Chicago area zoos

Some zoos have a broad array of animals. And some specialize in certain animals or certain age group visitors. Check out our list of five Chicago area zoos that readers keep coming back to.

Some zoos have a broad array of animals. And some specialize in certain animals or certain age group visitors. Check out our list of five Chicago area zoos that readers keep coming back to.

2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago

Best part: It’s free and open every day of the
year, so this is ideal for anyone from the mom who wants to pop in
for a half hour before naptime to those who want a cheap date night
sans the kids.

Don’t miss: They’ve got an adorable petting zoo
area and small museum for tots called Farm-in-the-Zoo. Watch the
cows being milked, pet the goats and pretend you’re a chick while
you climb into the huge egg for a fabulous photo opp.

Missing: Elephants. They used to live here, but
they moved.

When you’re done: Check out the Green City
Market, at the southern end of Lincoln Park between Clark and
Stockton Drive during the summer or at the Peggy Notebaert Nature
Museum during cooler months.

Lincoln Park Zoo

8400 31st St., Brookfield $15, $10.50 kids. Check your local library for a free familypass

Best: Toddlers and up. It’s a huge zoo that’ll
entertain the entire family.

Don’t miss: The dolphin show is really exciting
and worth the extra $4 per adult and $2.50 per child under 12.

Missing: Elephants. Can’t find them here

When you’re done: Grab a bite to eat at The
Chew Chew, 33 E. Burlington St., which will satisfy mommies and
babies alike.

Brookfield Zoo

1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton Free kids 18 and under and Wheaton Park District residents, and $3for non-resident adults

Best: The under-5 set. The zoo is small and
while there is only a small selection of animals, you can get
really close to all of them.

Don’t miss: The large duck pond is a relaxing
place to spend the afternoon. Bring an extra dollar, and you can
feed them.

Missing: Just about every animal outside of
typical farm animals.

When you’re done: Get the kids really tired at
Kids Town, 1141 E. Butterfield Road, which is a fabulous indoor
play space.

Cosley Zoo

1180 N. Randall Road, Dundee $3.25, $4 nonresidents, free kids under 2

Best: Ages 1-4. It’s a quaint zoo centered
around the petting area.

Don’t miss: For $1, you can feed the goats and
other barnyard animals. For another $3.50, your kids can take a
pony ride.

Missing: It has the basics: Cows, pigs, goats,
sheep, deer, donkeys and horses, but not many other types of

When you’re done: Take a short drive over to
Gee & Jays, 925 Dundee Ave., where you can satisfy your craving
for Chinese food and ice cream in one delicious spot.

Randall Oaks Barnyard Zoo

1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora


Best: Infants-4. Grab the stroller and take a
long, scenic walk around the trails. The preschoolers will be able
to run without too many people around. And even little ones love
the mastodon bones in the visitor center.

Don't miss: The reptile house. It has a great
selection of turtles, snakes and even alligators.

 Missing All exotic animals. This zoo has just 100 animals-but you
get to see them all up close.

When you're done: There's a great playground
for kids of all ages to enjoy.

Phillips Park Zoo

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