Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos, Chicago

37 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos
    by goodfish
  • Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos
    by goodfish
  • Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos
    by goodfish
  • Lincoln Park Zoo,An Oldie,But A Goodie

    by margatemensch Written Apr 21, 2014

    Recently,I returned to this delightful free zoo on a brisk April Fools Day.Since I lived in Chicago for many years,it has always been a source of joy.This zoo has gotten better with age.This zoo has more comfortable facilities for the animals.The highlights that day were its apes(gorillas,chimpanzees),monkeys(gibbons,lemurs),and birds from tropical countries.

    Related to:
    • Aquarium
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Do the Zoo

    by goodfish Updated Feb 5, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    Traveling with kiddies? On a budget? Here's a fun day out for you! Lincoln Park Zoo has been around forever, and is completely free for people both big and small to enjoy. There are enough critters to keep the tots happy for hours, and you can really save some $$ by bringing a picnic lunch for noshing on the grounds. All-in-all, it's one of the best bargains in Chicago for families.

    I remembered this one from when I was youngster: we hoofed it here from our downtown hotel (now the Lakeshore W) and then up to Wrigley Field and back. It just about did my parents in. If you're a big walker (which they weren't) you can do this on foot but if not, I'll advise getting to the zoo via bus or 'L' as parking is expensive and can be sort of a hassle.

    The park also has some pretty gardens and a glassed-in conservatory (also free - see next tip) for frittering away a few more hours.

    The zoo's visitor's guide (pdf) may be downloaded here. See the website for hours, events and other details.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Zoo
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • bee_tc2006's Profile Photo

    Places to take kids

    by bee_tc2006 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    There are 2 good places to take kids. The other place is the Lincoln Park Zoo

    We didn't get to go there either,but we picked up pamphlets on the zoo and was
    told by local people that it's a nice place.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • evilprebil's Profile Photo

    Lincoln Park Zoo

    by evilprebil Updated Jun 20, 2010
    2 more images

    Maybe the best part of this zoo is that its free, but it's a really great zoo regardless of that. It has all the big exotics: Lions, tigers, polar bears, zebras etc. Open daily 10-5pm for all the exhibits, slightly longer on the grounds and in Summer.

    Related to:
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • Marisola's Profile Photo

    Oldest Zoo in the United States! And free, too!

    by Marisola Written May 8, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My Favorite, the Polar Bear!
    2 more images

    One of the most beautiful zoos as well! The Lincoln Park Zoo is set upon a wonderful park and gardens which makes it so picturesque. I have seen many couples come here to take wedding photos, because the gardens are so beautiful!

    The animals are an addition to this lovely atmosphere! Open every day, it is one of the most popular zoos in the world! They have around 2,000 animals here, too! No matter which animals you are able to see, it's a wonderful walk on a nice day in Chicago!

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Photography
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • jo104's Profile Photo

    Lincoln Park Zoo - FREE Admission

    by jo104 Written Jun 19, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    Lincoln Park is 50% longer then central park stretching for 6miles & there is even a beach just behind the Zoo called Fullerton Beach.

    The zoo opens at 10am even though you can walk about and see some of the animals before that time these guys do not come alive until opening time which is also when all the indoor exhibits are open. It is not a terribly large zoo but there are some very worthwhile attractions. Do visit the monkeys they are ultra lively much to the childrens delight. For the squeamish there is an excellent display of snakes, frogs, bats and wallabies. There is a farm yard zoo for those smaller children who want to experience the country. Coming from south africa I enjoyed the Regenstein African journey with the biggest attraction being the meerkats. Perhaps give the penguins and polar bear a miss they are in such a small enviroment its a bit sad.

    If your children are nagging you to let them ride the artisan crafted endangered species carousel rather let them ride it here then at Navy Pier as at $2.75 you can't go wrong.

    I bought a good quality sweatshirt at the Wild Things shop and used my coupon to get 15% discount. They charge tax on clothing in Chicago http://www.chicagoofficeoftourism.org/chicagocoupons/attractions/attractionCoupons2.html#lincolnParkZoo.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Top 10-Lincoln Park Zoo

    by Dabs Updated Apr 9, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If only I had a pool, I'd take this one home
    3 more images

    The Lincoln Park Zoo, located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, is one of the few free zoos in the US. It's smaller than Chicagoland's other zoo, Brookfield Zoo, but it is easier to get to. One of the people working there told us that the best time to visit is in the morning when the animals are most active. We always go in the afternoon, all the big kitties are sleeping and I haven't seen the polar bear in the last several visits.

