News Release

September 23, 2016
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351
Note: Images of Boo! at the Zoo activities at Brookfield Zoo may be downloaded below.
8359-1 and 8898-1: Costumed guests enjoy Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration.
7311: Youngsters pose for a photo during Brookfield Zoo’s annual Halloween event—Boo! at the Zoo.
5A5466: During Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo, guests can watch pumpkins getting smashed.
5A6036: A young costumed guest poses for a photo during Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo.
4874: A pygmy hippo gets ready to enjoy a Halloween treat.
6857: Costumed guests are able to show off their Halloween attire during Brookfield Zoo’s annual costume contest.

Brookfield Zoo’s Annual Boo! at the Zoo Offers Fangtastic Fun for the Whole Family

Brookfield, Ill. — Dress up in your favorite costume and head to Brookfield Zoo at its annual Boo! at the Zoo, presented by Ferrara Candy Company, on Saturdays and Sundays, October 22-23 and October 29-30, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Halloween extravaganza will feature not-so-scary, fun-filled festivities for the entire family.

New this year, youngsters can slither over to one of six stations for a Ferrara candy treat. These trick-or-treat stations, manned by more than 300 volunteers from Ferrara over the four-day event,   feature Halloween-themed backdrops that make the perfect setting to snap a photograph of your visit to the zoo. Sweet treats will include Halloween favorites such as Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers, Black Forest Organic gummies, and classic Brach’s Candy Corn from Chicago’s own Ferrara Candy Company. (Treats are provided while supplies last.)

Zoogoers can get into the Halloween spirit by learning about creepy critters like scorpions, bats, giant spiders, and snakes. Special Zoo Chats led by animal care staff will highlight interesting facts about these animals and more. Stop by Australia House at 11:30 a.m. for a chat about Rodrigues fruit bats, then venture over to Regenstein Wolf Woods to learn about the Mexican gray wolves at noon. At Hamill Family Play Zoo, there will be a chat about bird eating spiders at 12:30 p.m., followed by a chat about owls at 1:00 p.m. At The Swamp, there will be a chat about scorpions at 2:00 p.m. There will be a snake chat at Feathers and Scales at 2:30 p.m., and the final chat of the day will happen at Hamill Family Play Zoo and will be about the zoo’s ravens at 3:00 p.m.

Some animals will join in the howlin’ good time when they receive pumpkins as part of the zoo’s enrichment program. Animals scheduled to receive pumpkin treats include wolves, grizzly bears and polar bears on October 22; orangutans and gorillas on October 23; sloth bears and big cats on October 29; and rhinos, hippos and red river hogs on October 30.

On the zoo’s West Mall, zoogoers can watch the Pumpkin Smasher pulverize pumpkins into pieces every hour. Plus, professional pumpkin carver Steve Dahlke will be at the zoo each day of the event to use a variety of tools to create masterpieces out of gigantic pumpkins that weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Guests can pick up carving tips and tricks during his demonstrations.

Princesses, superheroes, villains, and other costumed guests of all ages can join in the parade, which kicks off at 1:00 p.m. by the North Mall and goes around Roosevelt Fountain before concluding on the West Mall. Following the parade, guests can show off their Halloween attire in a costume contest beginning at 1:30 p.m. Judges will choose prize winners in five categories: scariest, best animal theme, most original, best group theme, and a new addition: the most weirdly awesome, in honor of Ferrara’s weirdly awesome Trolli candy brand.

Don’t want the ghoulishly good times to end? Keep the good times rollin’ with a ride on the Haunted Hayride, a walk through the Craized Maize corn maze, or a whirl on the Creepy Cowboy Carousel. At Hamill Family Play Zoo, zoogoers can construct a scarecrow and participate in a craft activity—creating fall lanterns (October 22-23) or bat finger puppets (October 29-30).

General zoo admission is $17.85 for adults and $12.50 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $11. (An additional fee applies for Hamill Family Play Zoo, hayride, and The Carousel.) For further information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people 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 off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit
About Ferrara Candy Company
Ferrara Candy Company is the leading non-chocolate confectionary company in the U.S., with a portfolio of strong brands and retail partnerships. With a candy for every  occasion, Ferrara Candy Company brands make consumers happy every day and include: TROLLI®, BLACK FOREST ORGANICS®, BRACH’S®, , NOW AND LATER®, LEMONHEAD, SATHERS®, BOBS®, RED HOTS®, ATOMIC FIREBALL®, CHUCKLES®, BOSTON BAKED BEANS, , SUPER BUBBLE®, FRUIT STRIPE®, RAIN-BLO®, JUJYFRUITS® and JAWBUSTERS®. For more information visit


Sondra Katzen
Director of Public Relations
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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