This holiday season give your child the gift of
cute creature encounters. You're sure to surprise them with a gift
that's not only educational, but one they'll remember a lot longer
than the latest hot toy.
Instead of a stuffed penguin, give your child a
face-to-face time with a real one. Shedd offers a penguin encounter
for the 4-and-up crowd for $25, one of the cheaper animal
encounters we found.
Another kid-friendly experience is the Behind-the-Scenes
Tour. "It really is a learning experience, not just about the
animals, but about the environment and conservation," says Melissa
Kruth, spokesperson at Shedd.
Lincoln Park Zoo
For an after-hours animal encounter, check out Bedtime
Buddies in the Pritzker Family Children's Zoo after the zoo closes.
"Kids are invited to wear their favorite PJs and say good night to
their favorite animals, or sometimes good morning to the nocturnal
animals," says Jaclyn Peterson, manager of public
The 12 and older crowd will like Flippers and Fins
program, featuring Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, seals and sea
Younger kids, age 7-12, will have to wait until summer to
take part in the zoo's newest offering, Junior
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