Venue: Randall Oaks Barnyard Zoo – The zoo is part of the Dundee Township Park District.
Location: 1180 N. Randall Rd., West Dundee, IL On Randall Road, just north of Higgins Road (Route 72).
Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm. Generally open from the spring through early-fall. The 2012 schedule is as follows:
- Open daily: May 7-Oct. 8
- Fall weekends only: Oct. 13-Nov. 25
- Closed for the season: Nov. 26
Admission: General admission is $3.25 for residents of Dundee Township, $4.00 for non-residents. Children under 2 are FREE! They also offer an annual membership rates. Animal feed is just $1.00 at the door, but there are some vending machines throughout the zoo at $0.25.
Parking: Parking is FREE is any of their large lots. It gets pretty packed right outside the main barn, but there is additional parking in back.
Thoughts from Her’s experience: My family enjoyed our time at the Randall Oaks Barnyard Zoo. We found parking in the main lot and took the short walk up to the main barn. After paying our admission fee and picking up some animal feed, we were immediately greeted by some *starving* goats. The second they heard the ruffles of the brown paper feed bag, they were clamoring to the gates in order to get their share. And we LOVED every minute! At first I was nervous for my son to get so close, but surprisingly he showed NO fear and wanted to feed them all! If anything I was probably more nervous about letting them feed off my hand…until my husband directed my attention to the sign on the gate – the animal’s top teeth were removed to prevent bites. YAY! Totally (kinda) put me at ease. Also in the barn – some pigs, chickens, and smaller animals like snakes and frogs.
Exiting the barn led you to an outdoor space with more animals – some you can feed, and some you couldn’t. More goats, horses, cows…who, unfortunately, never came out of their shelter, much to the dismay of a little boy trying to coax them out…sheep, birds, fish, ducks – this place has it all! It was nice to go someplace small enough that had a lot of the animals my son was familiar with from all the books he likes.
They even had little factoids listed on many of the animal exhibits. Even I learned something new…
We loved the neat photo op display near the birds exhibit, too. I was shocked that my son actually stood still enough for a few photos. And a kind stranger was nice enough to snap one of the three of us!
I also like that the Barnyard Zoo is part of the Dundee Township Park District, so there are picnic tables and even playground areas right next to it. There were a few large parties going on while we were there and there was enough room for everyone. And, considering the large parties in attendance, the playgrounds weren’t packed at all so my son spent lots of time exploring.
For those of you that have kids that are old enough, they offer pony rides for $4.00.
Overall, I thought the Randall Oaks Barnyard Zoo was perfect for little kids and a nice way to spend a few hours. Next time I’ll be sure to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds.