A Visitor's Guide to Lincoln Park Zoo

View of the Chicago skyline from Lincoln Park

TripSavvy / Cory Giguere 

Nestled among lagoons and mature trees, the Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the most beautiful in the country, featuring historical architecture and world-class wildlife exhibits. It's easy to spend an entire day at this tranquil, intimate zoo and forget that the bustling city of Chicago is right beyond the zoo boundaries. Open 365 days a year with free admission to all, the Lincoln Park Zoo is a premier Chicago attraction.

Lincoln Park Zoo Location:

Just west of Lake Shore Drive at Fullerton Parkway.

Lincoln Park Zoo By Bus:

CTA bus routes 151 or 156

Lincoln Park Zoo By Car:

From downtown: take Lake Shore Drive north to the Fullerton Avenue exit. Head west on Fullerton one block to parking lot entrance on left.

Admission Price:

Free to all visitors -- fee for certain exhibits/attractions. Parking is an extra fee at $20—$35. Members, however, receive complimentary parking and extra perks and benefits throughout the year.

Lincoln Park Zoo Hours:

The Lincoln Park Zoo is open 365 days a year. Check their website for the seasonal hours.

Official Lincoln Park Zoo Website:


About the Lincoln Park Zoo:

Run independently from the Chicago Park District by the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, the Lincoln Park Zoo is a premier Chicago attraction. The zoo is unique in that it offers an intimate setting allowing visitors a closer look at the animals than most sprawling zoo settings.

Although established in 1868 (making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States), the zoo has been continuously updated and is among the most contemporary in terms of education, recreation, and conservation. This beautiful zoo has masterfully integrated modern exhibits with the traditional Chicago architecture of its past.

Adhering to their slogan "Lincoln Park Zoo is everyone's zoo", the zoo is dedicated to permanently keeping its admission policy -- everyone, young and old, can enter for free, 365 days a year. Lincoln Park Zoo is the only free zoo in Chicago, and one of the last free major wildlife attractions in the country.

Extra add-on experiences are offered at the zoo as well, including the Sea Explorer 5-D, a virtual immersive submarine adventure; the Malott Family Penguin Encounter, a close-up look at the penguins in the Pritzker Penguin Cove; the Lionel Train Adventure; and the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel.

Additional Family-Friendly Activities in Chicago

Brookfield Zoo

Chicago Children's Museum

Kohl Children's Museum

Museum of Science and Industry Chicago