Winter Wine and Whiskey Fest
February 22 (Saturday)
Don’t let the winter cold keep you down, come and warm up at Brookfield Zoo’s Winter Wine and Whiskey Fest on Saturday, February 22, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The 21-and-over-only event features more than 30 seasonal wines and whiskeys accompanied with small bites. Adding to the ambience will be live entertainment provided by the local band Spoken Four. Additionally, throughout the fun-filled evening, guests will have the opportunity to meet several of the zoo’s animal ambassadors. Space is limited. The cost is $95 (zoo members receive a $10 discount), which includes a commemorative 5 oz. glass to sample wines and whiskeys and admission to the zoo for the entire day beginning at 10:00 a.m.—come early and enjoy seeing your favorite animals too! A designated driver ticket is also available for $45 ($35 for zoo members) that includes free admission to the zoo and unlimited soft drinks. For additional information and to make reservations, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8000.
Zoo Goes Blue for Autism
April 4 (Saturday)
Brookfield Zoo is collaborating with Autism Speaks to take part in the annual Zoo Goes Blue campaign. The event takes place at select Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited facilities across North America during April, which is World Autism Awareness Month. To commemorate the day, the zoo’s iconic lion statues will be clothed in blue scarves and blue flags will decorate the park’s grounds. Throughout the day, special Zoo Goes Blue activities will be taking place for families with children on the autism spectrum, including a quiet hour on the Carousel, a sensory-friendly Dolphins in Action presentation, and special animal Zoo Chats. For more information, visit CZS.org/ZooGoesBlue or call (708) 688-8000.
Breakfast with the Bunny
April 5 (Sunday) and April 11 (Saturday)
Hop on over to Brookfield Zoo for its annual Breakfast with the Bunny held at the zoo’s Discovery Center. There will be a special appearance from costumed characters Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, who will be available for photo opportunities. In addition, there will be live musical entertainment. Two seatings offered each day. Seatings are limited, and reservations are required. For further information, including pricing, and to make reservations, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8355.
April 12 (Sunday)
Bring the family to Brookfield Zoo’s Discovery Center for a delectable Easter brunch that is sure to satisfy even the largest of appetites. The menu features a wide variety of items, including omelets, carving stations with accompaniments, seafood, a delectable sweet table, and much more. Joining in the festivities will be costumed characters Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, who will be on hand for photo opportunities, as well as live musical entertainment. Two seatings offered and reservations are required. For further information, including pricing, and to purchase tickets, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8355.
Ape Awareness Weekend
April 11-12 (Saturday-Sunday)
Quit monkeying around and swing over to Brookfield Zoo to hang out with the apes that live in the zoo’s Tropic World—orangutans, western lowland gorillas, and white-cheeked gibbons. The event will feature special Zoo Chats about each of the species, as well as ape-related activities that are more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Everyone can make a difference for apes in the wild, and zoogoers will hear firsthand how they can help. For more information, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8000.
Party for the Planet
April 18 (Saturday)
Looking for an “out of this world” celebration? Head over to Brookfield Zoo for its annual Party for the Planet celebration, presented by the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program. Learn about the different ways you can make earth-friendly choices such as conserving energy, riding a bike, or recycling, all of which can have a positive impact on the planet. During this fun-filled family event, participate in green-themed craft activities, help staff plant a tree, and discover interesting facts about the animals at special Zoo Chats. In addition, representatives from several recycling organizations will be onsite collecting items from zoogoers. For more information and a full list of recyclable items, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8000.
Chicago Zoological Society’s Whirl
April 25 (Saturday)
The Women’s Board and Board of Trustees of the Chicago Zoological Society are hosting the 39th annual Whirl gala. For the first time in the black-tie fundraiser’s history, it will be held downtown Chicago. The evening, which takes place in the Sheraton Grand Chicago Ballroom, begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour featuring opportunities for up-close experiences with Brookfield Zoo’s animal ambassadors. Dinner and dancing in the Sheraton Ballroom will follow. The evening also features a raffle, live auction, and paddle raise. Proceeds support the animals at Brookfield Zoo, as well as the Society’s conservation, education, and research programs. Tickets are $700 per person. For additional information or to make reservations, visit pjhchicago.com/zoo or call (312) 553-2000.
