My kids LOVE looking at animals, so we are absolutely zoo people. A Spring and Fall trip to one of our area's zoos is usually on the agenda for each of my girls' birthdays, but sadly, we have never been to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. WHY? Probably because we never knew the Lincoln Park Zoo is free to get into, as it has been for 150 years, and will continue to be so until 2050. 

With little fanfare this spring, the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, which runs the zoo, and the Chicago Park District, which owns the zoo’s land and buildings on the city’s north side, extended their operating agreement by a quarter century, to Dec. 31, 2049.

“The new agreement keeps the Lincoln Park Zoo free until 2050, which I think is something that certainly our board was very interested in,” said Kevin Bell, the zoo’s longtime CEO in an interview Wednesday. “We think it’s great for Chicago, and obviously City Hall also feels it’s a great thing for Chicago and for people visiting Chicago to have a free zoo.”

For the amount of time my family spends at zoos, I feel like a real moron for not knowing that Lincoln Park Zoo has free admission. Now that I know, we will definitely be going there for our zoo adventure this Fall.

To plan your next trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo, just go to

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