“2018 Autumnal Events at Lincoln Park Zoo” by S.M. O’Connor

There are six upcoming entertaining and educational events at the Lincoln Park Zoo (L.P.Z.) in September and October.  Donut Fest at the Zoo is on Saturday, September 8, 2018.  Lebowski Fest Chicago will kickoff with a concert and screening of The Big Lebowski (1998) on Friday, September 14, 2018 at Lincoln Park Zoo.   Hoy, a Spanish-language publication of the Chicago Tribune, is sponsoring the Sixth Annual Fiesta Familiar – the largest Hispanic family event of its kind in the Midwest – on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The Thirty-Second Annual Spooky Zoo Spectacular is being held in conjunction of the Fourth Annual Fall Fest, which is being held over the course of five weekends in September and October.  Adam Selzer is bringing back “Haunted History at Lincoln Park Zoo” this October. Adults Night Out: The Great Pumpkin Glow is an adults-only event on Thursday, October 18, 2018.

Donut Fest at the Zoo

Donut Fest at the Zoo is on Saturday, September 8, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Visitors can sip coffee and for those twenty-one-years-of-age-and-over, mimosas, beer, and wine while viewing the Lincoln Park Zoo’s animals and gardens.  Tickets include admission to the event that give guests exclusive and limited capacity acess to buildings (including the Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove, the Walter Family Arctic Tundra, and the McCormick Bird House) (from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), as well as donut tastings from some of Chicago’s most famous donut bakeries (from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), interactive games, live entertainment, giveaways, and more.  A large portion of the proceeds will benefit the L.P.Z. and help it stay free and open to everyone.  Tickets range from $30 to $60.  Purchase them through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/donut-fest-at-the-zoo-a-chicago-donut-tasting-at-lincoln-park-zoo-tickets-44596352892.  Tickets are non-refundable.

Lebowski Fest Chicago

The Lebowski Fest Chicago concert and movie screening will be from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, September 14, 2018.  The Credence Clearwater Revival tribute band The Fortunate Sons will perform songs, followed by a screening of The Big Lebowski and complimentary carousel rides.  Children five and under are free with paid adult tickets.  [If this is the theatrical version of the film, parents or other caregivers who bring minor children should be prpeared to shield their eyes and ears.]  Tickets are $20 ($18 for Lincoln Park Zoo Members).  Purchase them through Evenbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lebowski-fest-chicago-movie-party-tickets-42573181532.   Tickets are non-refundable.

Fiesta Familiar 2018

The Sixth Annual Fiesta Familiar will be on Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The Fiesta Familiar 2018 program encompasses five categories: Arts & Crafts, Health & Nutrition, Science & Technology, Home & Safety, and Music & Entertainment.  The sponsors are the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program, Aetna, Wintrust Arena, McCormick Square, and Airie Crown® Theater.

2018 Fall Fest

The Fourth Annual Fall Fest kicks off on Friday, September 28, 2018.  “This fun, FREE admission, family-friendly celebration lets guests experience harvest in the heart of the city, from picking the perfect pumpkin to clamboring up a hay mountain,” the Lincoln Park Zoo announced on Thursday, July 19, 2018.  Free experiences will include singalong sessions with Mr. Singer on the Main Stage and daily autumnal-themed animal enrichment activities.  Ticketed experiences will include a corn maze and a sack slide on the L.P.Z.’s Main Mall.  Fall Fest will also include a sixty-five-foot Ferris Wheel, Chicago’s largest “corn pool,” multiple bouncy houses, professional pumpkin carvers, and educational activities.  For the first time this year, Lincoln Park Zoo will extend hours on Saturday nights until 8:00 p.m.

“Lincoln Park Zoo is always looking for ways to connect people with nature,” stated Senior Events Manager Stacey Hall.  “At Fall Fest, guests will enjoy the change of the seasons in a rural Midwestern manner right here in their urban backyard.  No[w] with extended hours on Saturday nights, Fall Fest is not only a family destination, but a great date night, too!”

Pumpkins will be available for purchse throughout the entirety of October at a pumpkin patch located in front of Wild Things! Gift Shop.  Pumpkins vary in prive depending on size.

