Guide to Lincoln Park Zoo - Chicago

Lincoln Park Chicago IL

Introduction and History

Entrance at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Entrance at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Established in 1884 with the purchase of a single bear cub, Lincoln Park Zoo (LPZ) now has over 1,100 mammals, birds and insects living within 35 acres situated just north of downtown Chicago and west of Lake Michigan. Lincoln Park Zoo is the oldest zoo in the country and puts an emphasis on the education and conservation of its animals. With rides, major attractions and animals from all over the world, LPZ also holds the distinction of being one of the finest zoos you will find. Everything from Pretzels and Beer to Turkey Wraps and Burritos can be found at one of Lincoln Park Zoo's many eateries. If you can't decide, stop by the Park Place Cafe and choose among the gourmet dishes and old-fashioned favorites in a food-court type atmosphere. If you are more interested in having a snack, there are plenty of outdoor food stations selling all sorts of treats, like Shaved Ice, SuperPretzels and Cotton Candy.

Pritzker Family Children's Zoo

Combine one part zoo with one part playground and you get the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo. The Children’s Zoo provides an opportunity for children to get comfortable with the animals that reside in the North American wilderness. While wolves, bears and snakes are considered dangerous, the idea is for kids to learn respect for these forest predators, and not just fear them. Here are some fun activities that await you in the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo: Splash around in the giant, outdoor, shooting water fountain Practice impersonations of the Children’s Zoo animals with sonic sound-transmitting tubes. Play in a bigger-than-life indoor playground filled with mazes of ropes, bridges and platforms Kids rule this part of the zoo and will run, jump and climb their way to a great time, so be prepared to spend a little time there. Regenstein African Journey The Regenstein African Journey is your ticket to discover the many climates and creatures that inhabit Africa, the second largest continent on Earth. Africa is home to some of the harshest living conditions on Earth, including staggering heat, mind-boggling rainfall totals, and treacherous thorn-filled forests. Around each corner of the African Journey is a new environment complete with the plants, animals and insects of that particular region. Highlights of the Regenstein African Journey include: A life-size human habitat built 10 feet off the ground, the inner-workings of a termite mound Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and Golden Orb Weaver Spiders

Hotels near The Lincoln Park Zoo

$800
$0
0
5
Hotel Info Nightly Rates*
The Days Inn Chicago
2
Located in Lakeview
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$111* Details
Chicago Getaway Hostel
1.5
Located in Lincoln Park
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

Check Availability Details
Hotel Lincoln - Chicago
3
Located in Lincoln Park
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

Check Availability Details
Hotel Lincoln - Chicago
4
Located in Lincoln Park
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

Check Availability Details
Belden Stratford Chicago
4
Located in Lincoln Park
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

Check Availability Details

Restaurants near The Lincoln Park Zoo

Attractions near The Lincoln Park Zoo

Venue Info Location
Chicago Museum Located in Gold Coast ArtsyCulturalFamily FriendlyHistoricMuseumSights of Chicago

Attraction
Details

Details
Apollo Theater

Attraction
Details

Details
Notebaert Museum Chicago Located in Lincoln Park CulturalFamily FriendlyHistoricMuseumSights of ChicagoScenic

Attraction
Details

Details
Second City Theatre Located in Lincoln Park ArtsyChicago Theater DistrictSights of Chicago

Attraction
Details

Details
Steppenwold Theatre Located in Lincoln Park Chicago Theater District

Attraction
Details

Details

*Terms & Conditions: Offers, promotions and rates subject to change and may vary based upon date, length of stay and other factors. Some offers do not include taxes and fees. All offers based on availability and are subject to change without notice.

Farm in the Zoo

Duck Pond, Chicago Illinois Lincoln Park Zoo

Duck Pond, Chicago Illinois Lincoln Park Zoo

Farm in the Zoo will plant the seeds of knowledge, cultivate your interest in farming, and feed your senses through interactive exhibits and live demonstrations. Farm in the Zoo (or FITZ) offers the chance to meet the people and animals that put food on our plates each day. It is comprised of barns in which different elements of farming are highlighted. The Dairy Barn showcases cows and goats in an utterly fascinating look at how these useful animals are fed, cleaned and milked. Cow feeding and milking demonstrations are held a few times daily, plus there are several chances to see how goats are kept clean, from their hair down to the hooves. The Dairy Barn is also where the goat petting zoo is located. Filled with touch screen exhibits that will awaken the farmer in all of us, the Main Barn is the meat and the potatoes of FITZ. Inside you can climb into a real John Deere tractor, plow a virtual crop and learn the ins and outs of harvesting everything from corn to bees. Be sure to see the following when you visit the Main Barn: Farming & Weather: The only thing farmers can’t control is the weather, and in this exhibit, you’ll get to see and feel the effects that different weather scenarios have on their crops. Meet an Animal: Zoo staffers bring the animals to you in this face-to-face introduction to smaller lap animals like chickens, owls or rabbits. Chick Hatchery: See baby chicks emerge from their shells and watch them develop during their first days of life.

Regenstein Center for African Apes

The Regenstein Center for African Apes is comprised of nearly 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor habitats. The recreated living quarters provide the perfect environment for you to see the apes as if you were with them in the tropical forests of Africa. When you’re outside, be sure to see the Chimpanzees, the ever-playful primates. Whether they’re climbing, chasing or hanging around, they’re very entertaining to watch. Then go inside to see the main attraction, the Silverback Gorillas. One inch of glass separates you from these gentle giants who tend to remind us of ourselves.