    If you want to spend a full day up near the zoo, see my Lincoln Park travelogue. The zoo is easily combined with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum or the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

    CTA bus routes 151 or 156 both serve the zoo, it is less of a walk than if you take the el. There are pay parking lots and if you're really lucky sometimes you can find street parking but be sure to check the signs to make sure you are not in a resident only zone.

    During the Christmas holiday season, the zoo stays open late on certain evenings for ZooLights where the zoo is all lit up for the holidays. I finally made it there in December 2007 and my niece and I enjoyed it.

    Related to:
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Exploring Lincoln Park

    by apbeaches Written Jul 7, 2008

    We went to Lincoln Park in search of 1920's Gangster History.

    Yes, Al Capone's murder site is now a nursing home.

    We found the Biograph Theatre and wandering around alleys and parking lots where the St. Valentine's Massacre" occurred". There wasn't a plac, but a sign on a boarded up building that filming was taking place at this location. Locals shared that Johnny Depp is filming a gangsta movie here.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Urban Jungle

    by eBob1969 Written Feb 2, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Lincoln Park Zoo is unique in that it is located in an urban area. While walking around, just look above the trees and you will see the skyscrapers of downtown and the high-rise apartment buildings (many old and historic) of the Lincoln Park neighborhood. The zoo is an excellent value (it's free) and a great diversion for everyone. I go a few times each summer.

    A few tips:

    1. Consider taking the #22 or #36 bus from downtown rather than the #151 (which seems to be recommended to most tourists). You will have to walk an extra block when you get to Lincoln Park, but the bus will get there faster (since it won't be stopping at every block on Michigan Ave.) and is almost always less crowded. Get off at either Lincoln Ave. or Wisconsin St.

    2. Instead of having lunch at the zoo, consider walking a block or two west. There are several good eateries in the neighborhood that offer a far better value for your dollar than the zoo. RJ Grunts is a favorite of mine.

    Related to:
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • Mairo21's Profile Photo

    Animals

    by Mairo21 Written Dec 25, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    4 more images

    I cannot stress to you how much I LOVE animals. Usually, whilst away on a trip, I will seek out a zoo or something comparable to it just to be in the company of animals. Lincoln Park Zoo provides an educational, fun, family oriented atmosphere. With a great central location and free admission. I visited in the fall, so most animals were off exhibit. Pros:No crowds Cons: Animals were in hibernation mode.

    Was this review helpful?

  • sunshine9689's Profile Photo

    FREE zoo

    by sunshine9689 Updated May 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Goat petting pavilion. May 2007
    4 more images

    It is pretty small: 20 animal species (tigers, lions, bears, monkeys, wolves, cows...) and 11 or so bird species (swans, flamingos, tropical and seabirds, eagles, owls, ducks...) but big enough to have a nice couple hours looking at its habitants.

    After 5pm all the indoor pavilions are closed, so try to make it before 5pm if you want to look at animals behind the glass.

    There is also a farm with few goats whom you can touch and interact with - pretty cool! Animals are very curious and friendly, so when you walk into their enclosure, they will be expecting you to pet. :)

    HOURS
    a) April - November: 10am - 5pm. On weekends and holidays it is opened until 6.30pm;
    b) November - March: 10am - 4.30pm.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • Glorija's Profile Photo

    Chicago Zoological Park

    by Glorija Updated Mar 16, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the moment inside the zoo
    1 more image

    Lincoln Park Zoo, located in Chicago, is among the oldest zoological gardens in the country (established in 1868) and is also among the most modern. A premier Chicago attraction, Lincoln Park Zoo each year welcomes more than three million visitors, providing them with remarkable educational experiences as well as fun and enjoyment.
    Lincoln Park Zoo stands as one of the last free major cultural institutions in the United States and the only one left in Chicago. The Zoo is open 365 days a year.

    Open hours:
    May 27-Sep 2: 8am-6pm Mon-Fri; 8am-7pm Sat-Sun
    Sep 3-Oct 31: 8am-6pm daily
    Nov 1-Mar 31: 8am-5pm daily
    Apr 1-May 26: 8am-6pm daily

    Lions, tigers, bears and hundreds of endangered and exotic species! All inhabit this urban outdoor wildlife park in near-natural environments against the backdrop of the breathtaking Chicago skyline. The zoo includes an ape house, a birdhouse and a 12-million dollar greenhouse with rain forests, savannahs and deserts under a 45-foot high glass dome. Kids will not want to miss the Children's Zoo or the five-acre "Farm-in-the-Zoo." After strolling through the park, visit the zoo gift shops or catch lunch or dinner at the Park Place Cafe or the Gorilla Grill. General admission: Free. :)

    Related to:
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Wonderful Free Zoo: Lincoln Park Zoo

    by deecat Updated Sep 1, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sabrina Dee and Grandma Dee at Lincoln Park Zoo
    4 more images

    One of my favorite places to visit each year is the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. It's the nation's oldest free public zoo and one of the last free zoos in the country.

