News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
February 10, 2016
Note: Images for any of the events listed are available by calling the Chicago Zoological Society’s Public Relations Department at (708) 688-8351 or emailing
Additionally, please note that admission to Brookfield Zoo is $17.85 for adults and $12.50 for children ages 3 to 11 and seniors age 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $11.
Brookfield Zoo’s February-June 2016 Calendar of Events
Hamill Family Play Zoo 15th Anniversary Celebration
On the 15th of every month in 2016, Brookfield Zoo’s Hamill Family Play Zoo will host activities from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in celebration of its 15th anniversary. Guests can meet a zoo professional, participate in a scavenger hunt, learn something new about their favorite animals during special Zoo Chats, get creative with an art activity, play a part in an animal training or husbandry session, and close out the day with a children’s parade. A larger celebration is scheduled for June 15. For more information and a schedule of activities planned for each month, visit or call (708) 688-8000.
Valentine’s Dinner
February 13 (Saturday)
Show your animal magnetism and treat your significant other to a romantic Valentine’s dinner at Brookfield Zoo. Begin the evening with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Seven Seas Underwater Viewing gallery, where you will be able to see dolphins swimming gracefully. Then take a cozy, heated ride to the zoo’s Bocaditos dining room for a delectable four-course meal featuring a petit filet and lobster tail with accompaniments, followed by a scrumptious dessert of chocolate marjolaine. Full bar service is included. After dinner, take a spin or two on the dance floor. The cost is $225 per couple. Seating is limited. For reservations and further information, visit or call (708) 688-8355.
Valentine’s Day Brunch
February 14 (Sunday)
This Valentine’s Day, bring your significant other or the entire family to an extraordinary all-you-can-eat brunch in Brookfield Zoo’s Discovery Center at 11:00 a.m. Enjoy an array of delicious items, including made-to-order omelets, a carving station, seafood delights, and luscious desserts. Afterwards, take a stroll through the zoo to see your favorite animals. Seating is limited and reservations are required. The cost, which includes zoo admission and parking, is $45 for adults and $35 for children ages 3-11. Children 2 and under eat for free. For further information and a complete list of menu items, go to or call (708) 688-8355.
FREEze Day
February 14 (Sunday)
Head to Brookfield Zoo for winter-themed activities and free admission. The day’s events will feature wintry fun for the whole family, including dogsledding demonstrations from members of the Green Valley Dog Drivers and their four-legged friends between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the zoo’s West Mall. Members of the organization will engage guests in games and musher talks with their canine teams. In addition, representatives from the Forest Preserves of Cook County will be on hand to give tips on snowshoeing. There will also be special Zoo Chats about some of the cold-weather animals, including polar bears, snow leopards, and Mexican gray wolves. In Hamill Family Play Zoo, youngsters can join in mud play, create Valentine’s Day cards for the animals, and make bird feeders to take home. Joining in the festivities will be Nature Cat, a costumed character from WTTW’s new animated series, which encourages children ages 3 to 8 to explore and develop connections with the natural world. For more information, go to or call (708) 688-8000.
Cesar Chavez Celebration and Art Contest
March 13 (Sunday)
All are welcome to attend a celebration honoring Cesar Chavez, who inspired farm workers and others to commit to social, economic, and civil rights activism. The event takes place from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. and will feature live musical entertainment by the popular group Malafacha Ska, dancing, and interactive activities for all ages. There also will be up-close encounters with some of the zoo’s animal ambassadors, a theatrical presentation by Youth Crossroads, fun hands-on activities with the students from the Society’s King Science Conservation Scholars program. Joining in the festivities will be representatives from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers-UIC and the National Museum of Mexican Art. In addition students in Illinois can enter original artwork in the “In Honor of Cesar Chavez” art contest reflecting the spirit of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. To download an entry form, official contest rules, and further information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.
Breakfast with the Bunny
March 19, 20, and 26 (Saturdays and Sunday)
Hop over to Brookfield Zoo for its annual Breakfast with the Bunny. The all-you-can-eat buffet, held in the zoo’s Discovery Center, will feature a special appearance from costumed characters Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, who will be available for photo opportunities. In addition, the Banjo Buddies will provide musical entertainment. Seatings are offered at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Pricing, which includes zoo admission and parking, is $29.95 for adults and $21.95 for children ages 3 to 11. Children 2 and under eat for free. Seatings are limited, and reservations are required. For more information and to make reservations, visit or call (708) 688-8355.
Easter Brunch
March 27 (Sunday)
Bring the family to Brookfield Zoo for a delectable all-you-can-eat Easter brunch, which is sure to satisfy even the largest appetites. The buffet menu features a wide variety of items, including omelets, carving stations with accompaniments, seafood, a sweets 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 will be the Banjo Buddies, who will provide musical entertainment. Brunch seatings are offered at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and reservations are required. The cost, which includes zoo admission and parking, is $39.95 for adults and $29.95 for children ages 3 to 11. Children 2 and under eat for free. For more information and to make reservations, visit or call (708) 688-8355.
