Today, I am so excited to share our most recent adventure with you! I had recently seen several posts about a place in the Amish community of Arcola, IL and decided we HAD to go. So on Labor Day, we both had the day off and the three of us made the hour and a half drive east to Aikman Wildlife Adventure.
(Who wouldn’t want a family picture with a kangaroo??)
(And a selfie with a zebra?? Seriously so cool)
The pictures I’d seen didn’t even do this place justice when it comes to being able to actually get up close with the animals in person. Aikman’s is a huge wildlife park boasting over 150 animals and they are continuing to build and make it bigger and better. Currently, they’ve got a 1200 sq ft. area for their wolf pups, but they are working on a 30,000 sq. ft (yes, you read that right) wolf haven coming this fall. The animals here are very friendly and you’re able to pet and feed the majority of them right from your hand.
Our tour guide, James, was phenomenal. He is actually the original mastermind behind the park and is incredibly knowledgeable about the animals. Him and his family own and run the park and you can tell they are truly passionate about the park and what they do.
James told us that the idea of opening the park originated from a dream he had two nights in a row about owning his own wildlife park and believed that it was his calling. He was definitely onto something. In their first year open in 2016, Aikman’s welcomed over 32,000 guests and they are already looking to surpass those numbers in 2017!
They offer four different options to tour the park – a walk-thru, a drive-thru, a wagon tour and a behind-the-scenes adventure. If you love it as much as we did, you can also purchase season passes. This is the perfect day trip for families with kids of all ages or just a day date with your main squeeze. They also offer field trips and tour groups by appointment. Their hours vary throughout the year so be sure to check their website. Also, the behind-the-scenes adventure (with this one, you get to experience the animals up-close in a UTV) fills up quickly so be sure to call ahead to book it!
We opted to do the Behind-the-Scenes tour (highly recommend!) Here are just a few of my favorite pictures we captured during our day at the park.
Aikman Wildlife Adventure:
125 N Co Rd 425E
Arcola, IL 61910
Phone: (217) 268-3500
The adventure featured in this post was provided to me courtesy of Aikman Wildlife Adventure. This did not influence my review and all opinions and photos are my own.