5 Most Visited Zoos in Chicago

Zoos in Chicago are famous throughout the world for redefining wildlife. From native creatures to exotic features, giant cats to shy bats, Chicago zoos display a wide variety of the most mesmerizing wildlife and bird life in the world. Moreover, the goal is no longer just to provide entertainment but also to prevent the extinction of endangered animal species across the globe. As a result, people will now learn about these fascinating species at a number of Chicago zoos. 

Furthermore, the Chicago area is fortunate to have the best zoos that have won awards. The zoos in Chicago that offer tourists an entertaining and engaging experience are compiled in the list below.

Best Zoos In Chicago

Let’s dive into the world of nature and explore some of the most amazing zoos located in the windy city of Chicago.


Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park is home to one of the oldest and biggest zoos in Chicago. It is named after Illinois’s favorite son Abraham Lincoln.  The Lincoln Park Zoo is privately run, depending heavily on the donations of its patrons, sponsors, and members to remain open and free every day. Revenue from the nation’s own dining services, retail stores, parking, and fundraising events provides significantly more than two-thirds of the operating budget. The Chicago Park District provides the remainder as part of a predetermined annual subsidy.

Lincoln Park Zoo is formidable because of the staff’s passion and the energy they bring to the zoo every day. Their skills help save the lives of animals worldwide, list critically endangered flora at the zoo, expand educational opportunities in Chicago, and develop animal care techniques that are useful to people worldwide. The Board of Trustees provides direction and leadership for the zoo. They primarily oversee the zoo’s financial stability and offer views on operational and financial issues.

Address: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

Phone: (312) 742-2000


Timings : Sunday-Saturday: 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Also read: Bars in Lincoln Park


Cosley Zoo – One of the Remarkable Zoos in Chicago

Cosley Zoo - Zoos in Chicago

About 30 miles outside of Chicago, in Wheaton, Illinois, is the remarkable zoo known as Cosley Zoo. It stands out because of the farm animals and native fauna of Illinois. This setup offers excellent learning opportunities to the locals and is an excellent location for tourists to learn about the local fauna. The five-acre Cosley Zoo is one of the most remarkable zoos in Chicago and is home to several animals, including white-tailed deer, red foxes, Blanding’s turtles, bobcats, coyotes, and black-crowned night herons.

More than 150 animals from more than 60 different species are housed in more than 20 exhibits, providing lots of educational opportunities for kids. Every exhibit at this Chicago Zoo is designed to give kids the opportunity to engage with nature and learn more about the animals. The Cosley Zoo is also a centre for animal conservation and education, offering courses to teach people of all ages how to protect the environment and give back to the neighborhoods where they live, work, and play.

Address: 1356 N Gary Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187

Phone: (630) 665-5534


Timings: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Daily

Interesting read: Why is Chicago called the Windy City?


Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo

The Brookfield Zoo, often known as the Chicago Zoological Park, has over 450 species and welcomes about two million visitors a year. The Chicago Zoological Society oversees its management, which covers 216 acres. This zoo in Chicago hosts a variety of community and business events, as well as family play programs, and it has about 20 exhibits. The zoo has a variety of animals, including African lions, Snow leopards, Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and Atlantic walruses.

Additionally, the zoo was the first in the country to exhibit gigantic pandas, which were taxidermied and put on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. This is among some of the most liked zoos in Chicago and is recognized for its family-friendly activities and state-of-the-art animal care and conservation. Brookfield Zoo inspires visitors by fostering great relationships with animals, the environment, and other people. Since 1934, the zoo has entertained and educated visitors. It might accommodate more than 2000 creatures and has an arboretum permit. Every afternoon, Brookfield Zoo attracts more than two million visitors.

Address: 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513

Phone: (708) 688-8000


Timings: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Daily


Scales and Tales Travelling Zoo

Scales and Tales Travelling Zoo - Zoos in Chicago

The traveling zoo is called ‘scales and tales,’ and it is exactly what it sounds like. Moreover, this zoo in Chicago has animals on display, and they walk about rather than being confined to one specific location. Furthermore, the zoo is constantly moving but is largely located along S Racine Avenue. This organization, also known as the Chicago Traveling Zoo, has 20 years of experience performing for general audiences. Beth is in charge of overseeing and caring for the entire species of animal. They are regarded as one of the petting zoos in Chicago and are known for putting on one of the friendliest displays around.

Location: 1804 S Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60608

Phone: 312-719-9428


Timings: ( Monday – Friday: 8 AM to 5 PM)


Phillips Park Zoo – Among Top Zoos in Chicago

Phillips Park Zoo

The Aurora Phillips Park Zoo is in the middle of the park. Great animal exhibits, a free splash pad, and a spacious playground are available at this small zoo. In fact, this Chicago zoo is home to numerous creatures. Furthermore, since the displays are compact and close together, older toddlers can easily visit without a stroller. River otters, eagles, cougars, hawks, and owls can all be spotted by families. Elk and peacocks can be seen as you approach the main entrance. Visitors can approach alligators, turtles, snakes, and other reptiles up close through the glass in the reptile house. In a smaller zoo, there is quite a lot to see.

Furthermore, families can spend the afternoon at the large playground near the zoo’s back entrance, where there are numerous picnic tables and benches close by. There are several playsets, swing sets, and a little sandbox. 

Address: 1000 Ray Moses Dr, Aurora, IL 60505

Phone: (630) 256-3860


Timings: May – September: 5:00 AM – 8:30 PM, Daily

Interesting Read: Here’s detailed review of the Sheraton Grand, Chicago

Wrapping Up

Zoos in Chicago are a treat for the eyes. Furthermore, without leaving the country, you can learn to discover and explore the diverse habitats found worldwide because each zoo has distinctive animal species. Moreover, families will find many zoos to visit, whether they are traveling to Kansas City or Minnesota for a vacation.

Want to take your kids out for another fun activity? Read about these amazing Arcades in Chicago for more information.


Vibhuti is a passionate food blogger. She loves trying out new restaurants, cooking dishes with out-of-the-box ingredients, and sharing recipes with family and friends. When she's not blogging about food, Vibhuti enjoys traveling and exploring new places. You'll often find her searching for new flavors and dishes to enjoy. She is so crazy about food blogging that she recently took a 5 hours flight to Seattle just to try a cup of Turkish coffee at a newly opened cafe.

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