Disclaimer: This website is not affiliated with the City of Lake Forest or any of its subsidiary bodies. The views and opinions expressed in this website do not reflect the views or positions of the City of Lake Forest. The City of Lake Forest has not and cannot verify the veracity of the content of this website and is not responsible for any injury tha tresults from the reliance on information presented on this website.To visit Wildlife Discovery Center on your trip to Lake Forest, use our Lake Forest day trip planner.
The Wildlife Discovery Center is a combination of a zoological institution that specializes in reptiles and raptors/birds, nature center, museum and biological station all wrapped into one of the most unique facilities of its kind. Here's what we have to offer (for info on admission fees, membership, etc go to http://www.wildlifediscoverycenter.org/):
-Extensive venomous reptile exhibit.
- The conservation education program is a special one day field trip experience for grades 5-8. Adult programs too.
-Our Main Exhibit Room features: crocodilians, turtles/tortoises, lizards and snakes including rarities such as the Crocodile Monitor, gila monster and beaded lizards!
-Outdoor/Indoor Raptor Exhibits including: Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk and a Harris' Hawk
-Nature/Interpretive trails with many wildlife viewing opportunities overlooking the 700 acre Middlefork Savanna - the finest black soil, tall grass savanna in North America!
- "Discover the Middlefork Savanna" Interpretive trail features "Jesse's Pond" (a large contained outdoor turtle pond for painted turtles, blanding's,spotteds, and other native herps....beautiful protected outdoor exhibit). Jesse's Pond was named in honor of the late Jesse Carlson who passed away in 2008 and was a big part of the WDC. Other ammenities of this trail include a large wildlife viewing deck facing towards the highest quality tall grass savanna in North America. Butterfly Garden in honor of the late Max Schewitz who worked for the WDC before passing due to an undetected heart defect. The Max Schewitz Foundation does a lot of great work for both conservation and early detection of heart problems with youth: www.maxandthewildthings.com
-Wildlife Conservation Education Programs for preschool to high school aged people. Adult programs too!
-Reptile/Raptor Rescues: we assist local, state and federal agencies
-Research: our current research is focusing on establishing captive breeding techniques of blanding's turtles and eastern massasaugas. We also captive breed rare rattlesnakes such as Crotalus willardi and a few others. Another important project consists of conducting a radio telemetry study involving the Western Fox Snake.
-Lectures: Curator will speak at area colleges, universities and conservation groups...including live venomous demonstrations "a la Carl Kauffeld"!
-Captive Breeding: We have successfully bred over 30 species of reptiles
- Wildlife Rescues and Rehabilitation: we focus primarily on reptiles and raptors.
Wildlife Discovery Center reviews
This living natural history museum is following government guidelines and is closed until April 30. Check the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation page for updates. Meanwhile, after the closing on... more »
See my earlier spring and fall reviews (October 14, 2013; September 2, 2016; June 2, 2018; and June 4, 2019) for more details. The special bonus of visiting the Wildlife Discovery Center in a cold..... more »
Always a great time! It is free, but they appreciate donations for supplies like paper towels, sponges, and bleach; so remember to bring some to help them care for their animals. Their animal keepers are supper nice and informative. All their animals are spectacular. Gotta love those herps!! :)
Cute little wildlife center. We got to see someone playing with a bobcat that use to be a pet. Staff had several little snakes out and let the kids touch them, gently. They had a huge Burmese python, lots of turtles and some tortoises too. Rumor has it they have sloths but they aren't on exhibit. There is also a little park nearby that was fun for the kids to run around on. Overall a cute and unique place to visit, and it's free!
Build a tripTell us where and when you
want to go, we will build
the best sightseeing itinerary
Refine itYou have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
Book as a packageUse our travel agents to get
package savings and hassle free booking
Enjoy your trip!Enjoy our 24x7
Popular things to do in Lake Forest
Side trips from Lake Forest
Trips to Wildlife Discovery Center by other users
1 day in Lake Forest BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Market Square Wildlife Discovery Center Oh Olive 3 days in Lake Forest BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES National Musuem of the American Sailor Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve Chicago Botanic Garden 3 days in Lake Forest BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Donley's Wild West Town Three Oaks Recreation Area Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve 5 days in Volo BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Wildlife Discovery Center Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum Volo Antique Malls 4 days in Grayslake BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Chain 'O Lakes State Park Volo Auto Museum Moraine Hills State Park 31 days in Chicago & New York City BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA Chicago New York City