The Lincoln Park Zoo was founded in 1868 and is one of the oldest zoos in America. Its beginnings were humble enough, with a donation of swans from New York's Central Park. The animal collection has expanded slowly over time. The Lion House was built in 1912 and the Monkey House in 1927. Today the zoo is home to around 1,250 animals.
The Kovler Lion House is a bit of a misnomer, as it contains many species of big cats. The Regenstein Center for African Apes has one of North America's largest collections of lowland gorillas. The Farm-in-the-Zoo is a petting zoo featuring domestic farm animals. The Pritzker Family Children's Zoo features wildlife native to the American Midwest. The Lincoln Park Conservatory houses exotic plants and orchids and grows rare flora for use in the zoo. There is a strong emphasis on conservation here.
The zoo's scope is certainly modest. It doesn't compare to any of the world's great zoos, but nonetheless the Lincoln Park Zoo is a green oasis in the middle of the city. It's a great escape from Chicago's chaos, and free to boot. Spend an afternoon here enjoying the company of the animals.
Address: 2200 North Cannon Drive
Telephone: (312) 742 2000
Hours: Vary throughout the year.
Admission: Free admission.