Lions. And Tigers. And Bears…and Cows?! What else would you expect in Southern Indiana? There are many places to bring the family to see and interact with animals of all kinds in Down Home Southern Indiana. Watch them. Feed them. Bathe them. Take selfies with them. You can do it all! Starting at the southernmost place in the state, we’ve listed animal lovin’ destinations right here.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Gardens, Evansville (CST)
Open 365 days a year, the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Gardens is Indiana’s first zoo. Over 700 animals inhabit the beautifully landscaped 45+ acres. Experience Amazonia, an enclosed walk through a wild expanse of the South American Rainforest, complete with a constant 75 sultry degrees and a daily rain shower. The zoo tram, Engelbrecht Carousel, paddleboats, and penguin & giraffe feeding will add to your day filled with animal antics.
River Kitty Cat Café, Evansville (CST)
Here is a rare opportunity to enjoy a latte and a sweet treat among roaming cats. Yes, you read that right. The cats greet guests or lounge, as cats do, while you enjoy your beverage and snack. What’s more is these cats are available for adoption, so you could take one “to go.”
Discover how milk moo-ves from the farm to table at the New Generation Dairy Farm. In the observation room, witness cows being milked. Then tour the dairy processing facility where over 50,000 gallons are produced weekly. At the end of your visit, take a smile and a “diary good” treat with you.
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Lincoln City (CST)
In addition to the site where Abe Lincoln grew up, you’ll discover an expansive memorial, the gravesite of Lincoln’s mother, and the Lincoln Living Historical Farm. On the farm, you’ll see cows, chickens, sheep, horses, and other farm animals. Farmers, dressed in period clothing, will be actively working the farm as if it were the early 1800s.
Wilstem Wildlife Park, Paoli (EST)
Have you ever given an elephant a bath, lollygagged with a sloth, hopped around with a kangaroo, or met a grizzly bear up close? Would you like to feed a giraffe some carrots? Then you otter (they have otter encounters, too!) go to Wilstem Wildlife Park. The animal encounters are a one-of-a-kind experience for animal lovers, but there is more. Check out the drive-thru safari, activities, and places to stay on-site.
Buffalo Trace Park, Palmyra (EST)
This Indiana park close to the Kentucky border is 147 acres of family fun! Named for a historic bison migration trail, the beach, picnic & playground areas, camping sites, fishing & swimming, nature trails, and petting zoo will keep you busy having a great time! The petting zoo is open on weekends. Available to feed are goats, deer, rabbits, ponies, pigs, ducks, and chicks. Cuddles welcome, too. Awwwe!
Joe Huber Family Farm Park, Starlight (EST)
Bring your little ones to feed chickens, peacocks, rabbits, and other small farm animals. Watch them play in the Barnyard play area, which includes a tunnel slide, tiny tots play set, swings, and climbers. Then, stay for a farm-fresh, home-style meal.
From wild animals, farm animals, and domestic pets, you’ll encounter them all in Down Home Southern Indiana.
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