20 Exciting Things to Do in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Downtown Chicago view from Lincoln Park neighborhood
Downtown Chicago view from Lincoln Park neighborhood – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

When most people think of Chicago, Illinois, they don’t think of it as a place for nature lovers. When it comes to Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, though, there are tons of opportunities to take in the great outdoors while still enjoying what the city has to offer.

Listed below are some of the most exciting and memorable things to see and do while you’re visiting Chicago’s most charming neighborhood:

1. See Beautiful Flowers at the Lincoln Park Conservatory

Lincoln Park Conservatory & Gardens
Lincoln Park Conservatory & Gardens – Photo: Lincoln Park Conservancy

Lincoln Park Conservatory showcases a wide range of exotic plants and flowers in four different display houses.

2. Take in the Animals at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo flamingos
Photo: Lincoln Park Zoo / Facebook

The Lincoln Park Zoo was founded in 1868 and is the fourth-oldest zoo in North America, as well as one of the country’s only free-admission zoos.

3. Sit in the Sand at North Avenue Beach

View to North Avenue Beach
View to North Avenue Beach – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

The Lincoln Park neighborhood is even home to a beach! North Avenue Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Chicago.

4. Take a Picture With the Standing Lincoln Sculpture

Abraham Lincoln - The Man Lincoln Park Chicago
Part of “Abraham Lincoln: The Man,” by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1887), Lincoln Park, Chicago – Photo: Wikipedia

If you’re looking to check out historical landmarks while in Lincoln Park, the Standing Lincoln Sculpture (or “Abraham Lincoln: The Man”), completed in 1887, is a great attraction.

5. Do a Deep Dive at the Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum exhibit
The exterior of South Side Rapid Transit No. 1 inside the Chicago History Museum – Photo: Wikipedia

Founded in 1856, the Chicago History Museum is considered Chicago’s oldest institution.

6. Learn About Butterflies at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Butterfly House
The Butterfly House at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – Photo: Wikipedia

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is best known for its live butterfly house, which offers programs for enthusiasts to study and learn how to support Chicago’s butterfly populations.

7. Have a Zen Moment at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool – Photo: Lincoln Park Concervancy / Facebook

If you want to take a break and enjoy some peace and quiet while in Lincoln Park, the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is a beautiful place to stop for a zen moment (or two).

8. Shop at Armitage and Halsted

Harmitage - Halsted Hub
Harmitage – Halsted Hub – Photo: Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce / Facebook

The Armitage and Halsted area is full of boutiques where you can find everything from custom leather accessories to decor and home goods.

9. Try the Famous Chocolate Fondue of Geja’s Café

Geja's Cafe
Photo: Geja’s Cafe / Facebook

Geja’s Café, with its tasty fondue, regularly ranks among the top restaurants in Lincoln Park. It’s been serving locals and visitors for over 50 years.

10. Grab a Bite to Eat

Blue Door Farm Stand
Photo: Blue Door Farm Stand / Facebook

There are plenty of other great places to eat in Lincoln Park, too, including the following:

11. Sip a Cocktail at The J. Parker Rooftop

The J. Parker
Photo: The J. Parker / Facebook

The all-seasons J. Parker Rooftop restaurant and bar is the perfect place to grab a drink while you take in the views of Lake Michigan.

12. Listen to Chicago-Style Blues at Kingston Mines

Kingstone Mines
Photo: Kingstone Mines / Facebook

Since 1968, Kingston Mines has been the place to go for live music. Kingston Mines plays every night of the week until 4 a.m.

13. Have a Laugh at The Second City

The Second City
Photo: The Second City / Facebook

If you want to enjoy a comedy show, check out The Second City. It’s one of the world’s most famous comedy clubs.

14. Enjoy a Show at Steppenwolf Theatre

Steppenwolf Theatre Company
Photo: Steppenwolf Theatre Company / Facebook

For those who want to enjoy more live entertainment, the Steppenwolf Theatre is a great place to go for a variety of unique plays and productions.

15. Take a Stroll Through Oz Park

Dorothy and Toto statue, Oz Park, Chicago, Illinois.
“Dorothy and Toto” statue, W. Webster Ave. (near 700 W.), Oz Park, Chicago, Illinois – Photo by Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

Oz Park is named after the Wizard of Oz and features a variety of references to the famous novel.

16. Study or Work at the Bourgeois Pig Café

Bourgeois Pig Café
Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

Bourgeois Pig Café offers delicious sandwiches, salads, soups, and smoothies and offers a quiet spot to read, study, work, or just rest your feet.

17. Get Caffeinated at the Best Coffee Shops

Warewolf Coffee Bar
Photo: Warewolf Coffee Bar / Facebook

Lincoln Park is home to lots of coffee shops, including:

18. Enjoy a Brew at the Old Town Ale House

Old Town Ale House
Blago’s first day in jail in the painting: Cavity Search – Photo: Old Town Ale House / Facebook

Known as the best dive bar in Chicago, Old Town Ale House offers visitors a glimpse at the Chicago of the 60s and 70s.

19. Peruse DePaul Art Museum

DePaul Art Museum
Photo: DePaul Art Museum / Facebook

To see some stunning artwork, DePaul Art Museum is the place to go for self-guided tours and tours led by museum staff.

20. Update Your Record Collection at Dave’s Records

Photo: Dave’s Records / Facebook

As the sign on the door proudly announces, Dave’s Records offers all vinyl and no CDs.