What to Do at the Zoo in Chicago, Illinois

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The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois is unfortunately closed until March 4th due to city and state regulations to keep buildings closed for the time being during the Covid-19 pandemic. That means zoo goers would be outside and exposed to the cold winter temperatures during the coldest part of the year in the windy city of Chicago. In order to ensure the safety of their animals and their guests, the Lincoln Park Zoo has made the hard decision to close its doors until March 4th.

However, for zoo members, they are opening the zoo for one weekend in February, on Saturday and Sunday the 27th and 28th. All members must have a reservation to this event. If you are not yet a member of the Lincoln Park Zoo, you can purchase your membership online and sign up for the event.

Individual membership is $69 with a $9 flat fee for parking whenever you visit the zoo. A Household Membership can be purchased for $95 and a Safari Membership can be purchased for $189.

If you’d like to check out what’s going on at the zoo from the comfort of your own home, every Tuesday and Thursday they offer “Stay Tuned to the Zoo” on the YouTube channel of the Lincoln Park Zoo. This virtual video is also live streamed on their website, linked below.

Once the zoo reopens, you’ll be happy to note admission is absolutely free! Ever since 1868, the Lincoln Park Zoo has been free since they first opened their gates. It is one of the most established zoos in the nation. Donors, visitors, and members make up 80% of the revenue that allows the zoo to remain free to the public. The remainder is covered by a subsidy from the Chicago Park District.

Membership to the zoo not only helps the zoo stay free, but also gains you discounted parking depending on your membership level, invitations to events exclusive to members, and special discounts to restaurants and shops. Becoming a member definitely has its perks!

From February to July, the Lincoln Park Zoo will hold two sessions a month for virtual animal experiences. These will be held on their website (linked below) Saturdays & Sundays at 10am or Fridays at 1pm. There is a $15 fee for virtual admission, with a 10% discount for members. These virtual animal experiences are good for children of all ages. You’ll learn about various animals throughout the zoo including the food they eat, their natural defenses, as well as their habitats and what it takes to care for them. Do not miss these opportunities to learn more about our amazing world!Mark your calendars, March 4th is the official re-opening of the Lincoln Park Zoo! Until then, enjoy some virtual events, both some open to members only and others to the public. Become a member and support the zoo to remain free for the general public!

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