Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL. 312-742-2000. www.lpzoo.org
Free. Various parking options available in vicinity; we were fortunate to find a free on-street parking spot. Stroller accessible. Restrooms available. Concessions on premises.
We spent an entire day in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, visiting the Notebaert Nature Center, the Chicago History Museum, and the Lake Michigan beach before meandering through the zoo on our way back to the car.
The great thing about the Lincoln Park Zoo is that it’s free. There’s also a very nice (albeit somewhat expensive) carousel that we enjoyed riding. But as far as animals go, well, we really didn’t see many. There are several entrances and exits to the zoo, but once you’re inside, the signage isn’t very helpful. We’d see a sign or a banner with an animal on it and assume that we’d find that animal nearby, but this method really didn’t work very well. It was also quite warm the day we were there, not terribly hot, but apparently warm enough that many of the animals were in hiding in their areas, according to various signs. Halfway through the zoo, we wondered if we would see more than rabbits and squirrels, but finally we found a lion, which was quite magnificent, a rhinocerous, which was the favorite of our 3-year-old, and some monkeys.
Mind you, since we’d already walked 2 or 3 miles that day, we weren’t exactly looking to find every nook and cranny of the zoo, and it was an enjoyable shortcut back to our car. But for the number of animals that we actually saw, we were really, really glad that the admission was free.
I really liked seeing the lion there.