5 Reasons to Get a Lincoln Park Zoo Membership Now

A Lincoln Park Zoo membership opens the door to unique opportunities for your family! An expert explains the many benefits.

General admission to this world-class zoo is free, but if you don’t have a Lincoln Park Zoo membership, you are missing out! Exclusive invitations to special events, parking discounts and educational opportunities: these are a few of the special advantages a membership brings you.

“You get an even better zoo experience when you join as a member,” says Julia Burns, Director of Membership for Lincoln Park Zoo

Here are five reasons why you should get a Lincoln Park Zoo membership now:

1. Parking perks

Anyone used to driving in Chicago knows that parking can be a problem, especially with young children in tow.

“Parking discounts and free parking passes in our dedicated lot are one of the best membership benefits we offer,” says Burns. “When you take parking out of the equation, it frees up time to spend enjoying the zoo!”

Parking benefits will vary based on your membership. The bottom line is that all members will receive either free or discounted parking – and that can add up to big savings.

2. Widespread family discounts

Part of the fun of visiting Lincoln Park Zoo is the special ticketed attractions. When you are a member, you get discounted access to several of them, including the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel or Lionel Train Adventure.

“Membership is so helpful for families,” says Burns. “You get discounts throughout the zoo, including at the gift shop and restaurants. Members also get 50% off stroller rentals.”

And, did you know that Lincoln Park Zoo has a Member Lounge?

“Our Member Lounge in the Searle Visitor Center is a beautiful, quiet space to cool off in summer or warm up in the winter,” says Burns. “There are couches, a private bathroom and a coloring station for kids.”

Lincoln Park Zoo offers fun and educational camps year round along with other youth programs. Most membership levels entitle you to discounts on these popular activities.

3. Access to special events and educational opportunities

Your Lincoln Park Zoo membership makes you an instant insider at the zoo for popular events like ZooLights. Members are invited to an exclusive preview night.

“We are excited to offer a new member benefit for ZooLights this year,” says Burns. “Members who can’t make it to the preview night will receive free tickets to ZooLights on the night of their choosing.”

In the summertime, the annual Super Zoo Picnic is a members-only event complete with inflatables, carnival games and more. “This is a great community of zoo supporters and many families make it a tradition to attend every year,” says Burns.

Members also get special access to educational programs. Burns says that this can include animal enrichment sessions and conservation talks at member events such as Super Zoo Picnic.

“At Super Zoo Picnic, our experts are stationed at various habitats to answer questions about animals. We offer many educational opportunities for members throughout the year.”

4. Your Lincoln Park Zoo membership helps animals, worldwide conservation efforts and the community

Your membership is crucial to the operations of the zoo, which is free and open 365 days a year.

“About 80% of our annual operating funds come from members, donors and visitors,” says Burns. “You’re helping us remain admission free for the community while supporting education programs and animal welfare. You’re also helping with our worldwide conservation efforts.”

Animal lovers should know that your membership directly helps the animals at the zoo. “It costs about $746,000 a year just to feed more than 700 animals here at the zoo,” says Burns. “Your membership helps provide nutrition, enrichment and medical care for all the animals at the zoo.” 

5. A Lincoln Park Zoo membership makes a great gift

The holidays are almost here and gift-giving is around the corner. A membership to Lincoln Park Zoo is a unique and thoughtful gift that also gives back.

“Your gift gives your recipient all the benefits of a zoo membership while also helping to support the animals and our mission.”

Another great gift? Lincoln Park Zoo’s Adopt an Animal program. This symbolic “adoption” allows you to directly help a zoo animal through your support. Depending on the level you choose, your Adopt gift recipient will get a plush toy of “their” animal along with a picture and other items.

You can even combine an individual zoo membership with an Adopt for an extra special gift! 

Besides giving back, Burns points out that getting a Lincoln Park Zoo membership is a win-win for you. “No matter what tier you choose, being a member makes for a smoother, easier, more pleasurable visit to Lincoln Park Zoo for the whole family and you’re supporting a Chicago treasure and its impact for animals around the world!”

For more information on a Lincoln Park Zoo membership, visit lpzoo.org.

Jennifer Kales
Jennifer Kales
Content editor Jennifer Kales has been in the business of writing for more than 20 years creating advertising copy, blogs, books and everything in between. She loves helping Chicago Parent clients tell their stories in a way that resonates with audiences.


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