Lincoln Park Zoo
Take your group for a taste of the adventurous when you step into Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. Every day at 11am the Meet an Animal segment allows visitors to interact up close and personal with creatures such as a python or an armadillo. Go behind the scenes of animal training and care to learn how the animals experience the zoo. Everyone will appreciate the innocent pleasure of the Endangered Species Carousel until their appetites catch up with them. Offering three on-site restaurants you will need your energy if you plan to partake in the available workshops, like urban gardening. Otherwise, grab a souvenir after visiting the multitude of habitats and displays ranging from the Oriental Fire Bellied Toad to the gentler sounding Parma Wallaby. Before you go, wind down alongside the Chicago skyline with Yoga at the Zoo from June to September.
This is Chicago’s most remarkable new public space. During the summer the park has free events and concerts featuring the City’s most talented performers and artists at the Pritzker Pavilion. Groups can also explore Cloud Gate. A 110-ton elliptical sculpture which reflects the city’s famous skyline and the clouds above. The Crown Fountain is a 50 ft. tall glass block tower with water cascading down the sides. Kids get their feet wet in the water or completely cool off by standing next to the fountain and let the water run over them. Watch as the side of the fountain changes from faces (of people of Chicago) to nature scenes. Or walk the BP Bridge. It is a 925 foot long winding bridge which provides incomparable views of the city’s skyline, Grant Park and Lake Michigan. Grab a bite to eat or an ice cream from one of the vendors in the park. Also there are souvenir shops which sell exclusively Millennium Park items.
The Shedd is a city treasure and well deserving of its title as the world’s largest indoor aquarium. The Caribbean Coral Reef entertains spectators with divers feeding nurse sharks, barracudas, stingrays, and hawksbill sea turtles. A crew of friendly trainers puts dolphins through their paces of leaping dives, breaches, and tail walking at the Oceanarium. And a visit to the Wild Reef-Sharks at Shedd brings you up close and personal to sharks and other predators as you observe them through a floor to ceiling window.
Spend about three hours at the Field Museum without one minute of boredom as you walk through scores of permanent and temporary exhibits spread over 9 acres of floor space. First see the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever unearthed named Sue for the paleontologist who found the dinosaur in 1990 in South Dakota. The real skull is so heavy that a lighter copy had to be mounted on the skeleton and the actual one is displayed nearby. Visitors can explore aspects of the day-to-day world of ancient Egypt, viewing 23 actual mummies and realistic burial scenes, a living marsh environment and canal works, the ancient royal barge, a religious shrine, and a reproduction of a typical marketplace of the period. The Underground Adventure is a “total immersion environment” populated by giant robotic earwigs, centipedes, wolf spiders, and other subterranean critters. That and much more can be seen at the Field Museum of Natural History.