For years now, Chicagoland families have enjoyed a train ride along with their animal sightings when visiting Lincoln Park Zoo. But starting Oct. 2, that ride turns into an attraction all its own, thanks to the brand new Lionel Train Adventure.
Gone is that mundane circular path; the new 28-passenger train, which boasts a wheelchair-accessible caboose, travels over a bridge and a “craggy canyon” and through a birch forest before returning to the station. The station is the real highlight for parents, thanks to convenient stroller parking and a tucked-away location that keeps little ones from being jostled by passersby.
The Lionel Train Adventure is located near the west entrance of the zoo, and directly next to the in-process Regenstein Macaque Forest (and shares some of that enclosure’s aesthetic features).
While the macaques, aka snow monkeys, are due to arrive in Chicago sometime this fall, the grand opening isn’t planned until the spring, after a mandatory quarantine and additional time for acclimation to their new surroundings. But sharp eyes may still be able spot the monkeys while they adjust to their sweet home Chicago.
On the Lionel Train Adventure’s grand opening weekend (Oct. 2-5), zoo members ride the train for free, and the first 50 passengers receive a free Lionel wooden train whistle.
And while the train isn’t animal-oriented, it’s just one way the zoo ensures that seeing the lions, tigers and bears won’t be the only excitement for families when they visit.
Lionel Train Adventure
- Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago