Henson Robinson Zoo

1100 E Lake Shore Dr Springfield, IL 62712

Hours: 10:00- 5:00 CT


The Henson Robinson Zoo began as a dream of a prominent Springfield citizen by the name of Henson C. Robinson. In 1967, a tract of land was donated to the Springfield Park District by the City of Springfield to fulfill his dream. Construction of the zoo began in 1968 and on August 29, 1970, the Henson Robinson Zoo was officially opened. Over the years, the zoo has grown and expanded with the addition of several new animals as well as exhibits.

The zoo is now home to animals native to Australia, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Over 96 species of native and exotic animals are housed here among naturalistic exhibits. The zoo participates in scientific research studies and conservation efforts in addition to providing a fun and educational environment for people of all ages. Some notable residents of Henson Robinson Zoo are African Penguins, Eurasian Vulture, African Painted Dogs, American Black Bears, Cougars, Spider Monkeys, Langurs, Boa Constrictor, Naked Mole Rats, Lemurs, and so much more!

Best of the Capital 2023 Winner the Henson Robinson Zoo for Best Family Attraction


Season Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Zoo Hours Open to the Public:
April 6th - Oct 31, open daily
10:00am - 5:00pm*

*Last admission sold at 4:30 pm

Nov 4 - Nov 19 | Sat & Sun only
10:00 am - 4:00 pm*

*Last admission sold at 3:30 pm


$7.50 Adults (13-61 years old)

$5.50 Children (3-12 years old)

$5.50 Seniors (62+)

FREE - Children 2 years and under

Group Rates: for parties of 10 or more
$4.50 Adults

$3.50 Children

$3.50 Seniors

FREE - Children 2 years and under


For a list of activities held at the Henson Robinson Zoo, please click the button below.


Birthday Parties

For a list birthday parties held at the Henson Robinson Zoo, please click the button below.



  • Playground
  • Covered Picnic Pavilion
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free Parking
  • Water Fountains with Bottle Filler
  • Restrooms
  • Diaper Changing Stations
  • Concessions
  • Gift Shop
  • Benches and shade respite areas


Doug Hotle
Zoo Director

1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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Lori Crowder
Guest Services and Marketing Manager

1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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Joe Curry
Business Service Admin

1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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Rachel Hughes
General Curator

1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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Jessica Prumm
Learning Facilitator

1100 E Lake Shore Dr, Spfld IL 62712

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General Information

Are outside animals allowed in the zoo?

Only qualifying service animals are allowed into the zoo. You must carry the proper identification in order to gain admittance with your service animal.  All other private pets are not allowed inside the zoo.

Can I rent a stroller, wheelchair or electronic convenience vehicle (ECV)?

We do have a small selection of strollers for rent, on a first come, first serve basis.  We have two wheelchairs for loan with identification, but no ECVs.  If you know you might need a wheelchair, it's best to call ahead to reserve for a specific time to make sure one is available when you plan to attend.

How long does it take to tour and visit the zoo?

It typically takes about 1.5 hours to walk the entire zoo, but you can definitely spend as much leisure time on the grounds and stay to play on our ever popular playground!

Does the Henson Robinson Zoo participate in the nationwide zoo membership reciprocal program?

Yes, when you become a year-round supporter of the Henson Robinson Zoo, you also become a member of the nationwide zoo reciprocal benefits program.


Food & Amenities

Can I bring food and drinks into the zoo?

No, concessions are sold at the gift shop.

Are there places I can refill my water bottle?

Yes, there are designated areas to refill water bottles. 

Where can I go to get out of heat/rain/cold?

Sheltered areas are located throughout the zoo. We do recommend that you dress appropriately for the day's weather when at the zoo.

Entry Passes | Tickets

Do I need to pre-purchase my entry admission?

Parking is free, but it does require a fee to enter the zoo.  You do not have to pre-purchase or reserve your tickets at this time.  

What defines a Group Rate?

Parties of 10 or more constitutes a "group," and are eligible for the discounted rates.

How can I make a group reservation or school tour group reservation?

All groups must make a reservation before visiting the Zoo; admission is discounted.

If you are looking for group reservations within the next 30 days, please contact us for more information.

Please note: Group reservations are processed Monday through Friday. Requests for group reservations must be made a minimum of 72-hours prior to the date of your visit.

Is Bus Parking Available at the Zoo?

There is a drop off and loading area, but busses will need to park over at Center Park, just west of the Zoo parking lot.

Park District Code of Conduct

These are just a few of the rules for the use of grounds and facilities with the Springfield Park District at the Washington Park Botanical Gardens.  We expect that all vendors and patrons abide by our District Code of Conduct and will be held accountable for their behaviors when visiting the property.  Please see a full copy of this document, just click the link to view.  PARK DIST CODE CONDUCT

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