Explore: Lincoln Park Zoo

On Saturday for the first time I visited the Lincoln Park Zoo. Of course, we rode our bikes there. The zoo is free, located just north of downtown by the lake. The size is impressive for a free attraction and it’s a fun way to spend the day, especially for families with children.

Some exhibits were a little sad, especially the intelligent gorillas. I’m not sure how I feel about zoos in general, but the beauty of the space is undeniable, especially in the middle of a city as big as Chicago. I enjoyed spending the day outside with nature and with my friend Marisol from high school, visiting from North Carolina. A good thing about living in Chicago is being a hub for visitors :)

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13 thoughts on “Explore: Lincoln Park Zoo

  1. Richard says:


    I enjoy your blog. Visited Chicago last week on Thursday and Friday and was impressed by the number of bike commuters (I stayed near the lakefront, across from Harry Carey’s). I hail from Indy, where we are on the way to being much more bike friendly.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Steve A says:

    I remember visiting the Brookfield Zoo when I was a little kid, but I don’t think I’ve ever been to the Lincoln Park Zoo.

  3. Sefton says:

    I really enjoy your blog and have done a few of your summer social events. Thanks for the cool ideas!

    Your comment made me think of Ismael, a very cool book by Daniel Quinn.

    Thanks for the fun blog.

  4. Like you mentioned about the gorillas, zoos give me mixed feelings. My favourite zoos are the kind with lots of greenery, forest-like, so that they are almost like a sanctuary. Yours certainly looks beautiful!

  5. Cherilyn says:

    There’s an interesting commentary on zoos in the book The Life of Pi that says that zoos might not be all bad for animals. The theory goes that when animals are getting regular meals and don’t have to worry about defending their territory are healthier or less stressed. It’s something to think about.

    Beautiful pictures!

  6. Scott says:

    The zoo was the first thing I did when I came to Chicago. I rented my apartment, then went straight there because — free zoo! How sweet!

    Last time I was there, I saw some interesting material on the primates’ unstable, self-destructive behavior in the old days when they put them behind bars on a concrete floor. At least now they give them a wider range of foods and smells, and let them climb around in a larger, if still too confined, space. I feel worse about how Seaworld makes a whale built to migrate the world’s oceans live in a bathtub.

  7. Daniella says:

    Beautiful! Were you allowed to ride your bike throughout the zoo? That would be a great trip! Lovely photos as always…

    • Dottie says:

      Thanks! We biked through Lincoln Park, but not the zoo. Probably not allowed, plus it was very crowded with kids and strollers.

  8. Pam says:

    Love your bike. Looks like Rivendell. Is it? Do you love it? Is it heavy? I have an Electra Townie 21 and I love it but it’s 46 pounds with all the accessories (rack, panniers, front basket, cyclometer, fenders, bell, pump, patch kit, lipbalm…) but without my change of clothes and shoes – that’s extra. I’d like something a little lighter and still sit upright. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for the blog. I really enjoy it. You are an inspiration.

    As for the sweat. I’m a sweater too and I’m in Charlotte, NC – hot and humid here. I undress in the bathroom. Wipe down with a washcloth and fan myself for a few minutes. Plus drink some ice cold water out of my Polar Bottle. This works even in the summer for me.

    • Dottie says:

      Danke! Yes, it is a Rivendell. A Betty Foy. Super light! For a steel bike with fenders. Highly recommended.

      I’m from North Carolina, so I know all about that heat and humidity. Felt like that in Chicago today, 90 degrees.

  9. kristin says:

    like everything else, zoos have good ones and bad ones. where i live (burlingame, ca) we have coyote point museum, which has small animals (bobcat, fox, otters, eagle, coyote, etc) all of which were found either severely injured in the wild, needing massive surgery (the birds can no longer fly) or they were pets bought on the black market and rescued. they have really happy lives. i love that place. BUT zoos that take animals from the wild and confine them are evil. especially like Scott says about sea world. and Ishmael is amazing, if you haven’t read it.

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