Ralph Mitchell Zoo and Riverside Park

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Zoo residents include sun bears, buffalo, monkeys, cougars, a swan pond, caymans, eagles, and a flock of tame peacocks who roam the grounds. One of the more famous inhabitant was Miss Able, the first monkey in space. She resided at Monkey Island until her blast off in 1960.

This 124 acre showcase comes complete with facilities and equipment for the joy and entertainment of young and old alike. Inflation has had no impact on the cost of rides at Riverside Park it’s still just a nickel for the carousel and a quarter for the miniature train. Shelter houses are available for group rentals at very reasonable rates.

The grounds also include a miniature golf course titled “A Path Through the Past”, where you can play through the history of Independence for only $1.00.

Shulthis Stadium, also located in the park, is now used for local high school and college games. It was the location of the first lighted night game ever played in organized baseball on April 28, 1930. As part of the old Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League, Mickey Mantle played his first minor league season here in 1949 as an Independence Yankee, a AAA farm team of the New York Yankees. Other notable Independence Yankees included Bill Virdon and Lou Skizas.

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