We were surrounded by skyscrapers. But yet we were in a red barn, climbing up into a John Deere tractor and learning about pigs. Just what were we doing? We were in the farm area at Lincoln Park Zoo for Pork-a-pa-zoo-la!
We live (theoretically) about 20 minutes away from Chicago, yet we rarely go downtown. It requires some planning and strategy to go downtown, which mostly about transportation, traffic, and the cost of parking. We didn’t plan wisely this time around, so we spent $36 on just four hours of parking in the zoo lot. Fortunately for us, Lincoln Park Zoo is still a free zoo, and so we hope some of our parking fee goes toward the zoo itself!
When we first walked into the zoo, we were able to sample some pork burgers…DaBurgers! I’ve used ground pork in my meatloaf before, but I never thought of using it to make burgers! They were delicious. Then we were off to the “farm,” where Lily and Emmy played with soybeans, learned about pigs, and climbed up into a tractor. (Ed had just as much fun climbing up into the John Deere as the girls did…in fact, I think he liked it more than they did!)
Since I’m an Illinois Field Mom, I introduced myself to the volunteers running the activities. A couple of people approached me first because they recognized me from the Illinois Farm Families website. That made me feel a little bit like a celebrity! I was able to talk to one of the farmers who spoke at the Ward Farm about pigs. It was a farm visit that I missed, so it was nice to be able to ask him some questions about raising hogs. The girls also made pig ear hats, which we had a lot of fun wearing. Emmy is pretending to be one of her favorite pigs in the picture below…can you guess which one? (Click HERE to find out!)
The farm exhibit at Lincoln Park Zoo is a permanent exhibit; but some of the activities were there just for the day. After we completed all our farm tasks, we went to visit other animals at the zoo. One of the animals kept eluding us; we went to his cage three times and just kept missing him. Lily insisted on going back one more time before we left to try again…and finally we saw the tiger!