Fawn-Doe-Rosa Wildlife Park



This incredible Wildlife Education Park has become a Mother’s Day tradition for my family. With our love of animals and respect for the way the Fawn-Doe-Rosa staff focuses on care, conservation and rehabilitation, it has become the local adventure we most look forward to every year! It’s not free (in fact, it’s not cheap), but it’s a true diamond in the rough. Feeding deer, holding bunnies, being stared down by persistently annoying goats, nabbing a pony ride or two…then filling the road trip with other noteworthy pitstops (see Tips section for a list of these)…my kids’ ridiculous perma-grins are what make this day an absolute must for us at least once a summer.

What is it?

Fawn-Doe-Rosa is a family-owned and operated wildlife education park intended to teach folks of all ages about these delicate creatures. Open since 1963, this hands-on zoo allows (and encourages) petting, feeding and learning about the animals. It includes a fenced-in farmyard with goats, llamas, sheep and chickens, a petting area with bunnies, ferrets, a skunk and a porcupine, caged animal exhibits featuring badgers, coyote, bobcats and gigantic elk, and the most popular spot for our family– the deer yard. You can stroll around the entire park with a deer by your side. Feed them carrots and give them love. It’s a pretty awesome experience for adults and children alike.

Fit for what ages?

Under two is free, but keep in mind that the grounds aren’t very conducive to strollers. The first year, we brought our daughter in a Baby Bjorn and it worked like a charm. She could even reach out and pet the animals from that height. I don’t know that I would even put an age on this place because – depending on their interest in all things nature – everyone from toddlers to teenagers can find peace and joy in Fawn-Doe-Rosa. Just watch small hands when feeding the llamas. Those suckers have Hilary Swank teeth and they know how to use ’em.

How much are we talkin?

Sure, admission here may cost more than a free nature center, but it’s cheaper than the zoo and it’s totally interactive. Plus (for all you animal softies out there), the money goes to help raise these beautiful animals and educate the public about them.

Adult admission costs $9/person and kids (ages 2-12) cost $8/person. Under 2 is free. At the admission counter, you can also pay for animal feed ($2/bag) or pony rides ($4/ride). The animal feed is the best part, so don’t get stingy here! You could probably skip the pony ride if you’re looking to save money, but feeding the animals is definitely the best part, especially for the little ones.

Sometimes, they offer coupons on their site for discounted food bags or admission deals, so be sure to check that before heading out. The park has also offered Groupon deals in the past, but it’s been awhile. If you ever see one, pick it up (and then email me immediately so I can pick one up too!).

fawn doe rosa

Want some tips?

No, this adventure is not in Minnesota. It’s just across the border in Wisconsin (gasp!), but you guys, it’s barely an hour’s drive dependent on where you start (45 minutes from St. Paul; 90 minutes from Chaska) and it is SO worth it! We have visited on weekends only and I’m always so happy with the lack of crowds. It’s a big park so it never feels packed even if the parking lot is full, but I still recommend arriving early. You’ll beat the heat (there’s not a lot of shade) and the crowds, and you can take your time road trippin’ back home. We also love going early in the season for those reasons as well.

When we arrive, the first thing we do is buy animal feed. It’s $2 a bag and, for our two kids, we usually pick up around six bags. It may seem like overkill, but the bags are small, they rip easily and sometimes, well, the goats steal the entire bag from your kids and it’s best to have a proactive fix than to deal with that meltdown!  We take our bags of feed and head into the petting area where we all hold bunnies and check out some deer. But the next part is my favorite – we stroll down the hill towards to manmade pond and enjoy the serenity of the roaming deer. I feel like we are always the only ones down there and it’s like your own private petting zoo. The deer come right up to you (especially if you have food) and it’s just…peaceful.

That being said, Oh. My. Gosh. Bring your camera!

There are bathrooms in a small building outside the gift shop, but no changing tables. As mentioned earlier, strollers might not be your wisest choice here since it’s a little more rugged and there are no paved walking trails. There are hand sanitizer stations spread throughout the park so you can remain germ-free before digging in to your lunch. We have had a picnic lunch here before on their outdoor tables, and they also provide many benches for resting and taking in your surroundings.

