Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
197
Swamp re-creates the bioregions of a southern cypress swamp and an Illinois river scene
and discusses what people can do to pr otect wetlands. The dolphins at the Seven Seas
Panorama put on an amazing sho w that has been a B rookfield Z oo fixtur e for
years. If you go on a weekend, buy tickets to the dolphin show at least a couple of hours
before the one you plan to attend, because they tend to sell out quickly .
The Hamill Family Play Zoo is a wonder ful stop for kids. They not only get to pet
animals but also can build habitats, learn ho w to plant a gar den, and ev en play animal
dress-up. The only catch: the separate admission fee ($3.50 adults, $2.50 childr
en).
Allow 3 hours.
First Ave. and 31st St., Br ookfield. & 708/485-0263. www.brookfieldzoo.org. Admission $10 adults, $6
seniors and children 3-11, free for children 2 and under. Free admission Tues and Thurs Oct-Feb. Memo-
rial Day to Labor Day daily 9:30am-6pm (Sun until 7:30pm); fall-spring daily 10am-5pm. Take the Ste-
venson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expys 14 miles west of the Loop. Bus: 304 or 311.
Lincoln Park Pritzker Children's Zoo & Farm-in-the-Zoo Value All ages.
After gazing upon the animals fr om afar in the r est of the Lincoln P ark Zoo, kids can
come here for some hands-on experience. Unlike many other children's zoos, there are no
baby animals at the Pritzker Children's Zoo; instead, the outdoor habitats feature wildlife
of the North American woods, including wolves, beavers, and otters. The outdoor habi-
tats are fun to explor e, with interactiv e displays, but the highlight for most kids is the
indoor Treetop Canopy Climbing A dventure, a 20-foot-high wood-and-fabric tr ee
(encased in safety netting) that kids can scramble up and down (there are also a few small
padded play areas for little ones). The best (meaning newest and cleanest) bathrooms in
the zoo are located in this building.
The Farm-in-the-Zoo is a working reproduction of a Midwestern farm, complete with
a white-picket-fenced barnyard. You can see live demonstrations of butter churning and
weaving, and watch the cows being milked. Thanks to the chicken coops, and stalls filled
with livestock, including cows, sheep, and pigs, ev en the aroma is authentic. I nside the
Main Barn (filled with interactiv e exhibits), the main attraction is the huge J ohn Deere
tractor that kids can climb up into and pr etend to drive. Allow 1 hour.
2200 N. Cannon Dr. & 312/742-2000. www.lpzoo.com. Free admission. Daily 9am-5pm. Bus: 151 or 156.
Lincoln Park Zoo Value All ages. One of Chicago 's don't-miss attractions
for kids, Lincoln Park Zoo occupies a scant 35 acres, and its landmark Georgian Revival
brick buildings and modern structures sit among gently rolling pathways, verdant lawns,
and a kaleidoscopic profusion of flower gardens. It's so compact that a tour of the various
habitats takes all of 2 or 3 hours—a conv enience factor ev en more enticing when y ou
consider that the nation's oldest zoo (it was founded in 1868) stays open 365 days a year
and is one of the last fr ee zoos in the country. Lincoln Park Zoo has held a special place
in the hearts of Chicagoans since the days of B ushman, the mighty lowland gorilla who
captivated the world in the 1930s and 1940s and no w suffers the ignominious fate of a
stuffed exhibit at the Field Museum of Natural History. The late Marlon Perkins, legend-
ary host of the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom TV series, got his start here as the zoo's
director, and filmed a pioneering TV show called Zoo Parade ( Wild Kingdom 's predeces-
sor) in the basement of the old R eptile House.
The zoo has taken on an ambitious modernization, renovating and expanding exhibits
to reflect natural habitats. F or years, the star attraction has been the lo wland gorillas at
the Regenstein Center for African A pes . The z oo has had r emarkable success in
breeding both gorillas and chimpanzees, and watching these ape families is mesmerizing.
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