Taking a LEAP at the Lincoln Park Zoo

January 24, 2019

With a toddler and a baby at home, we are always looking for new things to do around the city. I look for classes that not only keep my busy toddler, Noah, engaged, but also learning. He’s at that age where I need to constantly keep him moving! When Lincoln Park Zoo reached out for us try their LEAP class, I knew we had to check it out.

What is LEAP?

LEAP is a nine-week class which stands for learn, explore and play. It is offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays inside the Regenstein Center for African Apes and Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House at the Lincoln Park Zoo. What I really liked is the Regenstein Center and Reptile House is closed to the public and just open for LEAP students and families during the class. This allows you to walk around without the crowds and play among all the animals, so cool right?


The entire class is solely based on children investigating and exploring in nature through various stations located around the center. Stations like painting, digging in dirt, reading a story under a canopy, playing the drums and more. Each week is a different theme and every class ends with a read aloud that relates to the theme. Our class was “Big and Small”, so each station had manipulates that were ranging in sizes. The read aloud at the end of class was about different animals and their sizes. There’s also a really cute LEAP song everyone sings at the end of the read aloud.

LEAP classes at the Lincoln Park zoo has lots of activities for toddlers

What we loved

What Noah loved the most was that it is completely child-directed, he truly led the way. We just went along for the ride! He went from station to station, exploring each one. Some he stayed longer at some or went back to others, but he tried them all. I loved that he could play independently in a safe environment, while playing with things we don’t have at home.

Noah is in this stage where he likes to problem-solve on his own, with some guidance. He also loves the zoo and nature, so this was a perfect setting for him.

After class, we explored a little more around the Reptile House to check out some of the animals and walked around the zoo. It was such a fun morning for us, he talked about it all week and can’t wait to go back!


Spring registration opens up on Tuesday, January 29th and use the code TheChicagoGoodLife for 10% off the class. You can register and find out more information here.

Classes begin:

  • Wednesdays: March 20th through May 15th
  • Thursdays: March 21st through May 16th
  • Saturdays: March 23rd through May 18th

If you have any questions about the class and our experience, let me know! As always, thanks for following along. You can sign up for weekly emails here and follow me on Instagram.

Until next time,


This post was sponsored by the Lincoln Park Zoo, but all the opinions expressed are my own.

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