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Lincoln Park Zoo polar bear
Photograph: Julia Fuller / Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo will emerge from winter hibernation in March

You'll soon be able to visit Chicago's penguins and polar bears.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Late last year, Lincoln Park Zoo announced that it would be closing temporarily following its annual ZooLights display, with plans to reopen when the weather got a bit warmer in the spring. Today, the beloved local attraction (one of the few remaining admission-free zoos in the nation) announced that guests will be able to visit their favorite animals beginning on March 5.

Lincoln Park Zoo will operate with limited capacity and won't reopen its animal buildings when it welcomes back visitors, requiring the use of face covering and encouraging social distancing between parties throughout the park. Guests will need to make a free timed reservation via the Lincoln Park Zoo website—the first round of reservations will be available February 28, and future reservations will be released at 4pm every Thursday and Sunday for the following three to four days.

Members of the Lincoln Park Zoo will be able to visit a week before the general public during a pair of members-only days on February 27 and 28. If you can't wait to get back inside the zoo, it's not too late to purchase a membership and help support the attraction.

In conjunction with the zoo's reopening, the Auxiliary Board of Lincoln Park Zoo is launching a virtual version of its Beers & Bears event, offering an exclusive beer from DryHop Brewers, access to a streaming Second City comedy show and more goodies that will support the zoo's pandemic relief fund. Anyone who purchases the $120 Beers & Bears Celebration Pack will gain access to an in-person event at the zoo on March 6, where you'll enjoy s’mores, trivia challenges and special animal enrichment activities.

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