Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

This posting is mostly for my Chinese students and friends.

This morning, my mom and I spent 3 hours enjoying the Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park Observatory.

Short Introduction

Lincoln Park Zoo, a 35-acre area located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, was founded in 1868, making it among the oldest of zoos in North America. It is also one of a few free admission zoos in the United States. Only 10% of the funding for this zoo comes from the city of Chicago. Other funding comes from private donations, sales in the zoo shop and special venue rentals and sponsorship of animals by local citizens.

Lincoln Park Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals. The zoo’s exhibits include big cats, polar bears, penguins, gorillas, reptiles, monkeys, birds, reptiles and  other species totalling about 1,100 animals from some 200 species.

Our Findings

In the winter, my mom and I wondered if visiting the zoo was worth it or not. Would the animals be out and about?  Would all the inside housing areas for the animals be open?  Would we really enjoy our outing or feel bad seeing animals in small enclosures and unhappy?

As it turned out, it was definitely not a waste of time.  We easily rode the bus from our hotel area, landed at the zoo, picked up a map and off we went.  The greatest treat was seeing animals up close and personal, with plenty of opportunities to take pictures.

Especially fun was seeing so many little kids (pre-school, kindergarten and grade school) taking Friday field trips with their teachers or parents.  Watching their faces light up while seeing the animals was priceless!


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Our walking tour through Lincoln Park also included the Lincoln Park Observatory.   This is a Victorian Era glass house, built in the late nineteenth century. It contains four rooms displaying exotic plants from around the world.


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We managed the entire zoo quite comfortably within 3 hours, which was just enough time to return and rest up for our evening taking in another theater show, 1/2 price tickets which we purchased from Hot Tix.

A nice way to close our last full day in Chicago.

Saturday it’s heading back down south on the Amtrak where we’ll be picking up Little Lao-lao at the kennels.  Weather reports have us from 40 to 50 degrees for Saturday and Sunday.  No worries of ice for a dog pick-up this time around. Guess I can leave my mom’s shoe-cleats in the closet.  What a relief!  I’d rather not have a repeat of last week’s harrowing icy experience in the vet’s parking lot.  I’m sure Lao-lao doesn’t, either, nor Christina.

Next reports will be a few dog stories from China, in honor of the Year of the Dog.  Ping An (Peace), everyone!


About connieinchina

I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
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