Rides

Endangered Species Carousel: This is not your normal carousel with the same old horses and ponies. All the animals on this one-of-a-kind carousel are considered rare and endangered and are being threatened by extinction. By riding the carousel, you are helping to create an awareness to ensure that species like Giant Pandas, Harbor Seals and Sun Bears will stick around for a few more generations. Besides that, this carousel is just plain fun to ride. (Additional charges do apply to ride the Carousel)

Paddle Boats: See Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago skyline from a brand new perspective on your very own paddleboat. Take a break from walking and enjoy gliding around the South Lagoon in a two- or four-person paddleboat. Paddleboats can be rented by the half-hour in front of Café Brauer.

African Safari Ride: Blast through hyperspace on an intergalactic mission through the fiercest terrains of Africa. Travel over land, sea and air, examining an assortment of species from across the continent and beyond your imagination. Special 3-D glasses grant you up close and personal access to the likes of rhinos, spiders and bats and intense motion simulation guarantees that you will have a great time. (Additional charges do apply to ride the African Safari Ride.) TIP: If you’re prone to motion sickness or are pregnant, consider sitting this one out. It can be jostling at times. Lincoln Park Zoo Children’s Train Ride All aboard!! Situated at the main entrance along Stockton Avenue, this rather tame train ride travels in circles and will definitely excite children ages 1-4.

Our Top 5

Wildlife at the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Wildlife at the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

Here's our top picks in some important categories:

  • Toys 1. Animal Backpacks 2. Stuffed Animals 3. Hand Puppets 4. Bongos 5. Hanging Monkeys
  • Animals 1. African Lion 2. Domestic Goat 3. Chimpanzee 4. Grey Seal 5. Polar Bear
  • Food 1. Hand-Scooped Ice Cream - Cafe Brauer 2. Funnel Cakes - Safari Cafe 3. Chicago Style Hot Dogs - Landmark Cafe 4. Chicken Pesto Panini Sandwich- Park Place Cafe 5. Nachos Grande - Cafe Brauer

Tips

Consider these suggestions in advance of your visit:

  • Bring your Camera and your flash. There’s a lot of photo opportunities at the Zoo. After taking a picture of a certain animal, take a picture of something with the animal’s name on it so you won’t forget when you get home.
  • Pick up a zoo map. Then map a route before you start your tour. Bring lots of sanitizing wipes to keep hands clean.
  • Bring Paper and Pencils for Activities. Bring bathing suits, towels and sandals to play in the fountain at the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo.

Activities and Games

Chicago Zoo, Polar Bear Exhibit

Chicago Zoo, Polar Bear Exhibit

These games & activities can be done at lunch, during an afternoon break or even while you’re walking around the zoo. The more people that join in, the more fun that will be had. Sound-Offs - Have group members take turns impersonating animals by the way they move or sound. Then the rest of the group has to try figure out which it is. From A to Z – Use the enclosed worksheet with all the letters of the alphabet on it. Have group members write down the names of animals that start with each letter when they see them in the zoo. Paw Draw- Have members of the group draw different animals seen throughout the day and then have the remaining members guess what animals are being drawn.

Souvenirs for the Kids

Here are some souvenirs that will keep younger members of your group in good spirits.

  • Temporary Tattoos – Let the little ones take their favorite animal home – on their skin. Temporary tattoos are a safe and fun way for your child to show off their new wildlife friends.
  • Foto Fun – Strike a pose and create instant memories of your visit to the zoo. Stationed throughout the park, these self-contained Foto Fun photo booths make for great souvenirs and let kids (and adults) be as wacky as they want to be.
  • Kid Binoculars – This is the best investment towards a great day for your kids at Lincoln Park Zoo. The Kid Binoculars bring the animals closer than ever before and will immediately magnify the interest level of the younger members of your group.

After the Zoo

If you have time after exploring Lincoln Park Zoo, be sure to check out these destinations located nearby:

1. Chicago Historical Society – Discover Chicago’s path to greatness in the “Crossroads of America” exhibit in the Chicago History Museum. You can also visit the "History a la Cart" exhibit and learn how Chicago went from farm to metropolis. You can also sign up for a 2-hour walking tour through some of Chicago’s most historically treasured neighborhoods. Choose from Chicago’s upscale Gold Coast region, the progressively modern Old Town neighborhood, or the beautiful and urban Lincoln Park. (Admission to Chicago History Museum and choice of Walking Tour are FREE when using the Go Chicago Card) 1601 N. Clark Street (Corner of Clark Street and North Avenue) Chicago, IL 312-642-4600.

2. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – Fun for all ages, the Notebaert Nature Museum will fascinate you with a vast array of ecological and biological information. Find out everything you need to know about the environment and how you can help take care of it. (Admission to the Notebaert Nature Museum is FREE when using the Go Chicago Card) 2430 N. Cannon Drive (Corner of Fullerton and Cannon) Chicago,IL 773-755-5100.

3. Lincoln Park Conservatory – Located at the entrance of the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Conservatory is home to hundreds of plant and flower species. The indoor greenhouses offer superb photo opportunities, so bring your camera. Admission is FREE year round. 2391 N. Stockton Drive (Corner of Stockton and Fullerton) Chicago, IL 312-742-7736.