Ape Awareness Weekend
April 9 and 10 (Saturday and Sunday)
Guests will go bananas for exciting facts shared about apes at Brookfield Zoo’s Ape Awareness Weekend. The event—highlighting the zoo’s three ape species: white-cheeked gibbons, orangutans, and western lowland gorillas—will feature special Zoo Chats about each of the species. In addition, there will be fun ape-related activities in Tropic World throughout the day. Everyone can make a difference for apes in the wild, and zoogoers will hear firsthand how they can help. Mining for coltan, a mineral widely used in cell phones, is threatening gorillas and other forest species in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bring your old cell phone and cell phone accessories, pagers, handheld games, e-readers, and laptops to the zoo’s recycling stations, located at the North and South Gates. For more information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.
Brookfield Zoo’s February-June 2016 Calendar of Events—add 2
Party for the Planet
April 24 (Sunday)
Small steps such as conserving energy can mean big results for helping animals around the world. The focus of this year’s event will be on giraffes. Party for the Planet will be filled with educational, engaging, and fun activities for the entire family. Guests can visit the Eco Expo, drop off items to be recycled, enjoy live entertainment by the band Green Thirteen, plant a tree, and participate in green-themed activities and crafts. For more information and a full list of recyclable items, visit or call (708) 688-8000.
Wildlife Conservation Expo
May 7 (Saturday)
Learn firsthand from world-renowned researchers about conservation efforts to help save wildlife from around the globe. The daylong event, held at Brookfield Zoo, will also feature representatives from more than 30 local, national, and international organizations, who will be on hand to share information and engage guests on how to get involved in a variety of environmental efforts. Speakers at this year’s expo are Shivani Bhalla from Ewaso Lions, Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton from Save the Elephants, Peter Blinston from Painted Dog Conservation, Dr. Mike Adkesson and Susana Cardenas-Alayza from the Chicago Zoological Society, and John Doherty of the Reticulated Giraffe Project. For further information and costs for lectures, visit or call (708) 688-8000.
Mother’s Day
May 8 (Sunday)
There is no better way to celebrate Mom than with a tasty brunch at Brookfield Zoo. The all-you-can-eat buffet will take place in the zoo’s Discovery Center. Seatings are offered at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Dining options include omelet and carving stations, French toast, salmon, grilled chicken, beef kabobs, Caesar salad, vegetable accompaniments, sweet treats, and other scrumptious dishes. Pricing, which includes zoo admission and parking, is $39.95 for adults and $29.95 for children ages 3 to 11. Children 2 and under eat for free. Afterwards, head out into the park to see all the animals. Seatings are limited and reservations are required. For further information and to make reservations, visit or call (708) 688-8355.
Festival of Flight
May 28 to September 5
Brookfield Zoo’s bird show, Festival of Flight, soars back to town this summer beginning Memorial Day weekend. Guests will fly high with excitement while watching birds demonstrate their natural flight abilities during this interactive experience. The 20-minute show, which features nearly 20 bird species, is free with general zoo admission. For more information, visit or (708) 688-8000.
Summer Nights
June 17 to August 13 (Fridays and Saturdays)
Brookfield Zoo’s summertime event is back for a third season. Enjoy the park until 9:00 p.m. with cooler summer evening temperatures, enhanced dining, a beer and wine garden, live music, roaming performers, kids’ entertainment, and a laser light show, all surrounded by wildlife and nature. For more information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.
Father’s Day Barbecue
June 19 (Sunday)
This Father’s Day, treat Dad to an all-you-can-eat barbecue at Brookfield Zoo’s Pavilions. The menu features all the fixin’s, including barbecue chicken and baby back ribs, slow-roasted strip loin carved to order, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, grilled vegetables, corn on the cob, baked beans, and delicious homemade apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. In addition, a DJ will be spinning tunes to add to the picnic ambiance. The barbecue, which begins at noon and includes free zoo admission and parking, costs $39.95 for adults and $29.95 for children ages 3 to 11. Children 2 and under eat for free. For reservations and further information, visit or call (708) 688-8335.
World Giraffe Day
June TBD
Bring the whole family to join Potoka, one of Brookfield Zoo’s giraffes, in celebrating his third birthday and World Giraffe Day, sponsored by JobGiraffe. Guests can party with Potoka while learning about the threatened status of giraffes and how to help protect them and their habitat. The event, which takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., will highlight feature craft activities and special Zoo Chats throughout the day. For more information, go to or call (708) 688-8000.
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Event dates and times are subject to change without notice. All special events are sponsored by American Airlines.)
Brookfield Zoo 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 $17.85 for adults and $12.50 for children ages 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Admission to the zoo is free on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays in January and February. From October through December, admission is free on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tickets to Brookfield Zoo may be purchased online at
From early spring through late fall, Brookfield Zoo offers general zoo admission plus attraction packages. Group rates are available to groups of 20 or more. For information on group rates, call (708) 688-8431.
Parking is $11 for cars and $15 for buses. (A Cook County parking tax is included.)


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


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