Zoo Lights

2001 N. Clark Street

happyly approved

Celebrate the Holiday Season at The Lincoln Park Zoo

Each year, Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo decks all the corridors and corner of the zoo with hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights.  Zoo lights is a Chicago right of passage during the holiday season.  Opening just after Thanksgiving (with the first official night of the lights getting turned on a special Zoo members only event- Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the only free zoos in the country, aside from the National Zoo in DC and becoming a member is worth it for the Zoo Lights access and free parking alone!), Zoo lights usually runs from the last weekend in November through the New Year. 

Dress warmly!  Chicago isn’t known for mild winter weather!  Be sure to stop by the Zoo’s gift shop to pickup a pair of the free zoo lights glasses.  Wear them to look at the lights and have the glow of the light turn into different animal shapes.  Seriously amusing for kids and grownups alike!  The Zoo has a spectacularly choreographed lights display on the main lawn with a few songs and light dance rotating every 15 minutes or so throughout each evening.  There are so many lights, it’s hard to capture them all in a short write-up.  Stop for hot cocoa (or mulled wine!) and you can even visit Santa or hop on the famous zoo carousel for a winter time ride while you’re there.  The zoo is stroller friendly and an easy place to pack your own snack or dinner on the go.  Several animals are moved (by their own choosing) inside but when you’re at zoo lights, you’ll still be able to catch glimpses of certain animals. 

Lincoln Park Zoo is open 365 Days a year.  It’s a real gift and pride to the City of Chicago.  They’re committed to animal welfare and research as well as making things available and accessible to families and people all over.  This seasonal event is a must see and is sure to put anyone in the holiday spirit! 

Reenie O'Brien King
My Location
A Chicago native, Reenie grew up in the city's Old Town area. After 6 years on the east coast (Boston and Philly) with her husband, Cabell, they returned to Chicago in 2018 and have settled in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood area of the city. Reenie is the proud, dedicated and playful mom to two kids, Tiernan (4) and Adeline (2) and one on the way (due in May 2021). She holds a Master's in Education from DePaul University and has taught Kindergarten, First Grade, Middle School Drama and 8th Grade Art. Despite taking time off from full- time classroom work, Reenie remains passionate and active in the educational field serving on the boards of ISCJ School in Chicago and Ingles Sin Limites in El Salvador. She is a founding member and former chairman of the Junior Board at Chicago's Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Reenie has also done work at Scattergood Ethics at The University of Pennsylvania and consulted with Free Forest School Illinois and Hike it Baby Philadelphia. Currently home "daily adventuring" with her kids, Reenie also serves as the Director of Online and Print Content at her family's Mental Health company, MADO Healthcare. A passionate traveler, horseback rider, yogi, mental health advocate and aspiring Children's Book Author, Reenie is glad to share some views of the city she loves with Happy.ly!
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