moving right along in my frugal and free month of june: date ideas. well, you can't get cheaper than the entrance fee for lincoln park zoo - it's free. my very favorite price. it's clean, it's right on lake michigan, and it's a fun place for a date when you're trying to save as much money as possible.
there's so many exhibits to check out - lion house, monkey house, reptile house, zebra area. i cannot even count how many other animals we saw. wild dogs, warthogs, camels, otters, giraffes, sea lions, meerkats, rhinos, flamingos, even a farm with cows and horses. it seems endless. of course, i'm a sucker for anything fluffy and adorable so the red panda was the clear winner of the day. i desperately want a red panda.
a word to the weak like me - i'm totally freaked out by the bird house. i should preface that by saying that i'm totally freaked out by birds because my mom made me watch that hitchcock movie way too young. 'it's a classic' she said. lies. anyway, the bird house does not have screens or windows or whatever. the birds fly free and that is just too, too much for me. john thought it was cool though. but he likes jurassic park and remember the part where they're in the pterodactyl cage? that's what the bird house looks like. no. so much no.
they were building a new habitat for the cold loving animals, so there weren't any polar bears or penguins. but the new spot that they were building looks really nice, so i can't wait to see it. we'll be back zoo. we'll be back.
- take public transit to get there. parking prices are outrageous, street parking is limited and the prices aren't much better, but the bus stops right in front and is only $2 a ride.
- don't buy food in the zoo. for two adults, you don't need to spend a ton of time at the zoo and you can see the exhibits pretty quickly. so don't plan to be there during a meal time. have an early lunch and then head there, leaving before dinner time. ask me if you need nearby restaurant recommendations.
- like anywhere else, bring your own water bottles.
- stay out of the gift shop. you don't need anything in there.
other lincoln park zoo tips:
- it's open year round. it's decorated for christmas with all kinds of lights so that's always fun. but definitely go in the spring or fall to avoid all the kids and families. if you really want to go in the summer, have a ditch day from work and go on a weekday - always a better bet than the weekend.
- despite it going in a seemingly manageable circle, the zoo bigger than you think it is. wear comfortable shoes. i think we hit 16k steps easily in just a couple of hours.
- don't try to steal the red pandas. they frown upon that.
- if you do get the red panda, come to my house immediately. i shall hide you from the law and we'll enjoy panda antics forever.