Fall Is in the Air, and at Lincoln Park Zoo

August 27, 2020

‘Gourd’-ge yourself on free harvest fun at Lincoln Park Zoo! This year, in order to prioritize safety as you celebrate the joys, smells, and colors of autumn, we’ve reimagined our seasonal offerings. That means no Fall Fest, but plenty of unbe-‘leaf’-able fun for the whole family from October 1-November 1.

Simply make your free reservation to visit the zoo this fall to stroll the one-way trail and cherish the fall ambiance without the crowds. This year, Lincoln Park Zoo will be adorned with carved pumpkins, corn husks, and hay bales—not to mention the crisp autumn breeze rustling orange and yellow leaves and fall temperatures favorable for outdoor animal viewing.

Along the way, enjoy two new experiences—the Pumpkin Walk, a beautifully designed path through Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo (one $3 ticket required for entry), and Patch’s Pumpkin Bar & Grill, a fall-themed pop-up located at Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill. Plus, cherish the return of longtime festive favorites: live professional pumpkin carvers (Saturdays only, as part of the Pumpkin Walk), delicious festive snacks, and a pumpkin patch.

Reservations are only available a few days in advance: reservations for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are released on the preceding Sunday at approximately 4 p.m.; reservations for Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays are released on the preceding Thursday at approximately 4 p.m.

Zoo members get access to three members-only arrival times each day—9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.—and can now book one of those slots any time through October 31.

Reserve Your Free Timeslot Today!


Pumpkin Walk

New this year: Stroll a new path through Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo adorned with pumpkins carved by both professionals and amateurs.
One Pumpkin Walk ticket, which can be purchased in advance of your visit, is required to enjoy the experience. All guests over the age of 12 months old must have a ticket, and guests under the age of 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Professional pumpkin carvers will showcase their talents in the Pumpkin Walk from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. each Saturday: October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31. Pumpkin Walk tickets cost $3 each. Members: stop by Searle Visitor Center during your visit to purchase 10 tickets for $25 or 20 tickets for $48.
Purchase Pumpkin Walk Tickets

Pumpkin Patch

Nothing says “fall” like the perfect pumpkin. Whether you’re carving a jack-o’-lantern or making some delicious pie this autumn, your adventure starts at Lincoln Park Zoo. Check out the Pumpkin Patch located outside the Gift Shop for your one-stop-shop of all zoo souvenirs.

Prices vary

Patch’s Pumpkin Bar & Grill Pop-up

New this year: Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill will transform into an over-the-top, fall-themed pop-up inspired by the color and feel of the season. Enjoy festive food, drinks, and décor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What changes have been made to fall festivities at Lincoln Park Zoo?
Fall Fest will take a one-year hiatus with the hopes of returning in 2021. While past years have featured rides and activities, this year’s festivities will not include hard rides (Ferris wheel, fun slide, kiddie wheel, Pirates Revenge, etc.) or inflatable attractions (pumpkin bounce house, obstacle course, etc.). Zoo favorites, such as the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel and Lionel Train Adventure, will also remain closed in line with City and State guidelines for operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about safety at Lincoln Park Zoo, visit our reservation page.

Are reservations required?
Yes. In order to limit capacity and support social distancing, free admission reservations are required to enter Lincoln Park Zoo. If you need to change or cancel your reservation, please use the links provided in your confirmation email.

Additional reservations are released every Sunday and Thursday at 4 p.m. Central Time, so be sure to check back if reservations for your desired date aren’t currently available.

What is a Pumpkin Walk ticket?
Once inside Lincoln Park Zoo, guests use Pumpkin Walk tickets to enter the Pumpkin Walk, a new path through Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo adorned with carved pumpkins. Guests should only purchase Pumpkin Walk tickets if they have a reservation to visit the zoo.

Guests can also enjoy other non-ticketed activities during their visit.

Can I use Pumpkin Walk tickets to enter the zoo?
No. Pumpkin Walk tickets are only used to enter the Pumpkin Walk. To enter the zoo, you must make a reservation.

Can Pumpkin Walk tickets be purchased on site?
Yes. However, the process is less timely in person and requires a person-to-person transaction. We strongly encourage all guests to purchase their Pumpkin Walk tickets in advance.

Can experience tickets be traded, transferred, or refunded and what happens if it rains on the day of my reservation?
The zoo and all experiences will remain open rain or shine. Pumpkin Walk tickets can be transferred between people, but all tickets are non-refundable. All fall experience tickets expire on November 1, 2020.

Zoo reservations are non-transferrable. The name on the reservation must match the guest to ensure accuracy in case of the need for contact tracing.

Will there be food or beverages for sale?
Guests can purchase festive food and drinks at Patches’ Pumpkin Bar & Grill Pop-up, an over-the-top, fall-themed pop-up located at Bird’s Eye Bar & Grill. Updates on other food and beverage locations will come soon.

Will I see animals?
Nearly 200 species live at Lincoln Park Zoo, and many choose to be outside during fall weather. But remember: most habitats at the zoo include behind-the-scenes areas, and the animals can choose where to spend their time.

The festive fun will take place across zoo grounds; however, all animal buildings will be closed.

Where can I park and is parking included with my reservation or experience ticket?
Parking is not included in your zoo reservation or Pumpkin Walk ticket; however, paid parking is available. Guests who wish to drive can park in the zoo lot on Cannon Drive. For additional information and pricing, please visit our Hours & Location page.

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