    The zoo is located on the lake-front bike trail in one of Chicago's most popular parks. The Lincoln Park conservatory is next door and is also free because both are supported by the Chicago Park District.

    The pictures were taken at the new Gorilla habitat when Allan and I took Sabrina. She loved the statues more than the real gorilla's, but when you ask her how does the gorilla go, she sure knows that one! Her favorites were the pink Flamingos. T

    The Polar Bears live in the newly remodeled Levine Family Polar Bear Plaza with its new single-panel viewing window. There are two bears (siblings) who seem to "pace" as they swim the same pattern over and over. The polar bears's pool contains 266,000 gallons of water, one of the largest polar bear zoo exhibits in the world! This Robert R. McCormick Bear Habitat contains seven outdoor habitats for sun bears, spectacled bears, and polar bears.

    Also on the BLUE TRAIL are the penguin and Seabird House, Birds of Prey Exhibit, & African Journey.
    The GOLD TRAIL contains the Primate House, Lion House, Sea Lion Pool, Children's Zoo, Small Mammal-Reptile House, Swan Pond.
    The GREEN TRAIL has the Waterfowl Lagoon, Antelope and Zebra area, and Regenstein Center for African Apes.
    RED TRAIL has Farm-in-the-zoo for children.
    There are six cafes, three big shops, an Endangered Species Carousel, and the Gateway Pavillion Information Center.
    I love it because it is small and right in the city.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Zoo

    Was this review helpful?

  • Martman's Profile Photo

    Lovely Zoo

    by Martman Updated Aug 27, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lion and myself
    4 more images

    The Lincoln Park Zoo is a few kilometers north of downtown. The best part is, this zoo is 100% free. When I heard that the zoo is free, I expected a tiny interesting zoo. I had quire a surprise, albeit a positive surprise. This zoo is not small at all. It is dramatically larger than expected. I had the most wonderful day, all for free. If and when I visit the city again, I have every intention of visiting this excellent zoo again. I really had a wonderful day!

    Click here to return to my Chicago Homepage.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • PetraG's Profile Photo

    Wild animals in the city

    by PetraG Updated Jan 19, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Chicago from Lincoln Park Zoo
    3 more images

    First off: there is not entrance fee charched to the zoo, so you can just walk through on your tour through Chicago!

    Lincoln Park Zoo is among the oldest zoological gardens in the country (established in 1868) and is also among the most modern. A premier Chicago attraction, Lincoln Park Zoo each year welcomes more than three million visitors, providing them with remarkable educational experiences as well as fun and enjoyment. Its intimate setting enables guests, young and old alike, to experience the thrill of gazing directly into the eyes of a lowland gorilla and standing toe to toe with grazing giraffes. Famous also for its historical structures, the zoo has succeeded at combining state-of-the-art animal and visitor facilities with beautiful architectural reflections of past times and sensibilities.

    As Lincoln Park continues to evolve into one of the finest zoos worldwide, the one element that will not change is its admission policy: Lincoln Park Zoo stands as one of the last free major cultural institutions in the United States and the only one left in Chicago. The Zoo is open 365 days a year.

    In addition to observing all of the wonderful animals, Lincoln Park Zoo features its SBC Endangered Species Carousel ride, paddle boat and swan boat rides, the LPZOO Express train ride, the 4-D Virtual Safari simulator and a Safari Audio Tour. Note that there is a small fee for each of these specialty attractions. The Zoo also offers a variety of dining options and two gift shops.

    Grounds 9 a.m. ? 6 p.m.
    Buildings and Farm 10 a.m. ? 5 p.m.
    *Grounds and Buildings will close at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, July 8.

    Summer Weekends:
    Memorial Day?Labor Day ? (Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays)
    Grounds open until 7 p.m.
    Buildings and Farm open until 6:30 p.m.

    Winter:
    Nov. 1 ? March 31
    Grounds close at 5 p.m.
    Buildings close at 4:30 p.m.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Chicago

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

75 travelers online now

Comments

View all Chicago hotels