Lincoln Park Zoo. Zoo in Chicago, Illinois

Lincoln Park Zoo

Zoo in Chicago, Illinois

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Lincoln Park Zoo

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Lincoln Park Zoo, located in Lincoln Park in Chicago, is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It is also one of the country’s few zoos that provide free admission to the public. It is home to over 1,000 fascinating animals belonging to approximately 200 species, including polar bears, monkeys, penguins, lions, and zebras. It also features a wide variety of exhibits, including a children’s zoo, a waterfowl lagoon, a farm, and a bear habitat. If you love animals, then you’re sure to enjoy a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo.


Lincoln Park Zoo was founded in 1868 when Lincoln Park was given a pair of swans by the Board of Commissioners of Central Park in New York City. A few years later, the zoo purchased a bear cub from the Philadelphia Zoo, which often escaped its enclosure and was found wandering the park after dark. Over the years, the zoo has expanded greatly with the addition of exhibits such as a Lion House and a Primate House, and welcomes thousands of visitors each year.


The zoo contains a number of fascinating animal exhibits that you’re welcome to explore during your visit.

Regenstein African Journey

The Regenstein African Journey exhibit features four different African habitats that are home to species such as colobus monkeys, aardvarks, giraffes, ostriches, gazelles, warthogs, rhinos, and meerkats.

Kovler Lion House

One of the zoo’s first exhibits was the Kovler Lion House, which is home to a pair of African lions and an Amur tiger. Its indoor enclosures are also home to animals such as red pandas, servals, snow leopards, jaguars, and pumas.

Kovler Sea Lion Pool

Another older exhibit is the Kovler Sea Lion Pool, which is currently home to several harbor seals that can be seen gliding through the water from a popular underwater viewing gallery.

Regenstein Center for African Apes

One of the finest ape exhibits to be found around the world, this immense exhibit is home to two of the zoo’s most popular species: gorillas and chimpanzees.

McCormick Bird House

Dating back to 1904, the McCormick Bird House showcases beautiful bird species in desert, savanna, seashore, wetland, and tropical habitats. Popular animals include colorful parrots, tawny frogmouths, and blue-necked stilts.

Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo

In recent years, a children’s zoo has been added to the zoo’s numerous exhibits, which showcases creatures from all over the United States. Animals on display include black bears, beavers, turtles, river otters, red wolves, and screech owls.

Helen Brach Primate House

The Helen Brach Primate House was opened to the public in 1927, and is known for its naturalistic exhibits that are home to howler monkeys, colobus monkeys, lemurs, and gibbons.

Regenstein Small Mammal - Reptile House

This fascinating exhibit is home to approximately 200 small mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians that live together in habitats that simulate the climates of Africa, Asia, Australia and South America.

Regenstein Birds of Prey Exhibit

This outdoor exhibit is home to several fascinating birds of prey, including a bald eagle, a vulture, and a beautiful snowy owl.

Hope B. McCormick Swan Pond

Lincoln Park Zoo was first created due to a gift of two swans, and over 100 years later this exhibit still features a pair of swans, as well as other beautiful waterfowl.

Waterfowl Lagoon

If you’ve always been fascinated by flamingos, you’ll definitely want to stop by this exhibit to take a photo or two.

McCormick Bear Habitat

This exhibit is home to one of the largest polar bear habitats in the entire world. Over the years, it has also held many other bear species, including Malayan sun bears and Andean bears.


Children adore this interactive exhibit, which teaches visitors about milking cows and the origins of foods with the help of pigs, sheep, chickens, and other farm animals.


Each day, numerous exciting activities take place at the zoo. These include cow milking, seal training and feeding sessions, hands-on reptile experiences, interactive exhibits, informative talks on gorillas and chimpanzees, and bird feedings, so make sure to find out what’s going on during your visit.

Practical Information

The easiest way to reach the Lincoln Park Zoo is on foot or by bike. You can rent a bike using Divvy, Chicago’s bike sharing network, from 300 stations throughout the city. There are several bike racks located near zoo entrances.

By bus or train: CTA bus routes 151 and 156 stop at the West Gate, while routes 22 and 36 stop near the same location. The nearest ‘L’ station is Armitage, which is on the Brown and Purple Lines. It is approximately one mile west of the zoo.

Parking: The zoo’s paid parking lot is located at 2400 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614. Parking is free for the first 30 minutes, after which point it costs approximately $ 20 USD for 2 hours.

Address: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

Hours: The zoo is open daily from 10:00 until 16:30 (November through March), 17:00 (April, May, September, October, and weekdays between Memorial Day and Labor Day), and 18:30 (weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day).

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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: Apr 15, 2015

Pictures of Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo - Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo - Photo by Joshua Bousel

2014 58/100: I am Looking at You! - Lincoln Park Zoo
2014 58/100: I am Looking at You! - Lincoln Park Zoo. Photo by peddhapati

flamingos 1 - Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.jpg - Lincoln Park Zoo
flamingos 1 - Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.jpg - Photo by opacity

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights - Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo Lights - Photo by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar


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