In 1978, something was created in Hanna City, Ill. that has never been matched. Today and 35 years later, Wildlife Prairie Park is still entertaining all kinds of people from the Midwest with the various activities, sites and things to do for all ages.
Recently, our own Kaci Osborne headed out to the park to speak with the Director of Development, Molly Waller, and see what all of the hype was about. From the beginning, Kaci started to understand why the park has lasted 35 years. “When a visitor comes to Wildlife Prairie Park, there is so much to do,” says Waller. “We have a really nice map, and that map will take you through our wildlife native zoo.”
Usually, when you hear “zoo” you think of caged animals, but don’t get that idea at Wildlife Prairie Park! Molly explains, “These animals are native to Illinois and they are living in their natural habitat through enclosures in our park.”
Don’t settle for just observing the animals. Along with the viewing areas, Wildlife Prairie Park offers free daily programs that allow visitors to ask questions. This kind of interaction with the staff allows visitors to understand the stories behind the animals that are featured at the park.
Besides the animals,Wildlife Prairie Park features the preservation of our national heritage. The Pioneer area includes multiple buildings that replicate our history, including an old schoolhouse.
If you’re looking for a nice and relaxing tour of the entire park, they offer train rides that circle through the entire landscape. While you’re waiting for the train to pick you up, don’t forget to check out the small train museum located just off the tracks.
The park has also recently installed several biking trails for people looking to explore while building up a sweat. Along the same lines, there are five fishing lakes on the property with six different kinds of fish. So don’t forget your poles!
And whatever you do, don’t forget to ride the giant slide!
As Kaci says perfectly, “From mountain biking to mountain lions, Wildlife Prairie Park really has a little bit of everything!”
Upcoming Events at Wildlife Prairie Park
Junior Girl Scout Badge Day – June 15
Father’s Day Brunch – June 16
Olde English Fair – June 21-23
This is part of the Kaci’s Places to Play in Peoria YouTube series. Please check out Peoria Area CVB Media Page for more videos from Kaci!
Written By: Andrew Ketterer