Get Up Close at Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek

Hop, crawl, fly or slither over to the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek

If you’re walking down First Street in Walnut Creek and hear the question: Who cooks for you?, Who cooks for you?, that’s probably just Houston out getting some exercise. A barred owl from Texas, Houston is one of 40 animal ambassadors in residence at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek.

Hot summer days that drive you inside are a great time to head to Lindsay to learn about our native wildlife. Each day is divided into 30-minute segments designed to connect people with wildlife to inspire responsibility and respect for the world we share. During these segments, guests have an opportunity to get up close and personal with Lindsay’s owl, snake and hawk ambassadors, learn about their natural habitat and all the things the staff and volunteers at Lindsay do to help mimic life in the wild for them. Not sure if an animal is wild or domestic? Find out in the What’s Wild, What’s Not segment during which you can pet some furry or scaly friends.

If you’re around at noon, you can watch one of the wildlife ambassadors eat lunch. You’ll want to skip this if you get queasy easily. In the afternoons, guests can participate in enrichment time and help create fun ways for animals to find their food. Then, head outside for recess, when the birds of prey, turtles, snakes and rabbits get to spend time in the Raptor Redwood Grove and neighboring Larkey Park. Interactive exhibits, a behind the scenes presentation of the rehabilitation hospital, an animal keeper talk, art gallery and gift shop complete the Lindsay Wildlife Experience.

If time permits, there are plenty of picnic tables, a meadow, and play structures for outdoor fun at Larkey Park. A pool (separate admission fee applies) is also available for use during the day.

Founded in 1962, the originally-named Alexander Lindsay Junior Museum offered school-aged children summer classes and field trips. In the 1970s, the museum was granted a year-round permanent space in Walnut Creek’s Larkey Park, the name shortened, and the rehabilitation center completed. In 2015 the name was changed to Lindsay Wildlife Experience to better illustrate what the center means to the community. 

The wildlife hospital treats nearly 6,000 patients each year. However, when these animals are released back into the wild, there is no insurance company to bill and no deductible to collect. Admission fees, donations, and more than 60,000 volunteer hours are needed to keep Lindsay running. Animals that aren’t able to be released due to debilitating injury or prolonged reliance on human interaction become resident ambassadors.

Things to know: Visit the Lindsay Wildlife Experience, located at 1931 First Street in Walnut Creek. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm. The Exhibit Hall is open on Tuesdays during the summer to members only and is closed Mondays. Admission is $6.50-$8.50 per person. Admission is free for members and children two and under. All guests receive free admission on the third Friday of each month. Memberships start at $45. For more information, call 925.935.1978 or visit