Randall Oaks Zoo is the perfect spot for animal lovers with camels, owls, cows, goats, llamas and so much more! This interactive zoo helps guests get up-close with the animals during their visit. The size of the zoo is ideal in that guests can see all the animals easily, not tire out from walking a lot, but still have a lot to see. This was our first time visiting, and we will definitely be back.
A Visit to Randall Oaks Zoo in West Dundee
What You’ll Find at Randall Oaks Zoo
All of the main exhibits are on a square path around the grounds, easily walkable for the littlest of toddlers. As you walk through the pathways, animals approach the fence openings hoping to sneak a snack from your feed cups. Food for the animals can be purchased at the main entrance for $1, but there are also machines stationed around the zoo if you’d like to buy more. Don’t forget quarters!
We really appreciated that each fence had a sign that taught you how to feed the animals, so that we didn’t have any nervous kids or accidental animal bites. Some were pan-fed, while others would eat their snacks right out of our hand. The openings were lower, so even our toddler was able to easily interact with the animals. In the center of the zoo, you’ll find a walk-in petting area, where guests are encouraged to pet and feed the goats.
A main highlight for us was the pony rides. Guests can pay $5 per ride, or get a 6-ride punch card for $25. Please note: the horses are given breaks from 12:00pm – 1:30pm, so make sure to factor that into your arrival time. Parents are allowed to walk along side the rider, or they can go independently. We appreciated that there was a smaller horse for our 2-year old to ride, but our 7-year old was able to ride a larger one and still enjoy the fun, too!
Outside of the zoo, you’ll find three playgrounds, picnic shelters, volleyball courts, and lots of room to run that will extend your visit.
During Phase 4 of Illinois’s reopening plan, only 60 guests are allowed at at time. Face coverings are required during your entire visits, and guests are encouraged to follow a Guests were all doing a great job following social distancing with paw prints along the ground to space out.
On the grounds outside of the Randall Oaks Zoo, there are eight picnic areas. There is no restaurant, but at the checkout desk, you’ll find a few packaged snacks and drinks that are available for purchase. You’re also welcome to bring food from home, or carryout from one of the delicious restaurants nearby. We found quite a few independently-owned restaurants just a short drive away, as well as some chains such as Panera and Culver’s.
There are public restrooms near the main entrance of the zoo, with manual flushing toilets. Both the mens and womens restrooms have changing tables inside. There are also a few portable toilets stationed throughout the zoo.
Randall Oaks Zoo is open daily until October 31 from 9:00am – 5:00pm. In November, the zoo will be open daily, but close at 4:00pm. In the month of December, guests are welcome on the weekends only from 12:00pm – 7:00pm. Check their website for holiday hours and schedule changes.
Daily admission prices at Randall Oaks Zoo are $4.00 for residents and $4.75 for non-residents. Children one and under, as well as members of the military with proper ID, are free. If you plan to visit more frequently, memberships are also sold. Feed cups and pony rides can also be purchased for additional fees. These prices were updated in April 2021, and are subject to change.
For the animal lovers in your family, Randall Oaks Zoo is a great place to visit. My 2-year old and 1st grader both equally loved to interact with the animals. All of the animals were very friendly, and excited to have visitors (i.e., people to feed them!) I imagine Randall Oaks Zoo is most enjoyable for early-elementary aged children and younger, but the grounds of Randall Oaks Park are also home to volleyball courts and a 10-hole disc golf course for older visitors.
Best Days/Times To Go
Randall Oaks Zoo has a signup form on their website to ensure capacity restrictions are maintained. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance, but official tickets will be purchased at the door. If you change your mind and don’t plan to go anymore, please make sure to remove your name from the list. This will ensure other families can visit, and that Randall Oaks Zoo does not lose out on that income.
Special Needs Accommodations
The entire pathway around Randall Oaks Zoo is wheelchair accessible although at a slightly steeper incline at times. The bathrooms at the main entrance are manual flush toilets, perfect for sensitive ears.
Discounts and Upcoming Events at Randall Oaks Zoo
Before you go, check their events page for any special events or free days running in 2021. Guests can also consider a membership if they are interested in going multiple times throughout the summer.
Randall Oaks Zoo
1180 N. Randall Road
West Dundee, IL 60118
Looking for more ways to visit animals? Check out our list of local farms to visit with kids.