Experience the zoo from the inside with penguins waddling right at your feet! Get a personal introduction to some of the African penguins living at Pritzker Penguin Cove, and find out what their daily lives are like both at the zoo and on the southern African coast.
10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
$60 per person ($50 per person for Lincoln Park Zoo members)
Participants must be at least 6 years old; children between ages 6 and 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
What to Expect
During Lincoln Park Zoo’s Penguin Encounter you will be entering Pritzker Penguin Cove to join our colony of penguins in their habitat and learn about African penguins’ lives both in the water and on land.
Penguin Encounters are offered twice daily at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. April 1 – October 31. The program lasts 45-60 minutes, during which you will spend approximately 15 minutes outside the exhibit, 20 minutes in a behind-the-scenes area, and 20 minutes inside the exhibit with the penguins.
Interacting with the Penguins
You will not be able to touch or feed the penguins, but the penguins may choose to approach you. We welcome you to observe the penguins but ask that you keep your hands in your lap at all times while in the exhibit.
Upon entering Pritzker Penguin Cove, you will be entering the penguins’ home. We will ask 1-2 penguins to join you in the encounter area of the habitat, but their movements within their home are voluntary. If they choose, they may leave the encounter area at any point or avoid the encounter area entirely.
Pritzker Penguin Cove is an outdoor exhibit. Please dress for the weather. The program will be conducted rain or shine, except when weather conditions pose a threat to either you or the penguins. In the event of cancellation due to weather, you will be contacted by email.
Please bring closed-toe shoes for this experience. You will be required to wear shoe covers and protective gaiters to enter Pritzker Penguin Cove. These will be provided by the zoo for you to wear during the encounter, but they can only be worn with closed-toe shoes.
Each encounter is limited to 10 guests. If there are fewer than 10 people in your group, you may be joined by other guests. All guests must be at least 6 years old. Any guests between the ages of 6 and 13 must be accompanied by an adult, with at least one adult present for every four guests ages 6 to 13.
No personal cameras or phones will be allowed in the exhibit during the encounter. A professional photographer will join you on the encounter and you will receive a complimentary photo of the encounter group as part of the experience. You may purchase additional individual photos of your party following the encounter.
Lincoln Park Zoo is committed to providing a safe environment during the penguin encounter. While the zoo will do its best to minimize the potential for injury, we cannot completely eliminate all risks. Examples of risks include but are not limited to the following: wet floors, objects moved or thrown by animals, allergic reactions to animals or to substances used at the zoo, animal bites and animal scratches.
Cancellation, Late Arrival, and Refund Policy
If you need to cancel your registration up to two business days prior to the penguin encounter, a refund will be given. If you need to cancel your registration less than two business days prior to the penguin encounter, no refund will be given. Because we will be entering an exhibit, if you arrive 15 minutes or more after the program start time, you will not be able to participate in the program and no refund will be given. In the event Lincoln Park Zoo must cancel the encounter, a refund will be issued to the registrant. During the penguin encounter, guests are guaranteed to enter Pritzker Penguin Cove. No refund will be given if you enter Pritzker Penguin Cove but penguins do not choose to enter the encounter area.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-742-2056.