Saturday Zoo Buzz – Winter 2020

This winter, Scovill Zoo will offer a series of adult zoo sessions called Saturday Zoo Buzz at the Scovill Zoo Education Center. These adult-focused sessions will feature local, national, and global conservation topics. Join us the first Saturday of every month January – March, at 9 a.m. for coffee, snacks, and presentations by zoo professionals from around Illinois. Topics are listed below. Fee is $5.  Pre-registration is encouraged by calling the zoo at 421-7435.



Jan 4                Zoo Volunteerism

Feb 1               Dispelling Zoo Myths

Mar 7              Zoo Keeper Chats

Location:        Scovill Zoo Education Center

Time:              9 – 10 a.m.

Fee:                 $5

Ways to Support Wildlife This Holiday Season

As the holidays near, it is important to remember of the loved ones in your life – including the furry ones! The list below offers ways to support wildlife put together by Scovill Zoo.

  • Become a member of Scovill Zoo or give a Family membership as a gift: $80 for a family and $40 for an individual (Membership rates go up to $85 and $42 in 2020).


  • Adopt a Scovill Zoo animal in honor of a loved one.  The adoption is good for a year with donations ranging between $10 and $75.


  • Donate items for the zoo animals.  Check out our list of items compiled by the Scovill Zoo Keepers.


  • Support Association of Zoos and Aquariums partners such as: Zebra Pen, Gorilla Socks, and AZA SAFE Wine.  They make great gifts.  Portions of the proceeds benefit saving animals in the wild.



  • Make a donation in your loved ones’ name to a favorite animal welfare group such as AZA SAFE (Association of Zoos and Aquariums – Saving Animals From Extinction), The Wildlife Conservation Society, etc.  Please research the organization to see what percentage of the funds are used in their mission to save animals in the wild.



On Monday, August 26, the Decatur Park District will begin resurfacing Project Playground II, the popular play structure adjacent to Scovill Zoo (71 S. Country Club Road).

The current surface has outlived its useful life and will be replaced with a new rubber poured-in-place surface that is a safe, accessible, durable surface for children to run, play and land on. Project Playground II will be closed to the general public beginning August 26 while the resurfacing project is underway.

Barring any poor weather conditions, the project is expected to take approximately three weeks and be completed by mid-September.


Scovill Zoo will observe fall hours now through October 14 (last day of regular season). Visiting hours will be offered from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with the last admission one hour before closing. For more information, call Scovill Zoo at 421-7435 or go online to

Register Now for Zoo Camps & Classes!

Registration is now open for Scovill Zoo’s summer zoo camps and classes! Youth aged 3 – 17 will discover the wild side of education with Zoo Buddies classes, Critter Tales, Zoo Kids, Zoo Camp, Zoo Crew, Zoo Safari, and Zoo Teens I/II! First sessions begin in June and classes/camps extend through late July. To pre-register, click here, call 421-7435, or visit Scovill Zoo (71 S. Country Club Rd.).

For more details, or to download Zoo Teen I & II applications go to the Camps & Classes page!

2019 Critter Egg Hunt

Scovill Zoo and the Children’s Museum will hold their annual Critter Egg Hunt at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, free for ages 10 and under. Attendees will enjoy pre-egg hunt songs/dances at 1:30 pm, followed by an egg hunt on the lawn and visits with the Easter Bunny. Enjoy $1 zoo admission before and after the egg hunt and reduced admission at The Children’s Museum of Illinois from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call Scovill Zoo at 421-7435. Sponsors include First Mid Bank and Trust and Neuhoff Media.

Critter Egg Hunt

Date:               Saturday, April 20
Time:               2 p.m.
Fee:                 Free
Location:         Scovill Zoo, 71 S. Country Club Rd.


Where can you find wild animals, interactive exhibits, education, and fun in the same place? In Scovill Park! Purchase a ZooMu Family Pass and receive great benefits at Scovill Zoo and the Children’s Museum of Illinois. The cost is just $190 for one full year for BOTH facilities.

Benefits include admission to the zoo and museum every day of the regular season, discounts on parties, camps, classes, train rides and carousel tickets, discounts at the Scovill Zootique gift shop, subscription to zoo and museum newsletter, 4 Z.O.&O Express train tickets, 4 snow cones at the zoo, and more. Passes are not transferable and expire on date indicated on card.

For more information or to purchase your pass, call Scovill Zoo at 421-7435, the Children’s Museum at 423-5437 or go online to

Scovill Zoo’s Opening Day and Spring Hours

Scovill Zoo opens for the season on Saturday, April 6. Hours of operation will be 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with the last admission one hour before closing. Admission is $6.95 for adults, $5.95 for seniors, $4.95 for children aged 2 – 12 and free for children under 2. Admission is free on Thursdays beginning June 6.

Scovill Zoo houses 400 animals spanning six continents, the Scovill Sculpture Park, Project Playground, Endangered Species Carousel, and the ZO & O Express Train.

The ZO&O Express Train will be running the regular, 1-mile route. Once the train extension project, funded by a $2 million donation from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation is complete, the track will connect the zoo with the Children’s Museum of Illinois and run along the lakefront across a 35-foot high bridge.

Spring Hours: April 6 – May 24

Week Days: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday/Sunday: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.