Lincoln Park Zoolights and Hot Chocolate

On Sunday, we went to the Lincoln Park Zoolights, another favorite Chicago Christmas tradition. The zoo gets decked out with holiday lights so it feels a little like Vegas. The trees are covered in colorful lights or those falling icicle lights. There are these light up animated signs, usually of animals. My favorites are the gibbon swinging and the chameleon/lizard that catches a fly with its tongue. There is even a Loch Ness Monster sitting next to the lagoon. There are areas lights timed to music and giant snow globes. There are few things in this world that I believe you can’t have too much of. Christmas lights are one of those few. Also, there are ice sculptures including one that was a carved heart with a proposal in it.

As a wonderful bonus, some of the animal houses are open after hours. We wandered into the gorilla house to see chimpanzees stretched out, sleeping in front of the viewing glass. They were so peaceful. And you got a good look at their feet which really look like hands. We also wandered into the monkey house where the monkeys were more active. There was a tiny monkey that clearly wanted to play; he grabbed an adult’s tail and was hoisting himself up it like it was a rope. He tried to play what looked like tag with another. Sadly, the adults were not having any of it. But it was so cute. There are also lemurs now. Yes, lemurs.

Also, the hot chocolate was up to muster. There are little kiosks that sell it around the zoo. I’m not sure what brand or store they are from; it may be Hershey’s which is surprising since the hot chocolate was so good. You could get regular or flavored with Reeses Peanut Butter Pieces, Peppermint Patty, Caramel Turtle, and Triple Chocolate. I had the Reeses Peanut Butter one since hot chocolate and peanut butter are a bit rare considering the prevalence of chocolate and peanut butter in other products. It was good. It’s not as thick as others previously mentioned but it didn’t taste watery or powdery. It was perfect for a cold December night wandering around the zoo. And the Reeses Pieces were a nice addition. So yeah, it is worth it.

Sadly, there seemed to be something amiss this time we went. A good portion of the lights were out so there were stretches of darkness in the zoo. There were sections that were clearly decked out in lights but weren’t on. We heard people speculating that maybe it was one bulb that did it. Who knows?

But it was still enjoyable and something I like to do every year. I think it is open until the 4th or 5th of January so you still have time.



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