Wildlife Prairie Park offers families the chance to spend this Thanksgiving outside, and closer to home

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HANNA CITY, Ill. (WMBD) — A Thanksgiving Day spent a little differently, Wildlife Prairie Park gave families the chance to spend the day outdoors, away from crowds.

“We’re here to serve the community, so we figured, why not serve them on Thanksgiving. We’re thankful, we’re thankful to be here, we’re surviving the pandemic, and we wanna help everybody else survive,” said executive director Roberta English.

The big activity of the day was a scavenger hunt, where the winner could get an exclusive encounter with a bison.

“Anything that we could do to get people out and enjoying nature, but not in crowds. So we were trying to come up with something that people can do, basically on their own,” said English.

Staff at the park say the 2,000 acres of land allow people to maintain distance from others.

“Our animal trails are over a mile long so there’s plenty of space to socially distance out here,” said lead animal keeper Callie Dicks.

She says the park is a great place to come when families might be feeling stuck inside, as there is so much to offer.

“Out here you can come out and we’ve got hiking trails, mountain biking trails, of course we have the animals. There’s just a lot of things to do. And if you’re safe, you’re wearing your maks, bringing your hand sanitizer, it’s a lot of extra fun instead of staying inside all the time,” said Dicks.

And while the holiday looks different for many, you can still find ways to have fun in the area.

“You might not be able to fly across country to be with extended family, but you could have wonderful time just with your family, right here in Peoria,” said English.

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