There are sometimes geese who roam the park and, if you hit the right time of year, you will meet their babies. But remember – they are geese and mama geese can be really aggressive when it comes to protecting their young. Keep your kids at a safe distance because, seriously, a mama goose hissing is far too similar to that scene in Jurassic Park when Neuman from Seinfeld gets scarfed by that “adorable” dinosaur to NOT give you nightmares. Oh, and watch for poop. Staff keeps the grounds relatively clean, but geese poop like it’s their job so heads up (feets up?).

fawn doe rosa

The pony rides are usually our last stop before leaving. You will need a ticket to get on your pony and there are height restrictions (as in your can’t be too tall or heavy). Our 42-inch 3-year old was able to ride with an adult at her side.

Keep in mind that there is a gift shop. It has a limited number of items that kids will go bonkers over, but note that there is candy and fudge and all things delicious and you might get caught in that whirlwind on your way out the door. My kids are always satisfied with a $.25 candy stick so for two quarters, we have a quiet start to our car ride home.

fawn doe rosa

As far as the road trip goes, there are plenty of ways to break up the trek and many are very kid-centric. Due to my husband’s unhealthy obsession with cheese curds, our family always makes a stop for lunch at The Drive-In in Taylors Falls. It’s an authentic, roll-down-your-window-and-greasy-food-is-delivered-on-a-tray type of drive-in (although we always dine outside on one of their tables) where waitresses wear poodle skirts and Franki Valli spews from the speakers. If you purchase a kids meal, you get a BOGO coupon for Adventure Falls mini golf, located right across parking lot from The Drive-In. Worth noting: a pulled pork sandwich with their homemade root beer is a wicked awesome combination. Other dining options on the Taylors Falls strip are Romaynes (slow service and OK burgers, but outdoor seating) and Schooneys (delish pizza and ice cream). There is a bakery at the end of the block that accepts cash only and makes a mean cookie!

Adventure Falls mini golf is a good time if you decide to do it. There are 18 holes, waterfalls, bridges and some semi-challenging holes for $6.50 (adults) or $5.50 (kids under 12). Yes, mini golf is expensive.

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As you head down Hwy 8, you’ll also pass Pleasant Valley Orchard (they offer strawberry picking in the summer months), Grama’s Barn (cute garden and gift store), and Highway 8 Mini Golf (not as good as Adventure Falls but fun nonetheless).  There is also a small town called Lindstrom that has a meat market, a kids consignment shop, gifts, candy and more!

But my very favorite stop on the trip has got to be Fraconia Sculpture Park. This giant chunk of land promotes and supports community artists by giving them the acreage to display their handiwork…some humongous, some dangerous, and some just plain ol’ fun! If your family isn’t one for the arts, it also serves as a free plot of land for kids to burn off pent-up road trip energy. But some of the sculptures are truly remarkable.

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Hours and Location

2131 US Hwy 8  |  St. Croix Falls, WI 54024

The parking lot is free and big. Weather permitting, the park usually opens for the season around early May and runs through late fall (usually sometime in October) and is open daily until the tail end of the season (when it is only open weekends).

Weekday hours are 10am – 5pm and weekends are 10am – 6pm.

They do suggest, if you’re headed out in the spring or fall, that you call beforehand due to the annoying indecisiveness of Wisconsin weather: (715) 483-3772


Follow Fawn-Doe-Rosa on Facebook to stay up on hours changes, animal births, trivia questions, or simply to have an occasional adorable baby fawn pop up in your news feed.

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  • Kelly
    07/03/2015 at 8:15 am

    What a great idea for a fun day! Thanks for the info!

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    07/27/2015 at 4:38 pm

    […] St. Croix Valley, which has many other family outing opportunities such as Interstate State Park, Fawn-Doe-Rosa Wildlife Park and Scenic Boat Tours along the St. Croix River. If I had to guess, I’d say this park was […]

  • Thomas Lee boles
    07/18/2017 at 3:15 pm

    Fawn-Doe-Rosa has built new rest rooms with changing tables. The deer are as sweet as any Bambi lover could wish. I am in my seventeenth summer of visiting every weekend, and I am never bored.