Farm-In-The-Zoo - Lincoln Park Zoo

The farm has re-opened, but buildings mostly remain closed and goat petting and other animal programming is not available. The farm is open daily from 10am-4:30pm.

The farm is a cute area at the south end of the zoo, primarily aimed at kids who are not yet school-aged, although younger elementary-aged kids will still find it enjoyable. It’s a better children’s zoo than the official Lincoln Park Zoo’s children’s zoo, although it’s still not that great.

The farm has a play area for kids in the main barn, as well as a dairy barn with cows and goats, and a livestock barn with horses and pigs. There’s also an edible garden in the area between those barns, as well as a few animals in separate small shelters, like giant rabbits close to the exit.

Main Barn

The main barn has decent play areas including a pretend garden, chicken coop, and theater for kids to play with as well as giant cracked eggs for kids to hatch out of. The top attraction is probably the real tractor in the middle of the room. Be patient, though, the line for the tractor is usually long and fairly chaotic (especially when you’re in the front, be prepared to stop kids who try to skip the line and run up the steps to the tractor).

Dairy Barn and Livestock Barn

The dairy barn and livestock barn are mostly just barns with animals in them (or outside them, when the weather is nice). Kids will enjoy being up close to the animals, but there’s not a lot to do or see, unless you’re there at the times for specific activities. You can feed the cows at 10:30 each day (you’re given a small amount of food, and told which cow to feed as you come through), and you can watch the cows get milked at 10am each day from May to October, and at 3pm each day year round. In addition, you can “greet” the goats from 10am-noon and 1-4pm each day from May to October. Greeting the goats means getting a few minutes in the pen and likely the chance to pet one or two. Expect slow-moving lines since they limit the numbers that get to go in, and need to clear everyone out before the next group goes in. All of those activities are free (the only fee I’ve seen in the farm is for a tornado wind simulator in the main barn that I’ve never seen anyone actually try).

Other events

In addition to the dairy barn events, the farm also hosts sing-alongs on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:15 and 10am, year round. These will be outside in the center, or inside in the main barn, depending on the weather. There are also specific play days in the main barn on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10am-noon, year round. You can also explore the edible garden on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9:30am-12:30pm from April to October.


The bathrooms are in the main barn. (From outside the barn, you can go directly to the bathrooms—look for a smaller entrance to the right of the main entrance.) The bathrooms are a decent size, with an open interior that easily fits a stroller, though there aren’t that many stalls. Strangely, there are no tot toilets or shorter sinks designed for younger kids. The hand dryers are relatively quiet.