Fall Fest is a free event open to the public on the following weekends: Friday, September 28, 2018 through Sunday, September 30, 2018; Friday, October 5, 2018 through Monday, October 8, 2018 (Columbus Day); Friday, October 12, 2018 through Sunday, October 14, 2018; Friday, October 19, 2018 through Sunday, October 21, 2018; and Friday, October 26, 2018 through Sunday, October 28, 2018.  The hours on Saturdays are from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are required for attractions and are available individually for $3 each or in bulk packages of ten for $27, or twenty for $51.  All L.P.Z. buildings will remain open with regular hours during this time and all day programming will continue, as well.

Haunted History at Lincoln Park Zoo

Under the heading “Haunted History at Lincoln Park Zoo,” author, podcaster, and Mysterious Chicago tour host Adam Selzer will be leading seventy-five-to-ninety-minutes long tours addressing Lincoln Park’s origins as a cemetery and allegedly haunted spots.  Mr. Selzer is author of Ghosts of Chicago, Mysterious Chicago, and HH Holmes: The True Story of the White City Devil.  Tours will be held on Tuesdays in October (October 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th), beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 (with Lincoln Park Zoo Members receiving 10% discounts) and are available through Evenbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/haunted-history-tours-at-lincoln-park-zoo-tickets-48939918614?aff=ebapi.  Tickets are non-refundable.

2018 Spooky Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo’s Auxiliary Board will host the Thirty-Second Annual Spooky Zoo Spectacular on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Every year, over 30,000 children participate.  This free event allows children to celebrate Halloween in a safe and family-friendly environment as an alternative to trick-or-treating in Chicago neighborhoods.  Fall Fest activities will include animal enrichment activities, Ferris Wheel rides, a corn maze, a pumpkin carver, and arts and crafts. Tickets for Fall Fest rides will remain available for purchase during the Spooky Zoo Spectacular, as well.  U.S. Bank is the sponsor.  The John Buck Company Foundation is a partner in this event.  To become a sponsor, e-mail the Auxiliary Board at AuxiliaryBoard@lpzoo.org.

Adults Night Out: The Great Pumpkin Glow

For those who enjoy Halloween but are too old for trick-or-treating, there is Adults Night Out: The Great Pumpkin Glow on Thursday, October 18, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  This event is for adults and teenagers eighteen-years-old and over.

Activities include educational entertainment, The Great Pumpkin Glow jack-o-lantern trail in the Children’s Zoo, the Corn Maze, special animal enrichment, the Barn Dance Party, and complimentary rides on the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel until 9:45 p.m.  Shop for sounvenirs at Wild Things! Gift Shop.  The pumpkin patch will be open.  Note that prices vary.

Adults ages twenty-one-and-over can walk the zoo grounds with wine or beer in hand.  There will be cash bars throughout the zoo.

Purchase $15 tickets ($12 for Lincoln Park Zoo Members) through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/adults-night-out-the-great-pumpkin-glow-tickets-43249876545.   [Become a member at https://www.lpzoo.org/membership.]  Tickets will be $20 at the door if any tickets remain available.  Tickets are non-refundable.  Costumes are optional.  The Yard House restaurant chain is the sponsor.  The media partners are Country music station US*99 (“Chicago’s Hottest Country”) and DO312 (“What to Do in Chicago”).


20161014_JF_FallFest-7_0Figure 1 Credit: Julia Fuller, Lincoln Park Zoo Caption: This is the pumpkin patch at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest as seen on October 14, 2016.

20161014_JF_FallFest-16Figure 2 Credit: Julia Fuller, Lincoln Park Zoo Caption: This is pumpkin-carving by a professional at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest as seen on October 14, 2016.

20161014_JF_FallFest-51Figure 3 Credit: Julia Fuller, Lincoln Park Zoo Caption: This is the corn maze at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest as seen on October 14, 2016.

20161014_JF_FallFest-58Figure 4 Credit: Julia Fuller, Lincoln Park Zoo Caption: This is the corn pool at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest as seen on October 14, 2016.

20161014_JF_FallFest-66_0Figure 5 Credit: Julia Fuller, Lincoln Park Zoo Caption: This is the Ferris Wheel at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest as seen on October 14, 2016.  George W. Ferris (1859-1896) built the world’s first Ferris Wheel in the middle of the Midway Plaisance for Chicago’s first World’s Fair, the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893).




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