World Penguin Day
April 25 (Saturday)
Waddle over to Brookfield Zoo and celebrate World Penguin Day. The fun-filled event will feature activities for the entire family between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at The Living Coast. Zoogoers can attend special Zoo Chats to learn about the zoo’s Humboldt penguin colonies, partake in penguin-themed activities and crafts, and meet a few of the fine-feathered birds up close. For further information, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8000.
May 2 – September 27
More than 40 animatronic dinosaurs that are BIGGER and BADDER will be coming to Brookfield Zoo in 2020. Dinos Everywhere! features acres of earth shakers, including the largest—Argentinosaurus—that was estimated to measure more than 100 feet in length and weigh up to 110 tons. From May 2 through September 27, zoogoers will be able to search for this amazing life-like animatronics that will be located around the park. Throughout the summer, zoogoers will be able to take part in dino-themed interactive activities, including a scavenger hunt. (Free with zoo admission.)
World Migratory Bird Day
May 9 (Saturday)
Spread your “wings” and venture out to Brookfield Zoo for its annual World Migratory Bird Day celebration. From 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. guests can join in fun and educational activities, including creating window artwork at Hamill Family Nature Plaza, learning how to attract birds at home, and attending special chats about a few of the zoo’s fine-feathered friends. Remember your visit with a commemorative migratory bird magnet (while supplies last). For more information, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8000.
Roars and Pours
May 9 (Saturday)
Brookfield Zoo’s Roars and Pours offers a unique opportunity to sample wines and spirits from around the world. This 21-and-over-only event, which takes place from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., gives guests the chance to come early to see their favorite animals and then venture over to the Pavilions to sample more than 30 wines and spirits. There will also be opportunities to have up-close experiences with several of the zoo’s animal ambassadors. For additional information, including pricing, and to make reservations, visit CZS.org/Events.
Mother’s Day Brunch
May 10 (Sunday)
Looking to spend some quality time with your mom on her special day? Head to Brookfield Zoo’s Discovery Center and enjoy a special Mother’s Day brunch featuring cooked to order eggs, a carving station and accompaniments, a scrumptious sweet table, and much more. Champagne and other beverages will be served tableside. Afterwards take mom on a walk through the zoo to see her favorite animals. Reservations are required. For further information, including pricing, and to make reservations, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8355.
Bear Awareness Weekend
You’ll “bear-ly” believe all the fun-filled activities Brookfield Zoo has in store for its annual Bear Awareness Weekend. Guests of all ages can attend special Zoo Chats about the zoo’s three species of bears—grizzly, polar, and sloth—and find out what challenges they face in the wild, as well as what conservation efforts are taking place to help bear populations. The zoo’s volunteers will have exploration carts featuring a variety of bear artifacts for guests to touch. At Hamill Family Play Zoo (additional fee applies), youngsters can partake in bear-themed crafts. For further information, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8000.
Father’s Day Barbecue
June 21 (Sunday)
Bring your dad to Brookfield Zoo this Father’s Day for a barbecue with all the trimmings and then spend time visiting his favorite animals. The barbecue, which takes place at the zoo’s Pavilions, features a DJ, who will provide added entertainment. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. For further information, including pricing, and to make reservations, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8355.
Brookfield Zoo, located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Ill., is open every day of the year from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, zoo hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (indoor animal exhibits close a half hour before the zoo closes).
Admission is $24.95 for adults, $17.95 for children ages 3-11, and $19.95 for seniors 65 and older. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Admission to the zoo is free on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in January and February and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from October through December.
From early spring through late fall, Brookfield Zoo offers general zoo admission plus attraction packages at discounted rates. Group rates also are available to groups of 20 or more. For information on group rates, call (708) 688-8431.
Parking is $15 for cars and $21 for buses. (A Cook County and Illinois State parking tax is included).
For more details on admission packages, pricing, or to pre-purchase tickets or memberships, go to CZS.org.
About the Chicago Zoological Society The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.