An Adventure at the Lincoln Park Zoo

...open to all, 365 days a year!

The Lincoln Park Zoo was established in 1884 with just one bear cub to start. Now, they have over 1,100 mammals, birds, and insects all in 35 acres just north of downtown Chicago.

It's the oldest in the United States and is very serious (and are doing pretty well) with education and the conservation of their animals.


With many rides, attractions, and animals from all over the world, you will find that it is also one of the finest zoos around.

The attractions here consist of:

  • Pritzker Family Children's Zoo
  • Regenstein African Journey
  • Farm in the Zoo
  • Regenstein Center for African Apes



Pritzker Children's Zoo

The Pritzker Children's Zoo is basically one part menagerie and one part playground. The whole idea is to give children an opportunity to get comfortable with animals that live in the North American wilderness.

Wolves, bears, and snakes are considered dangerous, the idea is to educate kids about them and not just fear them.

Some of the fun activities that you can look forward to are:

  • Playing around in a giant outdoor shooting water fountain.
  • Doing impersonations of the children's zoo animals with sound-transmitting tubes.
  • Play in a huge indoor playground filled with mazes of ropes, platforms, and bridges.

Kids virtually own this part of Lincoln Park Zoo, which means that if you have kids they're bound to love it.



Regenstein African Journey

Discover the many climates and creatures that inhabit Africa at the Regenstein African Journey. Africa is home to some of the harshest conditions on Earth.

Staggering heat, lots and lots of rainfall, and treacherous rain forests. While at this attraction, you will see a complete recreation of this environment with plants, animals, and insects of that particular area of Africa.

Some of the fun things you will see are:

  • A life-sized human habitat 10 feet off the ground.
  • Termite mounds and the inner-workings of them.
  • Hissing cockroaches
  • Golden Orb Weaver Spiders



The Farm

The Farm will cultivate your interest in farming and let you experience farming through interactive exhibits and live demonstrations. It's really interesting to see what it is like to work on a farm and what happens, it's a great educational and fun place.

The place is set up as a bunch of barns all of which different elements of farming are presented.

The Dairy Barn is where you will find cows and goats and get an inside look at how these animals are fed, cleaned, and milked. It's also where the goat petting area is located.

The Main Barn is where you find the most information from. Inside you can get into a John Deere tractor and plow a virtual crop. Also you will learn all about harvesting everything like corn and even bees.

My favorite things in the Main Barn when I visit Farm in are:

  • Farming & weather exhibit where you see and feel the effects of weather on crops.
  • Meeting some of the farm animals like owls, rabbits, and chickens.
  • Chick Hatchery where you will be able to see baby chickens hatch.



Regenstein Center for African Apes

With nearly 30,000 square feet of in and out door habitats, the Regenstein Center for African Apes is where you will be able to see many different kinds of apes.

They do a great job at recreating the environment for you to see the apes as if you were actually in an African rain forest.

When outside, make sure to see the Chimpanzees and the awesome Sliverback Gorillas.



Zoo Rides

You can enjoy many different rides at the park including:

  • Endangered Species Carousel
  • Paddle Boats
  • African Safari Ride, which is an intense motion simulation through African terrain, and it's in 3-D. If your prone to motion sickness I wouldn't do this because it gets pretty shaky at times.
  • Lincoln Park Children's Train Ride


Other Important Information

Some tips I would consider before going to the Lincoln Park Zoo would be to bring your camera because there a lot of photo opportunities, pick up a map of the place, bring sanitizing wipes, and bring paper and pencils for the activities.

The one element of this place is that is so great is that it stands as one of the last free major cultural institutions in the U.S.

The Lincoln Park Zoo open 365 days a year and is free to get in.

If you get hungry you can stop by the Park Place Café or if you just want a snack, there are plenty of outdoor food stations.

You should never be hungry or thirsty while you are at the Lincoln Park Zoo.