15 Best Things to Do in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Lincoln Park, Chicago
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The famous Lincoln Park is located on the northern outskirts of Chicago, Illinois, along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Chicago’s Lincoln Park is not like your regular park.

It might have the same trees, lakes, and grassy fields, but this 1,20-acre park is home to many fun activities and interesting places to visit.

Lincoln Park is one of Chigaco’s esteemed tourist attractions, and it is the biggest public park in the city, which extends for seven miles that starts from Grand Avenue to Ardmore Avenue.

The park features many tourist spots and landmarks, such as beaches, parks, museums, theatres, restaurants, and other scenic views.

If you visit Chicago, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Lincoln Park and have a memorable vacation.

Here are the 15 best things to do in Lincoln Park, Chicago:

Look at the Exotic Plants in Lincoln Park Conservatory

Front View of Lincoln Park Conservatory
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Lincoln Park Conservatory is located at North Stockton Drive and nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Built during the years between 1890 and 1895, the Lincoln Park Conservatory evolved from a small greenhouse to a large conservatory that showcases exotic plants from all around the world.

Front View of Lincoln Park Conservatory
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Lincoln Park Conservatory features four botanical greenhouses that you can visit, namely the Palm House, Orchid House, Palm Room, and the Show House, where the yearly flower shows are held.

The Lincoln Park Conservatory is open at any time of the year, so you can enjoy sightseeing in Chicago’s paradise inside a glass.

Take a Stroll Around North Avenue Beach

View of North Avenue Beach
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North Avenue Beach is one of the busiest locations in Lincoln Park, with an average of more than six million visitors each year.

With its vast sandy shores, it became a perfect spot for gazing at the sparkling blue waters of Lake Michigan.

The North Avenue Beach is also a venue for summer sports, such as Beach Volleyball and the yearly Chicago Air and Water Show.

View of North Avenue Beach
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During summer, the 22,000-square-foot North Avenue Beach House offers different kinds of services, such as sporting gear rental, outdoor shower facilities, and a fitness center.

You can also find the Castaways Bar and Grill, where you can get a frozen margarita while you relax on the shores of North Avenue Beach.

Catch a Sight of the Animals in Lincoln Park Zoo

Animals in Lincoln Park Zoo
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Positioned at a great location, Lincoln Park Zoo offers a better look and closeness to the animals enclosed at the zoo.

Lincoln Park Zoo features a new addition to its attractions: the Pritzker’s Family Children’s Zoo, where visitors can stroll through the stunning landscaped area that presents animals like otters, wolves, bears, and many more.

View of Lincoln Park Zoo
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The park also offers a Tree Canopy Climbing Adventure where children can climb a forest canopy that is at least 20 meters high.

You can bring your kids so that they can have fun with activities like bird exhibits and a tour in a terrarium filled with reptiles and amphibians.

Lincoln Park Zoo also includes other activities for kids and adults to try, such as AT&T Endangered Species carousel rides, 5D Sea Explorer Simulator, Lionel Train Adventure, and some Penguin Encounters.

View of Lincoln Park Zoo
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Crack a Joke in The Second City

View of The Second City
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If laughter is the best medicine, consider Second City your happy place to get your daily dose of smiles and laughter.

Established in 1959, The Second City still delivers comedy for every person in Chicago.

Second City is known for its improv comedy performances, which are completely impromptu and unscripted.

This comedy club served as a starting point and helped famous comics such as Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and many others boost their careers in comedy.

If you’re looking for a place to spend your days and nights cracking up from jokes or learn how to do it, head on to The Second City, and you’ll receive what you’re looking for.

Relax in Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

View of Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
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After a long and tiring day, you can spend your day in Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, a serene hideaway where you can relax and unwind.

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is a Prairie School type of architecture designed by Alfred Caldwell.

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is a habitat for many wildlife species, such as birds, frogs, butterflies, turtles, and different kinds of fish.

View of Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
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You can walk around the 3.14-acre park and enjoy the natural scenery while listening to the chirping of birds and the sounds of wind passing through the trees.

The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is most popular among bird watchers because of its great location for sightseeing.

This park is a go-to destination if you want to have a peaceful time away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city.

View of Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
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Learn About Cultural Heritage in Chicago History Museum

Front View of Chicago History Museum
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Dedicated to providing details about the history of Chicago, Chicago History Museum is a quaint destination situated near Lincoln Park.

Have a trip back to the past as you roam around the museum where you can see authentic pieces of artwork from Chicago and the United States’ heritage.

Inside Chicago History Museum
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Chicago History Museum presents the rich and diverse history of the place through exhibits, tours, research archives, articles, papers, and events.

Discover Chicago’s lively and vibrant history when you come and visit the Chicago History Museum.

Inside Chicago History Museum
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Watch a Live Performance in Steppenwolf Theatre Company

View of Steppenwolf Theatre Company
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Established in the 1970s, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company had its first performance under the basement of Highland Park Church.

Thirty-five years later, the company grew to be a top ensemble performing arts center in the nation.

View of Steppenwolf Theatre Company
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Steppenwolf Theatre Company strives to provide world-class performances for Chicago residents and visitors.

In your lifetime, you should at least watch one live performance in a dark room filled with people.

Come and visit Steppenwolf Theatre Company to have a first-hand experience of this pure creativity and entertainment in Lincoln Park.

