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Lincoln Park Zoo

This small zoo in the center of Chicago is perfect for small children and parents looking for a quiet, leisurely stroll — and some impressive animals!

Lincoln Park Zoo covers 49 acres (20 hectares) in Lincoln Park, just north of downtown Chicago. Meander among more than 1,000 animals in realistic habitats. There are monkeys swinging in trees, zebras grazing on plains and harbor seals lounging on rocks. Entrance is free and it’s open every day of the year.

The zoo was founded in 1868 when a pair of swans were donated to Lincoln Park by New York’s Central Park. In the following years the swan collection expanded with animals including a bear cub who would often escape from his enclosure and roam around the park at night.

The Regenstein Center for African Apes is the zoo’s largest and most extensive enclosure at 29,000 square feet (2,700 square meters). You’ll see chimpanzees and lowland gorillas, among other primates. See giraffes, African wild dogs, crocodiles and hippos in a separate African enclosure, and an indoor big cat display.

Take a stroll through the wooded Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo, featuring North American animals such as owls, beavers, black bears, wolves, turtles and ducks. Exhibits and explanations are geared towards kids. 

The Farm-in-the-Zoo has also been designed with children in mind, featuring cows, pigs, ponies, chickens and sheep. There are regular talks and demonstrations, such as how to milk a cow, for families to learn about life on the farm. Don’t miss a ride on the Children’s Train for kids 3 to 12 years old.

Stop for a break at Park Place Café, which serves up fare like burgers and pasta. You’ll find organic food at the Café at Wild Things and pizza and drinks at the Patio at Café Brauer. Take the time to sit back and enjoy the surroundings, as the park is full of tall old trees and surrounded by the city skyline.

For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Chicago page.

Popular Activities at Lincoln Park Zoo

Would you like to make your visit to Lincoln Park Zoo even more memorable? Don't miss the chance to try some of these things to do:

Want to discover this popular attraction in an unforgettable way? Then you must try out a Bobby’s ‘Tike’ Hike- Kid’s Edition.

Have a look at our Chicago things to do page to learn about many more activities while you're in the area.


Guide to Exploring around Lincoln Park Zoo


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Lodging Near Lincoln Park Zoo

See all 1,061 Properties near Lincoln Park Zoo
The Whitehall Hotel $84
Reviewed on Jun 24, 2019
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The Whitehall Hotel

The Whitehall Hotel

105 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL
     
    4.1 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Location is great for Michigan Ave shopping, the lake and Rush street spots. Nice room but a few minor issues with the room.

    Hotel Lincoln $129
    Reviewed on Jun 23, 2019
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    Hotel Lincoln

    Hotel Lincoln

    1816 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL
       
      4.3 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Excellent location. I loved the room and hallway art. Clean and convenient.

      Chicago Getaway Hostel $53
      Reviewed on Jun 22, 2019
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      Chicago Getaway Hostel

      Chicago Getaway Hostel

      616 W Arlington Pl, Chicago, IL
         
        4.1 of 5
        1.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        The staff is super friendly! The bed was comfortable! Great stay!

        Hyatt Regency Chicago $108
        Reviewed on Jun 24, 2019
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        Hyatt Regency Chicago

        Hyatt Regency Chicago

        151 East Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL
           
          4.4 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Our stay was excellent. The staff was outstanding. We had one small glitch and the staff handle it perfectly. I would recommend this property to anyone

          Ambassador Chicago $101
          Reviewed on Jun 24, 2019
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          Ambassador Chicago

          Ambassador Chicago

          1301 N State Pkwy, Chicago, IL
             
            4.2 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Beautifully appointed historic building in a great location!

            Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile $103
            Reviewed on Jun 24, 2019
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            Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile

            Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile

            160 E Huron Street, Chicago, IL
               
              4.2 of 5
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Location was excellent. Price was very reasonable. Breakfast was adequate. The main problem there were only 2 carts to use for getting out of the hotel.people would bring the carts to their room and keep them there for loooongggg periods of time. They either need more carts, or there must be a time ...

              Viceroy Chicago $174
              Reviewed on Jun 22, 2019
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              Viceroy Chicago

              Viceroy Chicago

              1118 North State Street, Chicago, IL
                 
                4.8 of 5
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                This was a fantastic hotel in an excellent location. They really went the extra mile and sent a lovely Birthday gift for my daughter too. I can’t wait to go back!

                Coach House in Popular Lincoln Park Neighborhood
                Reviewed on Oct 31, 2018
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                Coach House in Popular Lincoln Park Neighborhood

                Coach House in Popular Lincoln Park Neighborhood

                Chicago, Illinois
                   
                  5.0 of 5
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  The homemade breakfast was outstanding and so many choices... crepes, fruit, bacon, eggs. The food just kept coming! The location was absolutely perfect - close to Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lakewalk. Would definitely recommend and would go back again if the opportunity arose.