Lincoln Park Zoo Set to Temporarily Close after ZooLights

The Lincoln Park Zoo will voluntarily temporarily close at the start of 2021 after ZooLights ends, the attraction announced. The city’s free zoo will be closed Jan. 4-March 4.

The zoo says that the city and state guidelines that have forced the closing of buildings will put staff and guests at risk in the winter months.

“In addition, many animals choose to stay in their indoor habitats in the wintertime, which would mean low animal viewing and a suboptimal guest experience,” Lincoln Park Zoo says in a release. 

Meanwhile, ZooLights will remain open as long as city and state safety measures allow them to be. Admission to the zoo continues to be free, and families make timed reservations on Eventbrite or by calling 312-742-2000. Admission to ZooLights is $5 with a timed ticket.

Face masks will be required for guests over the age of 2 and social distancing will be encouraged on signage around the zoo. There will be restricted access at touch points that include areas of regular high traffic and more hand washing stations and sanitation areas. 

For families that elect to remain at home, there are virtual options surrounding the ZooLights experience. The ZooLights Virtual Challenge begins Nov. 27 and is a virtual run to raise money for the zoo. A new Virtual Walkthrough of ZooLights on Dec. 19 lets families see the lights from home with behind-the-scenes information from the producers. Kids can enjoy Storytime with Santa on Dec. 20, and meet a zoo animal with a look inside its habitat.  


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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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