Play With Kids in Oz Park

View of Oz Park
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If you’re a fan of the Wizard of Oz, you’ll definitely love this themed park in Chicago, Illinois.

This 14.40-acre public park is found around the neighborhood of Lincoln Park and features a garden, tennis and basketball courts, and a ball field.

Oz Park might seem like a playground dedicated to kids, but you can also unleash your inner child and let it play and enjoy in this Wizard-of-Oz-themed park.

View of Oz Park
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In Oz Park, there are different play areas, such as “Dorothy’s Playlot,” where kids can swing, climb, and run around.

You can also spend your afternoon walking among the lovely blooms in “Emerald Garden”; and while you walk around the park, you can meet and greet the characters’ figurines inspired from the Wizard of Oz.

Follow your own yellow brick road and head on to Oz Park for a fun-filled family day!

Enjoy the Natural Sceneries in Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

View of Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
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With the desire of the Chicago Academy of Science to connect humans and nature, this idea gave birth to The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Founded in 1987, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum served as a gateway of nature and science that connects mankind to the natural world.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum features 15 exhibits that you can view and a butterfly haven that has over 1,000 butterflies flying around.

View of Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
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You can also watch scientists work in the laboratory where they study and observe the population of butterflies in Chicago.

This eco-friendly museum is a place that practices what it preaches; they utilize solar power systems and water conservation for sustainable use of energy.

You’re going to love nature as much as the people behind this museum, so spend your time with your family and friends and have fun in The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

View of Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
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Shop at the Green City Market

View of Green City Market
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If you’re looking for sustainable and locally produced goods, Green City Market is the place to go.

The Green City Market in Chicago is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a platform where local farmers can display and sell their produce.

During wintertime, you can find the market in the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, while in summer, the Green City Market is located outside the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Aside from shopping, you can also interact with the farmers and growers.

View of Green City Market
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Stroll Around the Nature Boardwalk

View of Nature Boardwalk
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What was once an artificial, boring lake has transformed into a vibrant, prairie-style garden teeming with different kinds of plants and animals.

The Nature Boardwalk offers more than just its scenic views.

It also features a large pond where you can observe the wildlife in Chicago; a hiking trail; the Lester E. Fisher Bridge, where you can see the most stunning views of Chicago’s sky; and the Peoples Gas Education Pavilion, where educational sessions and yoga are held.

View of Nature Boardwalk
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It became a habitat for wildlife around the area and an outdoor destination for recreational activities.

Enroll yourself in this natural classroom and learn about the different kinds of plants, animals, and the ecosystem around the area.

You can also take a walk on the boardwalk trail, which is half a mile in the distance.

Have Dinner at Alinea

View of Alinea
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Alinea is not your typical restaurant in Chicago.

Located in Halsted Street in Chicago, this three Michelin star restaurant offers a unique dining experience.

The meals served in Alinea will take you to a different level of pleasure.

View of Alinea
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Choose among the multi-course menu and indulge in this one-of-a-kind experience in the restaurant’s dining rooms.

You can also bring this wonderful experience to the comforts of your home.

Other Things to Do Nearby

If the attractions in Lincoln Park are not enough for you, you can also visit the nearby places below.

Spend a Day in Navy Pier

View of Navy Pier
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Just 32 minutes away from Lincoln Park, you can find Navy Pier, Chicago’s most famous waterfront location.

This 3,300-foot-long pier is situated along the shores of Lake Michigan and houses various parks, shops, restaurants, gardens, and other attractions in Chicago.

With a plethora of activities offered by Navy Pier, it’s no doubt that this is the second most visited location in Chicago.

View of Navy Pier
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Take Pictures in Millennium Park

View of Millennium Park
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Millennium Park is where tourists and locals alike gather to take pictures, relax and have a picnic in the field, and watch free performances and film screenings.

You can travel for 24 minutes from Lincoln Park to reach Millenium Park.

View of Millennium Park
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Millennium Park has endless activities for visitors, nature lovers, art enthusiasts, families, groups of friends, and more.

This park boasts one of its famous attractions called “The Bean” or the "Cloud Gate," which is a stunning architecture designed by Anish Kapoor.

Visit the Richard Driehaus Museum

Front View of Richard Driehaus Museum
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This grand building is just 18 minutes away from Lincoln Park.

Richard Driehaus Museum features the famous Nickerson Mansion and its temporary exhibits.

Driehaus Museum is committed to two things: maintaining the wondrous treasures of Nickerson Mansion and displaying the historical items from the Gilded Age.

Inside Richard Driehaus Museum
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This magnificent building, including the Nickerson Mansion, has been home to many wealthy families over the last 20 years.

You can roam around the museum and look at interesting exhibits from the late-nineteenth-century cultural heritage in Richard Driehaus Museum.

Final Thoughts

With its well-maintained landscapes, Lakeview sceneries, and indoor gardens, Lincoln Park is indeed a nature enthusiast’s dream location.

It is home to a lot of fascinating locations ranging from beaches, parks, and gardens to historical sites, zoos, recreational areas, and many more.

When you visit Chicago, Lincoln Park should be included in your checklist of destinations to visit.

The list of things to do in Lincoln Park is endless.

Should you visit it one day, you will never regret traveling to Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois.

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