Another place I had never been on all my travel to Illinois was the Lincoln Park Zoo. It’s a free zoo so I’m not sure why we’ve never visited but I decided we were going to check it out this time.
Spending the day at the zoo is one of Peyton’s and my favorite things to do. We could just sit and watch the animals all day long. Peyton was pretty excited when I told her we were going to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo. She couldn’t wait to see what we would find.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is fairly large and you can easily spend a whole day here. We spent nearly a whole day here and still didn’t get to see everything.
Currently, there are 17 different exhibit areas at the zoo.
Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove
Check out the African Penguins as they swim, jump and waddle around.
Walter Family Arctic Tundra
This was one of my favorite exhibits! You can check out the polar bear swimming and playing in the water. However, when we arrived he decided it was time to take a break from playing in the water.
Regenstein Macaque Forest
You can sit and watch the 12 snow monkeys play in the state-of-the-art Regenstein Macaque Forest. It’s filled with features to encourage the snow monkeys to show off and swing around.
We never made it to this exhibit but it’s perfect for those families that live in the city and do not know what it’s like to be on a farm. There are daily gardening demonstrations, you can look at cows, chickens, and ponies and get up close with goats!
Antelope & Zebra Area
This area has an assortment of mammals, including camels, zebras, antelope and red kangaroos.
Regenstein Center for African Apes
You’ll find chimpanzees and the western lowland gorilla in this exhibit. It spans over 29,000 square feet so be sure to take your time and look inside and outside for them.
Chilean flamingos and swan geese wade in the water of the Waterfowl Lagoon.
Hope B. McCormick Swan Pond
This is where it all started. A gift of 2 trumpeter swans started the Lincom Park Zoo over 130 years ago. Today, this area is home to the trumpeter swans as well as the wood duck, ruddy duck, northern pintail, hooded merganser, and Barrow’s goldeneye.
Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House
Covering 32,000-square-feet, the Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House features about 200 small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and birds, coexisting in naturalistic, mixed-species habitats. As you are walking through the exhibits you’ll experience climates similar to South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo
This is a great area for little ones to burn off a little energy. There’s a play area tucked away among the exhibits full of areas for little ones to explore, climb and move around.
There are also a few animals, native to North America, in the area too. You’ll find red wolves, black bears, North American river otters and American beavers.
Kovler Seal Pool
This was our favorite spot at the zoo. Besides being able to see harbor seals and grey seals you’ll also get to see them interact with the zookeepers. And you’ll learn a lot about seals if you sit down and take in one of the demonstrations. There is also an underwater viewing area where you can watch the seals zip through the water and play.
Kovler Lion House
Another favorite exhibit of ours was the lion house. It’s impressive to see these majestic creatures up close. Besides the African Lions, you’ll also see Amur tigers, a snow leopard from Asia and a jaguar from South America in this exhibit. This is one of the oldest exhibits at the zoo. Walking into the building was an experience in itself. It reminded of what zoos used to look like before they went modern. The building is huge and made of stone with large exhibit spaces for the animals. I really loved the architecture and history of the building as well as the animals.
Helen Brach Primate House
You’ll find a lot of monkeying around going on inside this exhibit. In the warmer months, you’ll find them outside as well. Here you’ll be able to gaze at Allen’s Swamp Monkey, Black Howler Monkey, Black and White Colobus, Bolivian Gray Titi Monkey, Crowned Lemur, De Brazza’s Monkey, Francios Langer, Goeldi’s Monkey, Pied Tamarin, and White-Cheeked Gibbon. Lots of monkeys! There are 8 naturalistic exhibits these fellas will be spread out in.
This is the perfect place to bring a picnic lunch with you and sit down and take in the beauty surrounding you. You’ll see native birds, frogs, fish, turtles, insects and more as your stroll along the path.
Regenstein Birds of Prey Exhibit
These are not your most friendly birds. They are the cleanup crew of the circle of life. You’ll find cinereous vultures, bald eagles, barn owls, European white stork, and Himalayan Monal. These are the birds that possess sharp, hooked bills and talons, essential tools for capturing small animals or feeding on carrion.
McCormick Bird House
This bird house a little more about beauty and less about the circle of life. This exhibit is filled with dozens of birds in habitats that have been simulated to be their natural environments. There are even open areas where the birds are allowed to free roam and fly wherever they please!
Regenstein African Journey
We did not make it to this area of the zoo and I am so sad we didn’t! It’s filled with the majestic animals of Africa. Did you know you can even book a private event here?? How cool would that be?
Inside this exhibit, you’ll find the Aardvark, Abdim’s Stork, African Spoonbill, African Painted Dog, Baringo Giraffe, Blue-Bellied Roller, Dwarf Crocodile, Eastern Black Rhinoceros, Hadada Ibis, Kenya Crested Guineafowl, Klipspringer, Masked Lovebird, Meerkat, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Red River Hog, Red-Billed Hornbill, and Violet Turaco. There’s lots to see!
So, those are all the current exhibits at the zoo! See how can spend a full day there?
While entrance to the zoo is free, parking is not. I believe our parking was a little over $30 for the day. But I didn’t mind because there no was admittance fee to the zoo.
If you have a chance to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, you definitely need to. It’s filled with historic architecture, beautiful animals and tons of educational aspects.
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