Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek lets you get up close and personal with furry animals like guinea pigs and hamsters, scaly snakes, and head-twisting owls. With daily meet and greets, lunchtime feedings and behind-the-scenes looks, Lindsay Wildlife Experience is worth the drive for families with young children.
The Animals at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience
At this rescue facility for regional wildlife, animal keepers are circulating throughout the day, sharing their caretaking responsibilities with visiting children. In addition, there’s an animal experience every hour, where you can see snakes and birds outside in the Raptor Redwood Grove, or reptiles, bunnies, and insects inside the museum. See more of their animal ambassadors here>
A few highlights include bunnies, chuckwalla, a porcupine, rattlesnakes, and some pretty cute owls. You can check out their weekday program schedule here and their weekend program schedule here. All programs are free with paid admission.
(Covid-19 Note: The petting and touching sessions you might remember pre-pandemic are sadly unavailable during this time, but hopefully we’ll all be back to petting fluffy bunnies soon).
Other Attractions for Little Kids
In addition to the visiting animals who are sick or unable to live in their natural habitat, there are permanent interactive exhibitions to explore. Kids will love the raptor flying exhibit where they’ll get to see through the eyes of a bird soaring through the sky. Microscopes with bird feathers, touching real bear fur, behind the scenes theater for a self-guided tour of the hospital, are all exciting for little kids to engage with.
Most of the exhibits and animal viewing areas are at toddler eye level, or there are stools available. Note that some, er, stuffed animals are on display, so be ready to talk about taxidermy with your child!
The Bottom Line
The Lindsay Wildlife Experience is a great option for an outing in the East Bay with little kids who love animals. It’s not as big as some of the other museums around, nor does it have as many animals as the zoo, but it’s more approachable for little kids (and more affordable!). Plan on combining your trip with a visit to Larkey Park to make a day of it. Of note, the museum store is right at the entrance, so be prepared for that. Otherwise, keep the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in mind for your next field trip with your family.
Lindsay Wildlife Exhibit Details
Hours are Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. The Museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for children 2 – 17. FREE for members and children under 2 (Consider grabbing a FREE pass through your library’s Discover & Go program)
**Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for guests age 12 and over is required for entry into Exhibit Hall and the wildlife rehabilitation hospital.
Food: Pack snacks or lunch as there’s no cafe on-site. The nearby Larkey Park has tables and grass for a lovely outdoor meal.
Playground: Just up the path past the Lindsay Wildlife Experience is Larkey Park. There’s a tot lot and a big kid playground with a sandpit and plenty of sidewalks, so bring sand toys and perhaps a scooter. If it’s a hot summer day, the spray ground is a fun option too.
Parking: Free, but small lot. Street parking or try on the Larkey Park side.
Birthday Parties: Yes! Great for little kids who love animals
Workshops/Events/Camps: Yes to all. Check them out here >