There are four new faces at Scovill Zoo. Four 2-year-old cheetah brothers were brought to Scovill Zoo from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, TX on May 20.  Scovill Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan for cheetahs and works in partnership with other zoos across the US to help sustain a cheetah population.

The boys were named for characters in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie: Star Lord, Yondu, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer.  Cheetah brothers often stay together in the wild to control larger areas of game. The two males that were at Scovill Zoo last year were needed for breeding at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas.

Scovill Zoo is open 9:30 A.M. – 6:00 P.M. with the last admission at 5:00 P.M.  A limited number of people are allowed in per hour due to social distancing restrictions.  Visitors and members are encouraged to reserve admission times by purchasing tickets online at Guests may also reserve admission times for free Thursdays online.

The facility will open within the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Phase 3 guidelines set for outdoor recreation.

Visit for more information specific to the zoo. Please visit for activity and program news related to postponements, suspensions and facility re-open updates throughout the Park District.


Scovill Zoo re-opens for the season on Monday, June 8 for daily operation from 9:30 A.M – 6:00 P.M. with last admission one hour before closing. Special reduced ticket pricing for the month of June will be $5.00 per person (adult/child/seniors) due to the petting zoo and herpaquarium being closed because of COVID-19 restrictions. Zoo members are admitted free daily. Free admission days will be every Thursday, June 11 – October 8.

To avoid long lines and large gatherings, visitors and members are asked to adopt a new process of visiting the zoo by booking tickets online at or checking for available capacity by calling 421-7435 during open hours before attending the facility. Walk-ups will be limited. Additional zoo amenities including the Z.O.&O. Train and Endangered Species Carousel are closed until further notice.

The facility will open within the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Phase 3 guidelines set for outdoor recreation. To support the health and safety of our staff and patrons these include: staff wearing face coverings and using sneeze guards at admission, enforcing social distancing guidelines and displaying “6 feet apart” signage, following CDC cleaning and disinfecting protocols of all shared equipment and common areas, encouraging online ticket purchasing to reserve admission times, keeping high touch point areas like water fountains inoperable, encouraging guests to wear face coverings and avoid touching facility accessories.

Scovill Zoo camps including Critter Tales (ages 5 & 6), Zoo Kids (ages 7 & 8), Zoo Camp (ages 9 & 10) and Zoo Crew (ages 11 -13) are also open for registration at

Visit for more information specific to the zoo. Please visit for activity and program news related to postponements, suspensions and facility re-open updates throughout the Park District.

Zoo Opening Postponed Until Further Notice

In light of the current health recommendations Scovill Zoo will be postponing its opening day.  The zoo will be following Federal, CDC, State, and Macon County Health Department guidelines to select an opening day later this spring.  Please stay connected to the zoo through our Facebook page or visit for updates.

Saturday Zoo Buzz – Winter 2020

This winter, Scovill Zoo will offer a series of adult zoo sessions called Saturday Zoo Buzz at the Scovill Zoo Education Center. These adult-focused sessions will feature local, national, and global conservation topics. Join us the first Saturday of every month January – March, at 9 a.m. for coffee, snacks, and presentations by zoo professionals from around Illinois. Topics are listed below. Fee is $5.  Pre-registration is encouraged by calling the zoo at 421-7435.



Jan 4                Zoo Volunteerism

Feb 1               Dispelling Zoo Myths

Mar 7              Zoo Keeper Chats

Location:        Scovill Zoo Education Center

Time:              9 – 10 a.m.

Fee:                 $5

Ways to Support Wildlife This Holiday Season

As the holidays near, it is important to remember of the loved ones in your life – including the furry ones! The list below offers ways to support wildlife put together by Scovill Zoo.

  • Become a member of Scovill Zoo or give a Family membership as a gift: $80 for a family and $40 for an individual (Membership rates go up to $85 and $42 in 2020).


  • Adopt a Scovill Zoo animal in honor of a loved one.  The adoption is good for a year with donations ranging between $10 and $75.


  • Donate items for the zoo animals.  Check out our list of items compiled by the Scovill Zoo Keepers.


  • Support Association of Zoos and Aquariums partners such as: Zebra Pen, Gorilla Socks, and AZA SAFE Wine.  They make great gifts.  Portions of the proceeds benefit saving animals in the wild.



  • Make a donation in your loved ones’ name to a favorite animal welfare group such as AZA SAFE (Association of Zoos and Aquariums – Saving Animals From Extinction), The Wildlife Conservation Society, etc.  Please research the organization to see what percentage of the funds are used in their mission to save animals in the wild.



On Monday, August 26, the Decatur Park District will begin resurfacing Project Playground II, the popular play structure adjacent to Scovill Zoo (71 S. Country Club Road).

The current surface has outlived its useful life and will be replaced with a new rubber poured-in-place surface that is a safe, accessible, durable surface for children to run, play and land on. Project Playground II will be closed to the general public beginning August 26 while the resurfacing project is underway.

Barring any poor weather conditions, the project is expected to take approximately three weeks and be completed by mid-September.


Scovill Zoo will observe fall hours now through October 14 (last day of regular season). Visiting hours will be offered from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with the last admission one hour before closing. For more information, call Scovill Zoo at 421-7435 or go online to

Register Now for Zoo Camps & Classes!

Registration is now open for Scovill Zoo’s summer zoo camps and classes! Youth aged 3 – 17 will discover the wild side of education with Zoo Buddies classes, Critter Tales, Zoo Kids, Zoo Camp, Zoo Crew, Zoo Safari, and Zoo Teens I/II! First sessions begin in June and classes/camps extend through late July. To pre-register, click here, call 421-7435, or visit Scovill Zoo (71 S. Country Club Rd.).

For more details, or to download Zoo Teen I & II applications go to the Camps & Classes page!

2019 Critter Egg Hunt

Scovill Zoo and the Children’s Museum will hold their annual Critter Egg Hunt at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, free for ages 10 and under. Attendees will enjoy pre-egg hunt songs/dances at 1:30 pm, followed by an egg hunt on the lawn and visits with the Easter Bunny. Enjoy $1 zoo admission before and after the egg hunt and reduced admission at The Children’s Museum of Illinois from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call Scovill Zoo at 421-7435. Sponsors include First Mid Bank and Trust and Neuhoff Media.

Critter Egg Hunt

Date:               Saturday, April 20
Time:               2 p.m.
Fee:                 Free
Location:         Scovill Zoo, 71 S. Country Club Rd.


Where can you find wild animals, interactive exhibits, education, and fun in the same place? In Scovill Park! Purchase a ZooMu Family Pass and receive great benefits at Scovill Zoo and the Children’s Museum of Illinois. The cost is just $190 for one full year for BOTH facilities.

Benefits include admission to the zoo and museum every day of the regular season, discounts on parties, camps, classes, train rides and carousel tickets, discounts at the Scovill Zootique gift shop, subscription to zoo and museum newsletter, 4 Z.O.&O Express train tickets, 4 snow cones at the zoo, and more. Passes are not transferable and expire on date indicated on card.

For more information or to purchase your pass, call Scovill Zoo at 421-7435, the Children’s Museum at 423-5437 or go online to