo Booth” at your next event? Your event participants will enjoy stopping by our Interactive Zoo Experience table with a variety of our education animals, biological artifacts, and/or animal activities. Manned with our expert Zoo Staff and Docent volunteers, we are ready to interpret our items and answer all questions. Contact the Zoo Education Department through our Staff Directory to inquire about fees and availability.

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Programs and Tours

Animal Encounters

Would you like your group to meet a cool critter up close on your visit to the zoo?

Enrich your group’s visit with a private, educational Animal Encounter with one of our zoo’s touchable animals! Each 15 minute Animal Encounter gives you tons of information about the animal, allows for questions, and gives you the opportunity to touch the animal. Registration is required and scheduling is subject to staff availability. Call us at at (217) 585-1821 ext. 1706 or 1703 to ask us about animal options and to register for your Animal Encounter. Prices are subject to change, so be sure to inquire when call for availability.  General admission to the zoo is not included. This is NOT an offsite program.

Animal Program

Would you like to help your troop with their animal or habitat badge? Maybe you are looking to add something extra to your animal or habitat themed unit in your classroom?

 

You might just be looking for a way to make your zoo visit more fun and educational, then an Animal Program is just the thing for you! Our 45 minute Animal Programs in our zoo’s amphitheater or classroom feature 4 amazing animals and allow for touching of one of the animals at the end of the program. Registration is required and scheduling is subject to staff availability. Call us at at (217) 585-1821 ext. 1706 or 1703 to ask us about program theme options, fees and to register for your Animal Program. General admission to the zoo is not included. This is NOT an offsite program.


Contact the Zoo Crew

Doug Hotle
Zoo Director

HENSON ROBINSON ZOO
1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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Maggie Solum
General Curator

HENSON ROBINSON ZOO
1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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Hilary Tierney
Marketing & Guest Svc Mgr

HENSON ROBINSON ZOO
1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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Kirst Montgomery
Education Program Supv

HENSON ROBINSON ZOO
1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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Joe Curry
Business Service Admin

HENSON ROBINSON ZOO
1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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