Wildly Unique Lodging at Wildlife Prairie State Park

by Jessica on November 9, 2011

One of my favorite pastimes as a child was to gather up all the spare sheets and blankets to create a tented sleeping and dreaming space in my room.  I even carried this obsession outside, wrapping my swing set or hammock in a cocoon of fabric where I could crawl inside and commence the world of my imagination.   After all, who wants to sleep in a plain old bed when you can drift off to dreamland in a safari tent swathed in royal purple robes?  And who would want to simply swing on a swing set when instead you could fancy yourself a princess being ferried through the streets in sedan chair?  (Do you think there is some deep psychological reason that many of my childhood fantasies involved royalty?)

The creators of Wildlife Prairie State Park in Peoria, Illinois must have had these same musings as children, and so created an entire park filled with unique and whimsical places to spend a night's lodging and touch off your imagination.   All of the lodging choices are extremely affordable and can fit larger families up to six and more.  Lodging includes two days admission to Wildlife Prairie State Park, which includes extended hours in the park and use of the recreation room.   

Cottages by the Lake

These are by far the most normal of the lodging choices available at WPSP, but are still a great choice if you love fishing, bird watching, or want to travel with a group.    As the name suggests, the cottages are located on the lake where you can enjoy extended fishing hours, golden sunsets, or just sit and watch the birds and frogs enjoy their paradise.   If you want to travel with family or friends, these are ideal accommodations, as you can have space of your own, but socialize freely on the nearby lawn or recreation room.  

Cabin on the Hill

With the cozy one room accommodations and lazy front porch swing you will feel like you have suddenly been transported into a Little House on the Prairie storybook.   The cabin sleeps four comfortably in the queen bed and two twin beds, but larger families can even be accommodated by the fold out bed options.   Best of all, you will love watching the kids enjoy the playscape in the front yard as you soak up the secluded and breathtaking view.

Prairie Stables

This humble horse stable exterior opens up into great modern family accommodations inside.  Located along the lake with a private patio, each stable can hold six or more with a two bedroom layout that gives both parents and kids a little space of their own.   The stables are the most rustic of the accommodations at WPSP, simply because they do not include a kitchenette or refrigerator.  If you enjoy a camping experience, with the benefit of not sleeping on the ground, this would be a perfect place to stay.

Train Cabooses

I've saved my favorite for last.  My kids are huge fans of the Boxcar Children series of novels and so were over the moon at the idea of sleeping inside a train car.  The four train cars are situated along a stretch of track and border the elk and bison fields of WPSP, providing viewing of the animals from the deck of the train and the intrigue of spending a night on the rails.   I was unsure how our family of six would fit inside the caboose, but I was very pleased with the space of the accommodations.  A futon and bunk bed in the front of the car and a bunk bed in the back of the car were the perfect space for everyone.  There was even room for a pack and play for the baby, but we opted to use the fold out chair as a bed for our littlest family member.  To my surprise, there was even a good sized bathroom inside that was stocked with soap and shampoo and plenty of towels.  All bed linens were provided, as well.  The kitchenette included a mini refrigerator and microwave, but no utensils or cooking equipment are provided.

The only problem we had with the accommodations was the fights that ensued over who would get to sleep in the top bunk that looked out over the cupola of the train.  The fights quickly ended though when we discovered that the train had been cleverly fitted with a jiggling contraption that could be set on a timer to rock the car and simulate the motion of a moving train.  It was the perfect touch for a perfectly unique night's lodging.

~Wildlife Prairie Park provided our family with a  complementary night of lodging in the park, but did not require that I express any particular viewpoint.  My opinions are, as always, my own.~


Melissa Cleaver November 9, 2011 at 12:47 am

Thanks so much for dropping by the Be-Bop-A Blog Hop!  I'm a follower and I hope you'll stop by again soon!  Have a great day!  :)

Barbara November 9, 2011 at 3:31 am

I would love to stay in a caboose!  How fun!

Steve November 9, 2011 at 4:43 am

Love the caboose car! Nobody in our family ever wants the top bunk, so it'd be nice to have people fighting over it for a change.  The rocker is a great touch too. Looks like fun!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm November 9, 2011 at 6:39 am

My boys sure would love that!

Lisa November 9, 2011 at 8:25 am

What fun accommodations!!

Amy November 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Looks like lots of fun!  My kids would have loved that!

Lexi November 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm

How fun to stay in a caboose!  My kids would LOVE that!  We love the Boxcar Children too!

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