Last weekend we had face-to-face encounters with crocodiles at the Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest during CROCtoberfest. Like, let’s go take a picture and sit ON a crocodile. Okay, so we weren’t brave enough to sit on the crocodile, but we did see other kids (kids!) sitting on him.

Eeeks! No worries, Bubba was as calm as can be.

Nitty Gritty

Admission: FREE
Location: On Elawa Farm in Lake Forest, Illinois adjacent to the Middlefork Savanna.

Hours: October hours – Tuesday, Friday, Saturdays 10 – 4
Parking: Small parking lot that was full due to the special event. We parked on the street, and enjoyed passing by the beautiful houses nearby.

Stroller Friendly? I would avoid bringing the strollers inside the buildings where the reptile exhibits are located. Feel free to bring the stroller though it’s a gravel trail.
Crowded?: Yes, it was tight maneuvering in the rooms.It may have been busy because of the special event, CROCtoberfest.


  • Meeting Bubba, the crocodile, of course!!  At first it was hard to believe the crocodile was real since he hardly moved and was so docile. We learned that crocodiles are super smart (hey, they’re one of the oldest animals around) and can be trained. Yes, that’s his trainer giving him a kiss and trying to coax him to move. (There were plenty of “awwws” from the audience!)
  • Largest display of rattlesnakes
  • Variety of reptiles that include alligators, iguanas, turtles, tortoises

  • The staff were friendly and eager to show the animals to visitors
  • There are animals in outside enclosures such as a bobcat, owls, hawks, and a kookaburra. Some of these animals have had a rough past and have been rehabilitated by the WDC.
  • Picture perfect moments of the Middlefork Savanna and trail

    Bottom Line: 
    We’d love to come back here in warmer weather, especially to enjoy the Savanna trail and the tot playground.

    See my review on Wildlife Discovery Center here on Trekaroo.