Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
throughout the year. The Corner Bakery cafe, located just off the main hall, ser ves fare
that's a cut abo ve the usual museum victuals. ( To skip the lunchtime lines, pick up one
of the premade salads or sandwiches and head for the cash r egister.) Families also flock
to the McDonald's on the lower level. Allow 3 hours.
Roosevelt Rd. and Lake Shore Dr. & 312/922-9410 or 312/341-9299 TDD (for hearing-impaired callers). Admission $12 adults; $7 seniors and students with ID; $7 children 3-11; free for
teachers, armed-forces personnel in uniform, and children 2 and under. Free admission Mon-Tues mid-
Sept to Nov and Jan-Feb. Daily 9am-5pm. Closed Dec 25. Bus: 6, 10, 12, 130, or 146.
Hamill Family Play Zoo All ages. Located within Chicago's largest zoo, the
Brookfield Zoo (located in w est suburban Brookfield), the Hamill Family Play Zoo lets
kids talk to the animals in an up-close-and-personal way . I n fact, the kids ' z oo was
designed to help kids, from infants to age 10, develop feelings of kinship with the natu-
ral world. Childr en can touch domesticated animals, help car e for animals, sear ch for
insects under logs, watch z ookeepers prepare animal food, pr etend to be a v eterinarian,
plant seeds, build feeders, and mor e. You'll find 300 individual animals fr om 58 species
here, and specially trained staff is on hand to help make the most of y our visit.
Other B rookfield Z oo exhibits let kids encounter bathing hippos and laugh at the
antics of the orangutans. In total, the Brookfield Zoo is spread over 216 acres with 2,700
animals in residence. Kid favorites are Siberian tigers, snow leopards, giraffes, green sea
turtles, and baboons. All the animals live in naturalistic environments that allow them to
live side by side with other inhabitants of their regions (see the Brookfield Zoo review in
the “Zoos” section later in this chapter for mor e information).
First Ave. and 31st St., Br ookfield. & 708/485-0263. w Admission to Play Zoo
$3.50 adults, $2.50 seniors and children 3-11 (in addition to paying the general Brookfield Zoo admission
of $10 adults, $6 seniors and children 3-11, free for children 2 and under). Free admission Tues and Thurs
Oct-Feb. Memorial Day to Labor Day daily 9:30am-6pm (Sun until 7:30pm); fall-spring daily 10am-5pm.
Parking $8. To reach the zoo from downtown, take the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expys 14
miles west of the Loop. Subway/El: 304 or 311.
John G. Shedd A quarium All ages. What do kids lo ve best about the
Shedd? The dolphin sho w! But there's plenty mor e to see and do her e. Thousands of
denizens of river, lake, and sea populate the standar d aquarium tanks and elaborate ne w
habitats at this marble octagon building. O pened in 1930, the S hedd debuted in auspi-
cious fashion: It had the gr eatest variety of sea life ev er exhibited at one institution and
was the first inland aquarium to maintain permanent exhibits of both saltwater and
freshwater animals. Today, it is one of the world 's largest indoor aquariums. The only
downside to the Shedd is its steep admission price, which can r eally add up for a family
($23 for adults and $16 for childr en). You can keep y our costs do wn b y buying the
“Aquarium Only” admission, but you'll miss some of the most stunning exhibits (includ-
ing the dolphin sho w). A CityP ass can also sav e you money if y ou visit enough of the
other included attractions.
The first thing y ou'll see as y ou enter is the Caribbean Coral R eef exhibit. This
90,000-gallon circular tank occupies the B eaux Arts-style central rotunda, entertaining
spectators who press up against the glass to ogle div ers feeding nurse sharks, barracudas,
stingrays, and a hawksbill sea turtle. A roving camera connected to video monitors on the
tank's periphery gives visitors close-ups of the animals inside. I t's worth sticking around
to catch one of the daily feedings, when a div er swims around the tank and talks into a
microphone about the species inside and their eating habits.
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