Big Run Wolf Ranch in Lockport is a non-profit facility that offers a wonderful opportunity to educate your children about North American wildlife. They are open to the general public on scheduled open house days, which occur 1–2 times per month. Passionate owners and volunteers run the ranch and provide many opportunities to learn. I have been visiting the ranch since I was a teenager and now enjoy taking my two girls to visit a few times per year. I cannot recommend visiting Big Run Wolf Ranch enough!
14857 North Farrell Road
Lockport, IL 60441
Parking at the ranch is available to those with a handicap necessity, everyone else is asked to park in the southwest corner of the Lockport Walmart, 16421 Farrell Road, and take the 5-minute bus ride over to the ranch. The bus service is free and runs quite frequently. Strollers are allowed and may be brought on the bus. If you have a young child like me, getting the chance to ride on a school bus can be quite exciting. Depending on the time of year, once you arrive at the ranch, there may be a line to get in.
Features of Big Run Wolf Ranch
Once you get into the ranch, there is plenty to see. The wolves dominate the ranch, but Kuma the Black Bear and Shere Khan the Siberian tiger are quite popular, too. There is also a cougar, a horse, coyotes, a raccoon, a porcupine, and my personal favorite: a sweet little skunk named Kirby Jr. There are also countless ducks and other birds that roam freely around the property.
Typically, every open house features a presentation from a different wildlife conservation group. If there is not a feature group, then there will be different presentations regarding some of the wildlife on ranch. Often, one of the wolves will be brought out of its enclosure for a show and tell.
Before you leave, make sure to get a free face painting for your kids, or try their famous “Gurge Burger.”
Big Run Wolf Ranch is a great outing for all ages. Plan to spend at least 2 hours at the ranch.
Porta johns are available before you enter the ranch and can be used at anytime. There are no places to change a baby’s diaper that I have seen, however, there is a large campground near the rear of the property that little kids like to run around in, but is not usually crowded. I have taken my toddler back there for a quick diaper change.
The ranch has a very reasonably priced food menu. It features hot dogs, hamburgers, sloppy joes, chips, soda and water, all in the price range of $1–$3.
If you are looking for a different way to visit Big Run Wolf Ranch, they also offer private events for scheduled group presentations, birthday parties, overnight camping, field trips, corporate events, weddings, reunions, and more.
If you’ve been to Big Run Wolf Ranch, tell us about your experience in the comments! Then head to our outdoor activities page for even more family-friendly hidden gems in the suburbs.