Thursday, May 5, 2016

Critter Lane, Valles Mines





Location: 9100 Critter Ln, Valles Mines MO 63087 (near Bonne Terre)

Website: http://www.critterlanepettingzoo.com/

What a fun place! These are the highlights of what they offer:
  • Goat Village
  • Parakeet Encounter
  • Reptile Encounter
  • Bunny Village
  • Poultry Park
  • Display Barn
  • Bouncy House
  • Playground
  • Mini Train Ride
  • Stroll Our 10 Acres Feeding & Petting the Critters
  • Feed Koi, Ducks & Swans From the 40' Bridge
  • Arrowhead Hunting Ground
  • Camel & Pony Rides
  • Shadow a Zookeeper Program
  • Birthday Parties
  • School Field Trips 
  • Gift Shop and Snack Bar
  • Covered Pavilion

This place is very similar to Big Joel's Safari in Wright City.  If you live in central St. Louis then Joel's is about an hour to the west and this place is about an hour to the south. They both have animals you can feed, and they both have bounce houses. They both cost about the same at around $6 each, but Joel's bounce house costs $3 and it's included in admission here. Also this place has a playground, swings, and a train, and Joel's does not have those. Joel's had 2 diff size cups, one big ($4) and one small ($2), this place only has one size and its $3. They both have parakeet shacks and both charge $1 for a feed stick, and they both offer camel and horse rides for $5. Joel's now has crafts with Mary on the weekends where you can pay $3 per item to paint some ceramic things. They both offer seasonal events too, such as egg hunts and Halloween festivities. Lastly they both offer season passes. I guess this place comes out to a be a bit less expensive, but they're pretty comparable.

You enter through this building and decide what activities you want to do and pay for those. This is also the gift shop and snack bar. As far as food goes he said they only had hot dogs, brats, and bags of chips, so not a huge selection.  The bounce house, arrowhead hunting ground, and playground are included in admission. The things that cost extra are the parakeet stick ($1), camel and pony rides ($5 each), and swings ($1). 


If there's one thing you must buy it's the cup of food for $3.00. It's a decent sized cup and you can keep it forever and only pay $1.50 for a refill for future visits. The kids just love feeding the animals!! They get the biggest kick out of it every time.




Then you walk out into the covered pavilion and restroom area. There was also a drinking fountain and soda machine. There are also a bunch of wagons for you to use for your kiddos! The paths are gravel so it's a workout but my daughter still enjoyed sitting in the wagon since we got rid of ours.





Then it's on to the animals! The first thing you see is the parakeet house. We bought a stick and the kids loved feeding them! They held out their sticks and birds landed on them immediately and chowed down.







Bring hand sanitizer cause there is bird poo everywhere!

Next door is the reptile house


The you come upon the bounce house, playground, and arrowhead hunting ground. The arrowhead hunting ground is just an open field where they throw arrowheads and kids can "hunt" for them in the grass.


 The playground is best suited for toddlers, and it's filled with pea gravel which is not my fav.


 We were there first thing on a weekday in May and the train and swings were not operating. They might be a weekend activity.


From there you are free to walk around and feed the animals, and there are tons!

Capybara






 wallaroo


 Bison

 Cows and donkeys









 Emu
 Llamas



My daughter got a camel ride! She LOVED it!




Sometimes they have white tigers there too! Both Critter Lane and Big Joel's are relatively new and keep adding new things each year, so be sure and check them both out soon!



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