Posts Tagged ‘zoo’

One of the loveliest days of our recent trip to Chicago was the one spent at the Lincoln Park Zoo. The Kid and I went, along with my sister, Jen and her partner, Andrea. Sam took advantage of the time to work at a cafe.

Shaylyn and Andrea with gorilla statues, I believe. They seem to be fitting in well.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is in downtown north (Ed.: This is why I don’t navigate.) Chicago, easily accessible by car, bus, cab or el train. Most remarkable for a major zoo: admission is freaking free, people!

Sure, you’re going to spend $30 on lunch (at least we did with four people) and probably as much in souvenirs (at least you will if you have kids along), but you would in any zoo or similar attraction, and this is a serious attraction.

You might think a free city zoo means aging enclosures, animals you’ve seen a million times, and poor hygiene or signage, but that is nothing like what you find at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

The animal enclosures are mostly very modern, the buildings have the historical elegance of the Chicago Parks District architecture, and the zoo paths and outdoors signage are clean, well-kept and informational.

The barnyard and petting zoo section wasn’t very well populated, because it was so early in the spring, but I bet in summer it’s really great, especially for kids.

One of the lovely Lincoln Park Zoo buildings. (Don't blink!)

We did enjoy the chickens and cows that were out and about, although it was a little surreal to see something we have wandering around in our backyard behind a fence at a zoo. (Did I ever mention we have chickens? Probably not; this isn’t quite the venue. But now you know.)

The one downfall of the place? We seriously did not have enough time in a day to see it all.

Next time, I would take a few minutes at the outset of the visit and plan out what was most important to us to see, because our approach of wandering around from place to place casually inspecting everything meant that when the zoo closed at 5 p.m., there were still things we would have liked to see, but didn’t get to, like the African animals exhibit.

Of course, if you live in or near Chicago, that’s probably not such a problem, cause you can just go back. For us, it was a little disappointing, but on the other hand, we’ll think about going back again next time we’re in town.

Shaylyn is somewhere in this photo... This is the kid play area in the Lincoln Park Zoo. Pretty cool, hey?

Obviously, much of the zoo is outdoors, so walking shoes and comfortable clothes are a must, and choosing a day of nice weather probably can’t hurt. We were lucky to have a nice, cool but sunny spring day, which was really about perfect for walking around the zoo.

Finally, when the kids get tired of walking and listening, and would rather just run and play, there is a whole children’s section to the zoo that has interactive exhibits, and a giant, organic-looking play structure that kids can wind their way through, like a cooperative maze, as far as I could tell from the ground.

Why didn’t they make it big enough for adults to fit? I would totally climb around on that thing, it looks awesome!

Ever been to the LPZ? Will you go now that you’ve read this stellar review of it? Just kidding!


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