WEST UNION, Ill. (WTHI) - If you're tired of taking your child to the movies or the park, have we got news for you. There’s a new adventure you can take your kids on this week!
What started as a bird breeding hobby, has quickly taken over the Edmonds' property.
Co-Owner Thomas Edmonds shares, "African servals were our first wildcat, and then we went from African servals, to monkeys, and then just a little bit of everything."
Snakes, birds, monkeys, cats, you name it. They all call Walnut Prairie Wildside home. It's a wildlife park in West Union, Illinois that Thomas Edmonds and his wife Ashley run. Even if you make one trip, Edmonds says you won't regret another visit.
Thomas explains, "This place changes every day, so you don't know one day from the next what we're going to have. We didn't plan on having a porcupine but just last week we picked up a porcupine. It just changes all the time."
With most zoo experiences, you think all you can do is see animals from outside the fence. But, if you visit this place, you can actually get inside with the animals, and get in on the action."
Thomas shares, "Interaction is what brings a lot of people around because you can't just go and interact with this stuff anywhere else."
Co-Owner Ashley Edmonds says, "I really enjoy educating kids on different animals. A lot of kids actually from around this area don't get to go to the zoo, see other animals and things like that. So for them to get to come here and see and interact and go home and tell everyone else about it is pretty cool."
As you can imagine, the Edmonds' take a lot of pride in their own kids, who are just as plugged into the wildlife experience as they are.
Ashley says, "I definitely feel my kids will definitely be interested in this. They all love the animals, love doing it, love everything about it. They're all actually really involved. They help take care of everything. They know more than your average kid."
The Park is open Wednesday through Sunday during the week. They start giving guided tours at 10 a.m. Central Time. Tours take place at 10, 12, 2, 4, and 6. It is $5 per person, and children 2 and under get in for free.
This coming Sunday the park is hosting a Wildlife Swap. It is $5 per car, and folks from all over the United States are expected to come. There will not be guided tours that day.
If you would like to book a guided tour and learn more about Walnut Prairie Wildside, click here! The owners say that Facebook is the best way to contact them for scheduling purposes.