We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Wildlife Discovery Center

Features Animals
Review Highlights
A place of learning and wonder

Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest is the dream of Rob Carmichael, a former minor league... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Taylor B
Chicago, Illinois
There is always something interesting to see/learn/experience at the Center.

Enter from Waukegan Road (highway 43) opposite the entrance to Lake Forest Hospital. You'll be... read more

Reviewed 3 June 2018
Read all 34 reviews
All photos (46)
Full view
Traveller Overview
  • Excellent79%
  • Very good14%
  • Average2%
  • Poor5%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“all ages”(4 reviews)
Suggested duration: 1-2 hours
Local Weather
Powered by Weather Underground
1401 Middlefork Dr, Lake Forest, IL 60045-1589
+1 847-810-3663
Reviews (34)
Filter reviews
34 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsdiscovery centerall agessnapping turtlenext doorburmese pythonwdcamphibiansrobbobcatcarmichaelturtlesnaturevisitorsmonitorrattlesnakewoodenclosures
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 34 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest is the dream of Rob Carmichael, a former minor league baseball player who grew up in Lake Forest who couldn't hit a slider and finally realized wildlife was his real passion. He worked at Brookfield zoo and ran sports...More

Thank Taylor B
Reviewed 3 June 2018

Enter from Waukegan Road (highway 43) opposite the entrance to Lake Forest Hospital. You'll be driving through a residential area until you reach the Center parking lot. The young, rescued female eagle I mentioned in my earlier 2016 review has not yet developed her distinctive...More

2  Thank illinoistravelere
Reviewed 12 July 2017 via mobile

We just happened to find this awesome treat just a couple miles from our hotel. We had a great day! Saw an Asian monitor that was rumored to had belonged to Nicholas Cage. Also, saw Boris the Bobcat and Archie the armadillo! We went about...More

Thank Runeth12
Reviewed 8 January 2017 via mobile

This was our 3rd visit, we come once a year, and our 1st visit a worker took animals out for us, answered questions,acknowledged us. But the last 2 times we were barely acknowledged by the volunteers, they avoided us, made no attempt to ask if...More

2  Thank shellerRenee
Reviewed 15 November 2016

My grandkids love this place. We love visiting with Dorothy and the other reptiles. The bobcat is very entertaining. And everything is free. The last time we visited we spent a lot of time at the park.

Thank Andreatte B
Reviewed 8 September 2016

If you are into reptiles this place has a great selection of snakes and lizards. They even have a number of venomous snakes including cottonmouth, copperhead and numerous rattlesnakes. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Great place to go for a walk.

Thank Dave K
Reviewed 3 September 2016

I have upped my rating to 5 stars since my last visit. Here are just some of the new things to view at the Center: #1 An Asian Water Monitor named "Grug" -- who used to belong to Nicholas Cage --has taken up residence in...More

1  Thank illinoistravelere
Reviewed 20 July 2016

The setting is beautiful, and the location is easy to find. Sadly I don't really feel it is worth a special trip. Thankfully it is free. There aren't many animals to see, and most cages aren't labeled with any information. We found the site confusing...More

Thank AMH53108
Reviewed 29 April 2016

Huge outdoor area, rooms of reptiles and amphibians separated by cute corridors and hallways. I liked that the rooms were broken up and that at any point you could go outside and relax in between viewing the animals.

Thank Jasmine G
Reviewed 24 March 2016

This is a small, intimate little reptile zoo in a beautiful setting. The kids love it, although it doesn't fill much time unless you are already obsessed with reptiles...

1  Thank Rachelima
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 2 nearby hotels
Residence Inn Chicago Lake Forest/Mettawa
141 reviews
2.41 km away
Hilton Garden Inn Lake Forest Mettawa
728 reviews
2.42 km away
The Deer Path Inn
117 reviews
3.50 km away
Sleep Inn at Great Lakes
126 reviews
5.09 km away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 68 restaurants in Lake Forest
8 reviews
1.75 km away
Bangkok Tokyo
31 reviews
2.22 km away
16 reviews
2.45 km away
Panera Bread
9 reviews
2.35 km away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 11 attractions in Lake Forest
Market Square
45 reviews
3.46 km away
Hawthorn Mall
39 reviews
5.68 km away
Lake Bluff Brewing Company
8 reviews
3.83 km away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Wildlife Discovery Center staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines