Named after Illinois’s favourite son, Abraham Lincoln, the Lincoln Park is home to one of the best museums in Chicago and a zoo that you can visit without even having to spend a dime. Inside this sprawling park, which stretches seven miles along the shore, from Ohio Street Beach to Hollywood Beach, one can also find the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Cultural Centre and the Chicago History Museum, all of which are open for visitors for free. Other attractions include paths for walking, jogging or biking, playgrounds, golf courses, baseball fields and even a skate park. One also has an easy accessibility to the nearby Lakefront Trail from this park. This park is great for a cosy family picnic as well.
Timings : Sunday-Saturday-6:00am to 4:00pm
Nearest Subway : Armitage
Main attractions : Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond
Wheelchair accessibility : All public buildings at the zoo have at least one wheelchair-accessibility entrance. All the animal encounter programs at Farm-in-the-Zoo are accessibility by wheelchair.
Pet friendly : Yes
Grab a bite at : Pasta Palazzo, Café Ba-Ba-Reeba, Chicago Pizza and Over Grinder Co, Athenian Room
Brookfield Zoo or the Chicago Zoological Park is home to over 450 species and sees around two million guests every year. It is spread across 216-acres and is managed by the Chicago Zoological Society. The zoo has around 20 exhibits and it organizes various community and corporate events as well as family play programs. Some of the animals in the zoo are Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic walrus, African lions, Snow leopards, and many more.
Address : 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513
Timings : 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Daily
Entry Fee : Adults: USD 24.95
Seniors 65 and over: USD 19.95
Children 3 to 11: USD 17.95
Free Admission: Each Tuesday and Thursday in November, every Monday and Tuesday in December through 12/22.
Free admission for military personnel. ID needed.
Membership : Available
Parking : Cook County parking tax & Illinois Parking Excise Tax included.
For North Gate : Cars: USD 15.00
Buses: USD 21.00
For South Gate: : Cars: USD 15.00
Buses: USD 21.00
Members: USD 5.00
Cosley Zoo is a unique zoo located in Wheaton, Illinois, about 30 miles from Chicago. What makes it stand out is the fact that it houses native Illinois wildlife and farm animals. This setup promises great learning opportunity to the natives and is a brilliant place for visitors to explore the local wildlife. Cosley Zoo is spread across five acres and is home to the white-tailed deer, red fox, Blanding’s turtles, bobcat, coyote, and the black-crowned night heron among others.
Address : 1356 N Gary Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187
Timings : 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Daily
Entry Fee : Wheaton Park District Residents: Free, ID required
Non-resident Adults (ages 18-54): USD 7 + processing fee
Non-resident Adults (ages 55 and over): USD 6 + processing fee
Cosley Zoo Members: Free, ID required
All Children (birth to age 17): Free
Located about 42 miles from Chicago, Philips Park Zoo is situated in Aurora, Illinois. It opened with the focus of being home to exotic animals but now houses a wide variety of native animals too. It provides free of cost access to all visitors with the vision to provide a supportive learning environment through recreation and education to all.
Address : 1000 Ray Moses Dr, Aurora, IL 60505
Timings : May – September: 5:00 AM – 8:30 PM, Daily
October – April: 5:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Daily
Entry Fee : Free
Parking : Handicap parking available
These zoos in Chicago are a must-visit for anyone who wants to learn and experience the cohesive living of humans and animals.