Sunday, May 8, 2016

Road Trip: Washington Park Zoo (Michigan City, IN)

Word of mouth and a friend recommendation led us to the Washington Park Zoo.  It was a picturesque area and the grounds were easy to navigate.  Though the zoo was quaint (which is a sweet way to say small), it carried the key aspects for young families: Train, Petting Zoo, Tigers, Reptiles, and Monkeys.

We could get really close to animals, though a few of the animals were not let out as the evenings are still too chilly for them.  The kids had a great time and the size of the park was perfect for them -- we were able to see all the animals without pushing the youngest to his pre-nap limit.


  • There is a beautiful observatory tower you can climb, boasting views of the lake and lighthouse below.
  • There are free range peacocks which actually stick around the Peacock cafe.  They are gorgeous!
  • The entry line takes a long time as there is only one person taking money/providing tickets.  Although we were only the 10th family in line, it took about 15 minutes to get through the gate.  However, once inside you feel like it is a private tour as there are not too many crowds.
  • The train does a tight circle and though I was concerned the kids would be disappointed, it was a needless worry -- they were all smiles and had buttons to push on each car.
  • You can make a full day out of it as Washington Park also contains a beach, lighthouse museum, parks, playgrounds, and a water feature.  More details here.

Cost Savings:
The zoo is definitely worth the cost of admission.  It is very low cost - check out the site for details!

Michigan City, IN (one hour outside Chicago)
We drove and there was a parking lot adjacent to the zoo.

Kid's Jury: 4 stars
They really enjoyed the day and the weather was fantastic!  We were glad to experience this hidden gem.

Purpose of this photo: evidence
that we brought both children.

Yes, I know he needs a haircut.

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