ReptileFest slithers back to Chicago April 12-13

They have scales and snouts and shells. They stick out their tongues or shed their skin or snap their jaws. They come in every color of the rainbow, and some are even able to change their color when it suits.

If you go


  • 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 12-13
  • , kids ( off coupons available on website)
  • UIC Physical Education Building, 901 W. Roosevelt Road,

Stop by and visit Chicago Parent, we’ll be there all

What is this diverse group, which hails from every corner of the globe? You probably already guessed: reptiles.

At this year’s ReptileFest event, you’ll get a chance to be face-to-face with some of the wildest and wackiest species out there, from iguanas to alligators, turtles to skinks.

ReptileFest, organized by the Chicago Herpetological Society, is the nation’s largest educational reptile and amphibian show. Exhibitors bring more than 200 species from around the world, many of which are ready and willing to pose for a photo. And even if you’re a little too squeamish to don a 15-foot snake Britney Spears-style, there are plenty of less intimidating creatures waiting for their close-up. (Don’t worry, the animals that are able to be held are completely safe; the venomous ones stay behind glass.)

The purpose of the show is education (no animals are offered for sale), so be on the lookout for favorite kid-friendly exhibitors like The Frog Lady and the Herps of Illinois, who are always happy to answer questions and let you meet their scaly friends.

And above all else, be bold. Reptiles may come in all shapes and sizes-some of which are frankly intimidating-but they all have a lot to teach us about unusual beauty and taking care of the creepy, crawly creatures of this world.

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