News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
September 28, 2018
Brookfield Zoo’s Annual Boo! at the Zoo Extends Halloween Fun for a Third Weekend

Photo Captions
0A5A5007.jpg and 0A5A5100.jpg: Young guests to Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration can stop by candy stations to get some sweet treats from Ferrara Candy Company.
0A5A6301.jpg and 7150.jpg: Youngsters can wear their Halloween attire to Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo and show it off in the Costume Parade and Contest.
0A5A6352.jpg: Remember your visit to Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo with a photo in front of one of the Halloween-themed peek boards.
7512.jpg and 7374.jpg: Zoogoers can watch and cheer on the Pumpkin Smasher as he pulverizes pumpkins into pieces every hour on the hour starting at 11:00 a.m. during Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo.

7746.jpg: Guests of all ages can take a haunted hayride at Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration.

     Brookfield, Ill. – For the first time, Brookfield Zoo is adding a third weekend to its annual Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration, presented by Ferrara Candy Company. From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, October 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28, guests of all ages can show off their Halloween costumes plus enjoy family-friendly and spooky-fun activities.

Beginning at 10:00 a.m., youngsters can bring their trick-or-treat bags to the zoo and slither over to five candy stations where volunteers from Ferrara Candy Company will pass out sweet treats that include Halloween favorites such as Trolli, SweeTARTS, Black Forest, Brachs, Nerds, Laffy Taffy and Now & Later. (Treats are provided while supplies last.) While at each of the stations, take photos at the Halloween-themed backdrops to remember your day at Brookfield Zoo. Afterwards, guests can make their way through the Crazed Maize Corn Maze, take a spin on the Creepy Cowboy Carousel, or snag a seat aboard a Haunted Hayride.

On the West Mall, zoogoers can watch and cheer on the Pumpkin Smasher as he pulverizes pumpkins into pieces every hour on the hour starting at 11:00 a.m. Guests can also pick up some carving tips and tricks as a professional pumpkin carver uses a variety of tools to create masterpieces out of gigantic pumpkins that weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

Guests of all ages are welcome to join in the Costume Parade, which kicks off at 1:00 p.m. in front of the Discovery Center and ends on the West Mall. Following the parade at 1:30 p.m., zoogoers can show off their Halloween attire and enter the Costume Contest. Judges will select winners in four categories: best animal theme, most original, best group theme, and weirdly awesome, in honor of Ferrara Candy Company’s weirdly awesome Trolli candy brand.

Throughout the celebration, animal care staff will scare up some fun facts about the zoo’s creepiest critters at special Zoo Chats scheduled throughout the day. At 11:30 a.m., hang out at Australia House for a little banter about bats before wandering over to Regenstein Wolf Woods to hear about Mexican wolves at noon. Head to Hamill Family Play Zoo at 12:30 p.m. to learn about the Goliath bird-eating spider, and at 1:00 p.m. discover wise facts about owls. Scorpions will take the stage at the Play Zoo at 2:00 p.m., followed by large snakes at 2:30 p.m. and finally ravens at 3:00 p.m.

Finally, in celebration of the Boo at the Zoo festivities, pumpkins will be given to various animals throughout the zoo over the three weekends to play with, eat, and smash. They include:

  • October 13 and 20 at 11:00 a.m., polar bears and grizzly bears

  • October 14 at 10:15 a.m., orangutans and western lowland gorillas

  • October 21 at 10:15 a.m. black rhinos, pygmy hippo, and red river hogs

  • October 27 at 10:15 a.m., gray seals and gray seals, California sea lions, and dolphins

  • October 28 at 11:00 a.m., goats, reindeer, and lemurs

General zoo admission is $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $14. (Additional fees apply to some Boo! at the Zoo activities.) For further information, visit or call (708) 688-8000.
#      #      #
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 is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.


Visit Brookfield Zoo

Create extraordinary connections with animals and nature!

Animal Welfare

You Can Help!

Become our partner in caring for animals and in connecting people with wildlife and nature.