Get up close and personal with the Lincoln Park Zoo penguins

At Lincoln Park Zoo, Phil is the class clown, Erik the rebel and Aje the best friend. And this trio of outgoing African penguins are the first to waddle forward during the daily Malott Family Penguin Encounters when families come to visit.

Because the zoo leaves it up to the penguins to decide whether or not to participate in the up-close encounter, Jillian Braun, public relations director at the zoo, says these three really enjoy meeting new people. Maybe it’s because they are younger or because they don’t have a mate that keeps them otherwise occupied, if you know what we mean.

During the 45- to 60-minute encounters, families share the penguins’ space inside the exhibit while getting to know them on a more personal level.

Malott Family Penguin Encounters occur twice a day at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. through Oct. 31. Kids 6-13 must be accompanied by an adult.

Remember, no touching, no matter how much these cute tuxedoed birds tempt you.

If you go

Malott Family Penguin Encounters

Lincoln Park Zoo, Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove

$60 per person

Some day-of spots may be available.

Register online at

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