As summer wraps up a trip to the Henson Robinson Zoo is a great way to spend the last dog days before the school bells chime. Located along Springfield’s lakeshore, the Henson Robinson Zoo has species of animals from Australia, Africa, Asia and North and South America. Set in naturalistic exhibits the zoo is home to more than 90 species of native and exotic animals.
Besides just being a fun place to visit, it is also an educational visit as well. Bring the kiddos out and check out the animals while immersing in the zoo’s mission of enhancing “the education of our community to wildlife and its conservation while providing an enjoyable and recreational experience.”
There are a variety of educational classes offered for kids of all ages from the zoo tots class on up to junior zookeeper classes for teens. There is always something going on at the zoo. In October there is the popular Zoolie Ghoulie and over the holidays there is the Holiday Lights at the Zoo just to name a few of the events.
The Henson Robinson Zoo has been part of the Springfield landscape since 1970. The zoo is named after the prominent Springfield citizen, Henson C. Robinson who had a dream for a zoo to be built in the Land of Lincoln.
The tract of land was where the zoo is located was donated in 1967 to the Springfield Park District. Construction of the zoo began in 1968 and on August 29, 1970, the Henson Robinson Zoo was officially opened.
The zoo is open year round and closed only on major holidays. The zoo is open Monday through Friday – 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.