A Visit to Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora

The Phillips Park Zoo is located at the center of Phillips Park in Aurora. This little zoo has great animal exhibits, a free splash-pad and a large playground. Read on for tips and information to help plan a visit with your family!

Phillips Park Zoo Aurora IL

1000 Ray Moses Drive
Aurora, IL 60505
(630) 256-3860
See the website for up-to-date information.

What You’ll Find at Phillips Park Zoo

The zoo is home to a plethora of animals. The exhibits are smaller, and close together, so it is an easy visit for older toddlers to do without a stroller. Families can see a river otter, eagles, a cougar, hawks and owls. Coming in the main entrance, you’ll find elk and peacocks. Inside the reptile house, visitors can get right up to the glass with alligators, turtles, snakes and other reptiles. There truly is a lot to see in a smaller zoo.

Other Features of Phillips Park

At the entrance of the zoo, you’ll find the David and Karen Stover Visitor Center. The visitor center houses the bathrooms and has informational exhibits. While we were there, woolly mammoth bones were on display. In front of the visitor center is a beautiful sunken garden.

If you’re looking for some relief from summer temperatures, enjoy the (free!) splash-pad just outside the visitor center, or commit to a day of fun at the aquatic center.

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At the back entrance of the zoo, families can spend an afternoon at the large playground, which has plenty of picnic tables and benches nearby. There are multiple play structures, swing sets, and a small sand area. This area is VERY shaded, which is really nice in the hot summer sun.

Food

Vending machines are available for anyone interested in purchasing drinks. A snack bar may be available on select days, but the food available is truly “snacks.” I’d recommend packing lunches, or be prepared to stop at a restaurant on the way in or out of your visit.

Bathrooms

There are restrooms, with changing tables, in the visitors center. They have both indoor and outdoor entrances. If you are in the park during after-hours times, there are portable restrooms.

Hours

The Zoo is open year-round, with daily hours from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. The reptile house is open from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm. Visitors can be in Phillips Park from 5:00 am – 8:30 pm during summer, and 5:00 am – 6:00 pm from October to April. These hours were updated as of June 2018, and are subject to change. Confirm with Phillips Park Zoo’s website before arriving.

Prices

Visiting Phillips Park Zoo is always free!

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Recommended Ages

My daughters, who are 2 and 4, appreciated the smaller habitats and close access to the animals. Very few of the animals were hiding, so we were up close and personal. The splash-pad at the entrance was the perfect relief on a hot day. If you only plan to visit the zoo, I’d recommend it for younger children. If you are planning to make a day of it, and are including a stop at the playground, or aquatic center, there is plenty of fun for kids of all ages.

Best Days/Times To Go

Due to the convenient HUGE playground and free admission, Phillips Park Zoo can get very crowded with camp groups and field trips. We’d recommend calling ahead to check on their large group schedule.

Special Needs Accommodations

The entire zoo is wheelchair accessible, including the reptile house. The visitors center has quieter, cooler spaces inside for warm summer months.

Check out our big list of zoos and aquariums in Chicagoland for even more chances to see the animals! 

About the Author

Katie Mayle
Katie is a mother of two girls and a baby boy (ages 5 1/2, 4, and 6 months), and has lived in the Chicagoland for her entire life. A Joliet native, she and her husband moved back to his hometown of Naperville after the birth of their second daughter. The girls keep her family very active, and she is grateful for the countless indoor and outdoor opportunities available to families in the western suburbs. She looks forward to sharing family-friendly fun with the parents of young children.

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