I grew up around horses - it was a pretty great childhood. But, up until last week, I had never cuddled with a giraffe! We had the opportunity to tour Big Splash Adventure and Wilstem Ranch in French Lick, IN. The older giraffe Burt might have thought I was a lady giraffe because he was giving me big giraffe hugs and kisses. <3

Wilstem Ranch is home to kangaroos, giraffes, zebras, reptiles, and even elephants! Yes, that's right. You can help give an elephant her spa day, feed a giraffe carrots, and snuggle baby roos! My life is complete! And, I was so happy to see the animals' living conditions are pristine. Even the goats smelled good! And you can tell they really like the people who work there. We met Spike, a rambunctious little porcupine who played chase with his keeper. We also met Carl, an iguana who loves to be rubbed on. Just watch the video...

When we went to the elephant spa day, the handlers had nothing to control the elephants on them. The elephants were just happy to come in from their life of leisure to be loved on. And, they knew when it was time to turn around to be bathed on both sides.

The baby kangaroos were abandoned by their mothers, so the good people at Wilstem rescued them. And, I was really surprised to learn that many of the Wilstem animals were either donated by individuals who couldn't handle their exotic pets any longer or by the now defunct Ringling Bros. Circus.

We're nestled on 1,100 acres in the heart of Southern Indiana between Paoli and French Lick.  Whether you enjoy meeting our animals or adventuring on our zipline or ATV tours, Wilstem has something for everyone! -wilstem.com

Wilstem also offers zip lining, horseback and ATV rides, and starting this fall... Grizzly Encounters!

According to a recent press release,

"Jeff “the bear man” Watson and his two famous grizzlies Bob and Screech will be offering Grizzly Encounters starting this fall!

Jeff Watson has been a bear handler for over 28 years.  Bob and Screech, two 700 pound grizzlies, have been in his care since they were just babies.  They have been featured on a 6-part documentary on Animal Planet called Project Grizzly as well as Discovery Channel’s Porter Ridge.  Jeff, Bob, and Screech will be offering encounters at Wilstem focused on the education of bear safety.  Hundreds of bears are killed each year after interaction with humans while in the wild.  Wilstem’s fun, educational seminars will teach you how to keep yourself and bears safe from these unfortunate situations.  These skills can be utilized when hiking, camping, or fishing where you may encounter bears.  Things such as not leaving a backpack unattended, cooking on a fire away from your campsite, and keeping your sleeping gear free of food odors are simple lessons that can help keep you and bears safe! 

The 10 acre natural habitat featuring earth, grass, and trees with a stream and waterfall will open this fall 2018.  For updated information, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or visit our website at www.wilstem.com."

 

Check out our virtual tour ofBig Splash Adventure and the inside of one of the rooms!

Make the most of your family time together at French Lick's indoor water park with retractable roof in Southern Indiana. You’ll create unforgettable memories zipping down the Jolly Roger Jetty water slide, plunging down Pirate's Plunder and into our famous "toilet bowl," splashing and playing basketball in the Lost Treasure Lagoon, or simply relaxing on the Lost River at Big Splash Adventure. With over 40,000 square feet; there are so many fun things to do in the water park.  Your family getaway will be "splashtastic" at Big Splash Adventure! -bigsplashadventure.com