The snow is lightly falling down outside, you’ve got the Saturday off, the kids are stir crazy and driving you up a wall, and you want to get out—what to do? Where to go? How about the Lincoln Park Zoo?
Winter Hours at Lincoln Park Zoo
The Lincoln Park Zoo’s open all winter long, 7 days a week, from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., November through March. The crowds are fewer, the parking’s easier, and best of all, the admission is always FREE. Not feeling up for a whole day? Stop on by for a few hours in the morning or afternoon and check out a couple of your favorite exhibits. The Lincoln Park Zoo’s set on 35 beautiful acres right next to Lake Michigan so bring along your snow suits and boots and take some time to explore the grounds!
Lincoln Park Zoo Winter Events
The Lincoln Park Zoo calendar is just as jam-packed during the winter as in any other season. For those looking for something a little out of the ordinary, there are many special classes and workshops offered throughout the month of December for little tykes, adults, and everyone in-between.
On Friday, December 2nd and Friday, December 16th, the Lincoln Park Zoo holds its Friday Night Lights parties for four and five year-olds looking to learn a little more about the animals at the South and North Poles, respectively. Kids will practice moving around like chinstrap and rockhopper penguins and will explore the Arctic world of seals, polar bears, and puffins.
On Sunday, December 11th, the Lincoln Park Zoo hosts two tours. The first is Back from the Brink (adults only) which focuses on the zoo’s successful projects in conservation and animal care, like its red wolves exhibit. Later in the afternoon, families (with children five years and up) can join in the Bedtime for All tour which looks at animal sleeping patterns around the zoo.
The Nature Boardwalk is a hot spot during the winter. A great place for a stroll, it’s also the site for many preserved tracks from the Zoo’s resident critters, such as squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons, as well as visiting dogs.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is always adding to its animal collection. Over the past year, they’ve welcomed two Moholi Bushbabies (the cute little primates with the big eyes), an African Blue-bellied Roller, a 1-year old Bactrian Camel, a pair of Grant’s Gazelles, a European White Stork chick (hatched on May 12th), a baby Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth (who’s now fully weaned and exploring a bit without mom), Eurasian Lynx sisters, and the adorable baby White-Cheeked Gibbon named Sai. All these new arrivals are well worth a visit or two!
Feeling chilly? Take a break from the weather in any of the Zoo’s heated animal houses or grab something hot to eat or drink in the Park Place or Landmark Cafés.
ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo
One of the most spectacular parts of the winter season at the Lincoln Park Zoo is the annual ZooLights exhibition. The Zoo stays open late on select nights in late November and December from 5-9 p.m. so visitors can enjoy the thousands of holiday light strands hung all over the park. Additionally, these special nights are host to a large variety of other wintery activities. Watch artists create elaborate ice carving sculptures. Make holiday crafts with the Zoo staff. Ride on the Holiday Express Train or the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel. Visit all of your favorite animal friends and stick around for the Musical Light Show. And take a photo with the night’s special guest of honor, Santa!
The Lincoln Park Zoo doesn’t go into hibernation during the winter so neither should you. C’mon out and explore the Zoo’s winter wonders!