Lincoln Park is an affluent neighbourhood located in Chicago’s North Side. Over the years, the area has seen a number of new residents come in, from the Army post in the 1820s to Polish immigrants in the mid-1800s to Puerto Rican immigrants in the 1950s. Today, Lincoln Park is home to young professionals, students, and families, and is a popular spot for both Chicagoans and tourists to hang out. From zoos to museums to beaches, there’s loads to explore in this trendy neighbourhood. So keep on reading to check out some of the best things to do in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois.
1. Soak up some sun at North Avenue Beach
If the weather’s nice, why not soak up some sun on the shores of Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach? It’s one of Chicago’s most popular beaches, where you can take a dip in the lake or relax on the warm sand. There’s also a lakeside trail running the length of the beach, where people love to walk, jog, or ride bikes. The beach is home to a beach house that resembles a great ocean liner. In actuality, it’s got an upper level with beautiful views of the Chicago skyline, as well as concession stands and equipment rental areas. There are also a wide variety of shops and restaurants around the beach.
North Avenue Beach
Address: 1600 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60613, United States
Website: North Avenue Beach
Opening hours: 11am - 7pm (daily)
2. Check out the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo is the perfect family-friendly place to go. The zoo dates back to 1868, which makes it one of the nation’s oldest zoos. The zookeepers look after more than 1,000 animals, including polar bears, penguins, and monkeys. The zoo also offers plenty of interactive activities and shows to watch, including the opportunity to feed cows and seal training shows. And if you’re an adult looking for something without the kids, the zoo offers Night at the Zoo events where you can wander around with a beer or wine in your hand.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Address: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Website: Lincoln Park Zoo
Opening hours: Changes seasonally, check zoo website
3. Learn about natural history at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a natural history museum with its origins dating back to 1857. Today the museum aims to connect its visitors to nature and science through exhibitions, events, and research. At the museum you’ll find a butterfly house with more than 200 species of the colourfully winged creatures, a reptile exhibition, and a display on the birds of Chicago. A visit to the museum is a great way to learn about the ecology of the midwest and is a fun experience for kids and adults alike.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Address: 2430 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Website: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm
Price: 9 USD
4. Take a stroll through Oz Park
If you’re looking to stretch your legs or let the little ones run around, a trip to Oz Park is the perfect solution. The park has a Wizard of Oz theme so you’ll find sculptures of the characters dotted around the park. There’s a playground so kids can climb and swing, as well as areas for sports like basketball and tennis and a flower garden. Why not take a picnic lunch and enjoy an afternoon getting some fresh air and exercise?
Address: 2021 N Burling St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Website: Oz Park
Opening hours: 6am - 11pm (daily)
5. Admire the flowers at Lincoln Park Conservatory
Up next we have Lincoln Park Conservatory, the perfect place to spend some time if you love to look at flowers and plants. Dating back to the Victorian Era, this conservatory features four rooms which display plants from around the world. Some of the rare species include the Moth orchid, Dwarf Sugar palm, and cycad ferns. Outside of the beautiful glass structure, there is also an outdoor garden.
Lincoln Park Conservatory
Address: 2391 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Website: Lincoln Park Conservatory
6. Gaze up at the Lincoln Monument
The Lincoln Monument, officially titled Abraham Lincoln: The Man, is a bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln located near Chicago History Museum. It was created by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the late 1800s and is a larger-than-life statue standing at 12 feet (3.6 metres) tall. The artist depicted the former President rising from a chair, just about to give a speech. It’s a beloved landmark in Chicago and there are actually replicas all over the world.
Address: 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Website: Lincoln Monument
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
7. Marvel at the beauty of Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool was originally designed in the 1930s by Alfred Caldwell, an architect who worked in the Prairie School style. The site actually dates back to the late 1800s, when a heated lily pool was built, and Caldwell was hired to revamp the site, wanting to create a hidden river surrounded by prairie right smack in the middle of Chicago. Today, visitors come to walk the stone paths and take in the surrounding beauty. It makes a romantic, tranquil date night spot.
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
Address: 125 W Fullerton Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Website: Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
Opening hours: 7:30am - 7pm (daily)
8. View some art at DePaul Art Museum
If you’re in the mood to check out some art, then head to DePaul Art Museum. Located within DePaul University, this on-campus museum has features a wide range of artworks, from historical works to contemporary art. Spread across two floors, they rotate their exhibitions regularly, giving visitors the chance to see work from a variety of artists. Plus it’s free so you can keep coming again and again.
DePaul Art Museum
Address: 935 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Website: DePaul Art Museum
Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 11am - 7pm; Fri - Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
9. Have some fun at Pritzker Family Children's Zoo
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Last but certainly not least, we have Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo. This kid-friendly area is part of Lincoln Park Zoo and gives kids the opportunity to see the animals up-close. There’s plenty to see, including black bears, otters, turtles, and wolves. There’s even a climbing area and a play forest so the kids can let loose and release a bit of energy. It’s a great family-friendly space with lots to explore for people of all ages!
Pritzker Family Children's Zoo
Address: 2197 N Stockton Dr #2119, Chicago, IL 60614, United States
Website: Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 6:30pm
The first thing on our list is the great Chicago History Museum. This museum is chock-full of exhibitions all about Chicago’s history. You can learn about the Great Fire of Chicago, about the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, and about how immigration shaped the neighbourhoods of Chicago today. The exhibitions are interactive so it can be an exciting visit for the whole family. There’s also a cafe on site if you’d like to stop for a snack.
Chicago History Museum Admission Ticket
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Have a blast in Lincoln Park
The Lincoln Park neighbourhood offers so much to do. Whether you want to explore nature, soak up some sun on the beach, or check out some art, you’ll find something that piques your interest. So pick your favourite thing to do in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, and start planning your trip today!
Get Trip101 in your inbox