Zoos in SOUTH BEND with kids

It’s animal time in South Bend, Indiana and they are calling YOU!

For those families who LOVE those animal encounters, look no further than South Bend because this The Hoosier State city has plenty of them!

We have to start with zoos. These are the most iconic way to experience wildlife, and great to visit with children. They offer animal encounters, and kids can experience creatures from all across the globe.  

Farms are a great alternative for a more hands-on experience with petting zoos and barnyard fun. Wildlife sanctuaries offer kids an invaluable lesson in conservation, and animal-specific attractions let kids really immerse themselves in their favorite creatures!

Whatever wildlife experience you choose with children, you know they will walk away filled with memories and knowledge that can’t be replaced. They’ll have a ROAR-ing time! 

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  • Potawatomi Zoo

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    (2 miles) South Bend

    Explore over 160 species of animals over 23 acres in this very special zoo in South Bend, with a rich history and great learning fun for kids!

  • The Washington Park Zoo

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    (34 miles) Michigan City

    Founded in 1928, this great Indiana zoo encompasses 15 acres ,and is home to more than 200 animals from all over the world!

  • Deer Forest Petting Zoo

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    (37 miles) Coloma

    Deer Forest is an animal petting zoo and fun park. You can feed the deer and other animals up close. It also offers kiddie amusement rides, storybook lane, miniature golf, large playground, ...

  • Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

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    (46 miles) Albion

    Spend the day with beautiful, rescued exotic animals in this non-profit animal sanctuary.

  • Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary

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    (60 miles) Athens

    Visit hundreds of rescued reptiles, where kids can get up close to alligators, tortoises, bearded dragons and more!

  • Binder Park Zoo

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    (69 miles) Battle Creek

    Seasonal zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan where kids can spend the day with animals from all over the world, with conservation education too!

  • Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo

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    (69 miles) Fort Wayne

    Animals from all around the world, plus train rides, rainforests, hands-on fun and an African Safari - all at this great Fort Wayne zoo perfect for kids!

  • Shedd Aquarium

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    (71 miles) Chicago

    Shedd aquarium has over 32,000 animals you can come and see (with plenty you can touch!) Underwater family fun in Chicago!

  • Lincoln Park Zoo

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    (73 miles) Chicago

    Lincoln Park Zoo is a world of wildlife in the shadow of skyscrapers...and it's FREE! Kids can encounter animals from all over the planet, just minutes north of Chicago!

  • Brookfield Zoo

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    (82 miles) Brookfield

    216 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds with lots of beautiful animals waiting for families to visit them! An animal-tastic family day out in Chicago - both fun AND educational!

  • Wolf Park

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    (84 miles) Battle Ground

    Explore this wolf conservation park with 18 wolves, as well as coyotes, red foxes and a herd of bison!

  • Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

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    (92 miles) Alto

    Exotic varities of animals and reptiles from all over the world including many rare and endangered varieties with whom they are working on conservation.

  • Columbian Park Zoo

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    (93 miles) Lafayette

    Columbian Park Zoo is home to over 190 animals representing 79 different species. The zoo offers a variety of education programs throughout the year, inspiring an appreciation for the world's ...

  • John Ball Zoo

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    (93 miles) Grand Rapids

    Seasonal animal fun in Grand Rapids filled with exhibits that feature animals from all over the world! ROAR!

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Jungle Joes Family Fun Center

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    (52 miles) Portage

    A fun, colorful and bounce filled family fun center with inflatables, climbers and slides!

  • Bellaboos Childrens Play and Discovery Center

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    (55 miles) Lake Station

    A fun indoor children's play center with both indoor AND outdoor play! Great for those kids under 9 years who can enjoy unstructured and imaginative play!

  • The Fun Centre at Paiges Crossing

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    (56 miles) Columbia City

    Enjoy mini golf, go karting, batting cages, climbing wall, driving range, arcade and several fairground style rides.

  • Jaks Warehouse

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    (64 miles) Schererville

    Indoor fun for active kids in Indiana, with bumper cars, mini golf, climbing structures and more!

  • Java Mama

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    (69 miles) Fort Wayne

    Indoor cafe for parents with a great play area and classes for those active and curious kids under 6 years! Great indoor play in Fort Wayne.

  • Little Beans Cafe

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    (75 miles) Chicago

    A fun, creative and imaginative indoor play space for those Chicago kids ages up to 6 years! Open play, camps, birthday parties, and a whole lot of fun!

  • Purple Monkey Playroom

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    (76 miles) Chicago

    Purple Monkey Playroom is a bright, fun, and nurturing play destination for infants to preschoolers, and their parents.

  • Jump Zone

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    (79 miles) Chicago Ridge

    11,000 square feet of all bouncing fun! With 10 super fun inflatables for kids aged 2 - 12.

  • Exploritorium

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    (80 miles) Skokie

    The Exploritorium is a incredible place where children and adults can come and explore together through interactive play!

  • Go Bananas

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    (83 miles) Norridge

    Amusement park rides, pizza, indoor play, toddler zones, and jungle fun? It must be an incredible family entertainment experience in Illinois!

  • Monkey Island

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    (84 miles) Melrose Park

    Bounce, slide, jump and climb in the largest indoor-playground in Chicago! Kids can enjoy 100,000 sq ft. of pure fun!

  • Playworld

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    (88 miles) Grandville

    Indoor play for under 12s with loads of age zoned features from bounce houses and the trolley run to the Foam Forest and beyond!

  • Jump Zone Buffalo Grove

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    (93 miles) Buffalo Grove

    Fun open play with inflatables in Buffalo Grove, great for active kids who love to BOUNCE!

  • Nibbles Play Cafe

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    (93 miles) Wheeling

    Serving north/northshore suburbsof chicago, nibbles' is a family-friendly restaurant with kids indoor play areas. A great venue for 1st/first birthdays, kids birthdays and other family party/parties.

  • The Blast Zone

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    (96 miles) Vernon Hills

    Indoor play with Turbo Tubs, sharpen your skills with the Bazooka Ball Blasters or jump from the giant Jumpit trampolines into a massive foam pit!

  • Stay 2 Play

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    (99 miles) Gurnee

    We are an indoor play space and cafe perfect for your child’s next play date, birthday party, or bout with boredom. Staff supervision means you actually get a break, too.

  • Potato Creek State Park

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    (11 miles) North Liberty

    A beautiful state park in Indiana, with outdoor activities, year round fun, a 327 acre lake, diverse landscapes and fascinating history!

  • Silver Beach County Park

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    (32 miles) St. Joseph

    Beach fun in Michigan perfect for kids, with playgrounds, sports, fishing, and special events!

  • Potawatomi Wildlife Park

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    (34 miles) Tippecanoe

    The Park preserves both prehistorical and historical indian encampments, the Steven Ben-nack Potawatomi village, a portion of the Goshen-Logansport trail, and the Tippecanoe River ford where several ...

  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

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    (42 miles) Porter

    15 miles of Lake Michigan shore line as well as wildlife, sandy beaches, hiking trails, wetlands, and prairies - and an amazing outdoor adventure for the whole family in Indiana!

  • Douglas Center for Environmental Education

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    (53 miles) Gary

    Hike the Miller Woods Trail and through the unique ecosystems of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in the summer; attend award-winning environmental education programs year round; and when you get ...