Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Traveler Blog

Bring Out the Animal in You: An Animal Lovers Guide to Chicago

7/9/12 | by

It's about time we gave a shout out to all the animal lovers in Chicago, don't you think? Yeah, we might travel to the Windy City for pizza and sightseeing and shopping and more, but we need to give our furry friends (yes, even the men's sports teams) a little love too.

Everyone loves someone cute and cuddly, even if they're 500 lbs or can hit a ball fast enough to give you a concussion if you're not paying attention. Well, maybe those guys aren't so cuddly, at least not the way we want to think about it. Chicago is filled with animals, from the zoo to the bars, and there are a few animals that you just shouldn't go home without seeing!

The Real Chicago Animals

  • The Lincoln Park Zoo: This is one of the few remaining zoos that is still free, so enjoy it while you can! Rarely can you find this much family fun in one city for such a low price, and it's centrally located in the historic Lincoln Park, so it's convenient to so many other things you may want to do as well! There are over 1200 animals to see here year round, and new arrivals to greet all the time! Their latest arrival is the Berkshire Pig and whether you're a pig fan or not, you'll be ooing and awing over this little piggy (at least while he's still young and cute!)                                    -Upcoming Zoo Event! Jammin' at the Zoo will be on July 27 and August 24. This is a concert series on the zoo's South lawn. Food, beer and wine can be purchased on-site and you can see bands like Better than Ezra, Hot Chelle Rae and more!
  • Shedd Aquarium: This is the largest indoor aquarium in the world! Shedd Aquarium has over 8,000 animals and 700 different species from all over the world. You can even spend the night at the aquarium ocasionally (and it comes with breakfast in the morning? What a steal!) The aquarium is a fun-filled place to gaze at animals for hours, but still offers tons of educational information and activities to kids (and adults!) so you're getting the best of both worlds. Also keep an eye out for great promotional deals from hotels in the area who have partnerships with Shedd Aquarium.
  • The Field Museum: Yes, some people really enjoy looking at all of the adorable living animals at the zoo and aquarium, but we owe the extinct ones some respect as well, don't we? Once you learn all about how to protect the environment you live in at the Shedd Aquarium, you can teach the kiddies what happens when they pollute and spill oil in the ocean. Kind of... Either way, the Chicago dinosaur exhibit, and everything else at the Field Museum should definitely make your list of must-see animals in Chicago. These giant bags of bones are some of the best ways to make natural history fun for the whole family!

Chicago Sporting Animals

Chicago is definitely a city known for sports, so basketball, football and baseball seasons are a popular time to visit and catch these Chicago animals in action! 

  • Chicago Cubs: Since 1870, this Chicago team has been the talk of the town, and many other towns too! Heading over to a baseball game in the summer is a Chicago staple, and since Wrigely Field is the 2nd oldest ballpark in the majors, you can use going to a game as an "educational" experience, because it's part of American history, right? If you don't need an excuse other than the love of baseball, beer, hot dogs and America, then we say that's a pretty good philosophy to teach your children as well!
  • The Chicago Bears: These cuddly... err, men? have taken the field eight Sundays a year at Soldier Field since 1971. The Monsters of the Midway will be kicking off in August 2012, so be sure to get your ticket if you're visiting during the season and see one of the oldest teams in the league toss the pigskin around.
  • Chicago Bulls: The 6-time National Champions are definitely worth the ticket price, so if you're in Chi-town from October on, get your tickets to the United Center and watch Derrick Rose and the gang work their magic, should all ACLs and broken dreams recover by then. 

The Gut Pleasing Animals

  • Famous Chicago Hot Dogs: Yeah, Chicago might be known for their pizza, but we're talking animals here and who doesn't love a good dog? Plus, Chicago is also known for their famous hot dogs as well. Mustard, relish, onions, tomato and a pickle all make this dog delicious - our mouths are watering just thinking about it, so you already know what's for lunch today! Don't go home without a dog of your own, even your parents can't say no to these!

Animal lovers love the windy city, whether it's for all their furry friends in town or the great selection of Chicago sports, not to mention the delicious delicacies to be devoured! Chicago is also an extremely pet-friendly vacation spot, with tons of pet friendly hotels, restaurants and outdoor areas to play with your pooch - or whatever animal you decided to bring along. Usually entertaining our husband is chaos enough. Let us know what your favorite Chicago animals are in the comments section below, on our Facebook page or even on Twitter