There are lots of families who already call Lincoln Park home, but many more who haven’t yet explored all it has to offer! Summer is a great time to take advantage of the parks, the markets and the free activities hosted in Lincoln Park. In keeping with our theme of three things—one inside, one outside, one that involves food—these are the top things to do in Lincoln Park.
Where can you see the first “L” car, learn about the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and turn yourself into a larger-than-life Chicago hot dog? The Chicago History Museum, of course! Admission for kids (under 12) is free, adults who are Illinois residents enter free on Tuesdays from 12:30–7:30 pm.
Insider tip: Pick up a membership to the Chicago History Museum or one of its affiliates and get free entry to all of those museums: DuSable Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art and National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. All are well worth the investment, and since they’re a bit off the tourist circuit, you likely won’t have to battle the crowds and lines to enjoy their exhibits.
From the south end of Lincoln Park all the way up to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, you can enjoy miles of beautiful paths through the park. Stop by the Lincoln Park Zoo—one of the only free zoos left in the United States! My kids have been especially charmed by Seiku the polar bear, one of the zoo's newest additions. Ask a zookeeper about his training times and you could get an up-close-and-personal encounter with this powerful animal!
It seems there’s always something going on around this stretch of Lincoln Park: soccer games, festivals, impromptu concerts—you name it. We love checking out Green City Market on Wednesday mornings, where you’ll never run out of delicious food options to try. Come say hi to me on Wednesday, August 30, at 10:30am—I’ll be reading to kids at the Club Sprout tent!
We all know Chicago has as many opinions for pizza as there are restaurants in which to eat it. And I love them all. If pressed, however, I’d tell you that my favorite is right here in Lincoln Park: Pequod’s Pizza. That caramelized cheese crust makes my mouth water just thinking about it! Plus, if you go on a weekday for lunch, you can get a 7” pizza plus a drink for $4.95!
Lincoln Park has a gem around every corner and it’s easy to fill a whole day just wandering past the parks, the shops and the turrets, those beautiful, rounded towers on corner buildings fashioned after German castles. Bring your imagination (and your appetite) and have a great time!
Kathleen Dragan is a South Looper and a mom of two Chicagoans. You can read more about Lincoln Park and many other neighborhoods in Kathleen's children's book Rickshaw Reggie, available now! Follow her on Instagram @RickshawReggie to see more of her Chicago adventures.