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Lincoln Park Zoo Nights

Bring the family to see Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Lights show in December through January 7, and stay at the nearby and affordable Chicago Lake Shore Hotel in historic Hyde Park!

Looking for some FREE fun at holiday time? Then Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Lights is for you. There will be tons of activities for families, plus lots of goodies to eat and drink! And you get to visit the animals!

Activities include: Photos with Santa (through December 23 before he heads back to the North Pole); 3D displays; warm spiced wine and frosty lager; delicious holiday snacks; holiday gift shopping; live ice-sculpture carving; carousel, train, and Ferris wheel; the stunning Light Maze; undersea adventure; polar journey experiences; musical light shows at the Winter Wonder Lawn; Candy Cane Lane; more than 100 giant themed displays; 3D holiday specs while supplies last; and free crafts for children (only on ZooLights Tuesday–Thursday nights)!

You can also purchase tickets for these special events: the Chris White Trio’s tribute to the jazzy “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” at Café Brauer (; New Year’s Eve at Zoo Lights (festive hats, horns and party favors while supplies last);  Lionel Train Adventure (The trackless 28-passenger train crosses over a quaint country bridge and wends its way past forest and canyon scenery before returning to a red brick station.); AT&T Endangered Species Carousel (48 artisan-crafted wooden animals and two chariots); NEW! Sea Explorer 5-D (a virtual submarine ride that you’ll cruise through ocean waters and perhaps pop up near the shore—and maybe encounter some wildlife on the way! A hydraulic floor makes it feel like you’re really traveling through the water as you dive deep and meet the residents of our wild waters; and much more.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is located at 2001 North Clark Street. For a full schedule of events, go online to and follow the prompts.

Make your Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Lights experience more enjoyable by staying at the Chicago Lake Shore Hotel, in historic Hyde Park. Chicago Lake Shore offers free shuttle bus service to and from the Loop area and is close to bus and train services. The Lake Shore Café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. AND Jazz and seafood buffet (non-seafood items available) Friday nights.