This zoo contains around 1,400 animals and while all of them are cool, the big draw here is that it’s the only place in the Midwest where you can swim with dolphins. Or, wade with dolphins, really -- you don’t actually need to be able to swim, though you do need to be over the age of 6. If that’s not you or you just personally find dolphins kind of meh, spend your extra time at the Simon Skjodt Orangutan Center. Not only does it house one of the largest orangutan groups in the country, but it’s a widely renowned research and conservation facility that supports reforestation projects in the orangutans’ native Borneo.
And if you have some extra coin to drop ($285 for non-members, though obviously this includes price of admission and all that) try a one-of-a-king Art Adventure, where you meet up with the talented animal of your choice -- penguin, elephant, rhino, pinniped (like a seal or walrus) and, yes, dolphin again -- to have them paint you a custom work of art.