Frugal Boy and I had to drive to Peoria, IL this past week for an appointment (that went very well). I didn’t want to do all of that driving for just one thing, so we made a day out of it and after the appointment we went to the Wildlife Prairie Park. The former state park is north west of Peoria and is a cross between a zoo and a nature preserve.
There are a number of exotic animals housed at the park, but the enclosures are large and offer many hiding places for the inhabitants. I saw a red fox, two cougars, and some larger birds.
There are many miles of trails, along with cottages and even railroad cars you can lodge in. We stuck to a simple trail that just so happened to have a playground in route.
Our admission included tickets to ride the train. It was the middle of a school day, so we had the park to ourselves. The volunteer engineer was a retired school teacher and a good sport with Frugal Boy.
This particular train engine was purchased from the St Louis zoo after it had caught on fire. Volunteers restored it back to running order. We went on the short loop ride and even sat up front with the conductor. Frugal Boy wanted to press all the buttons and once he found the whistle became very restless. A short while later, and many tears when we did not let him have his way with the whistle, we arrived back at the train depot.
The tears dried quickly after a pudding snack and additional picture posing.
It was an interesting park, and we barely scratched the surface. Next time we’ll have to bring Shae along.