The Lincoln Park Zoo is open all year, but winter gives a different feel to this popular free attraction when the seasonal crowds abate and quiet paths make a perfect setting for reflection. Ducks, geese and pink flamingos populate the waterfall lagoon, and the polar bear revels in the cold. Lions move between indoor and outdoor enclosures, depending on their mood and the temperature. Inside, the Regenstein African Journey takes visitors over a covered bridge and into a rain forest that knows no winter. Giraffes eat from a head-high feeder, fish swim around a submerged hippo, and a rhinoceros forages for food. The squawks and splashes of the animals, and the humid, earthy atmosphere, make the “journey” seem authentic.
Zoo admission is free, but parking can be pricy; consider using public transportation to get there. The carousel and train rides are extra.