Less than 24 hours after Lincoln Park Zoo announced its reopening date, with a new timed-entry reservation policy in place, all available tickets were snapped up through mid-July.
The 150-year-old zoo is preparing to welcome its first visitors since the March coronavirus shutdown, with a preview weekend set aside for members Friday through Sunday and admission open to all on Monday.
Under Chicago’s phase four reopening plan, capacity limits are in place for zoos and museums, which required Lincoln Park Zoo to temporarily switch to ticketed entry, though admission is still free. Reservations are being taken through Sept. 30, with groups limited to 10 people, including infants.
For those lucky enough to nab a coveted time slot, here’s what to expect:
Masks are required for guests over the age of 2 and a one-way flow has been established to promote social distancing. The outdoor grounds and animal habitats are open, but most indoor buildings will remain closed, as will the train and carousel. Restrooms are available and hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the zoo. Re-entry will not be permitted.
As always we are proud to be your FREE zoo. However, in order to limit capacity and support social distancing, no-cost reservations are now required. Register now for free at https://t.co/bocOXLgkMa (2/3)
— Lincoln Park Zoo (@lincolnparkzoo) June 22, 2020
Brookfield Zoo is reopening on July 1 to members and July 8 to the general public. At press time, the zoo was still finalizing its reservation system, which will offer timed tickets at 20-minute intervals.
Similar to Lincoln Park Zoo, masks are required and social distancing is expected. Some food carts and merchandise kiosks will be open, but all transactions must be cashless. Brookfield’s indoor buildings and exhibits will remain closed, along with features such as splash pads. But a walk through the grounds will have added excitement, thanks to the Dino’s Everywhere! outdoor exhibit.