News Release
Contact:   Sondra Katzen, Chicago Zoological Society, 708.688.8351,
June 15, 2021                             

NOTE: Download photos at end of press release.

Summer at Brookfield Zoo Kicks Off with Restrictions Lifted
Online reservations no longer required; Dinos Everywhere!, the carousel, new food offerings,
and indoor animal exhibits and outdoor attractions available for zoogoers this summer

Brookfield, Ill. — After zoos, museums, aquariums and other cultural institutions were shuttered due to Covid-19, the world is beginning to safely reopen. In accordance with the newly announced state Phase 5 guidelines, Brookfield Zoo is now able to operate at full capacity, and guests can attend the Zoo without prior online reservations.

Zoogoers can expect to see the animals they loved pre-pandemic plus so much more! Dino’s Everywhere!, which runs through September 6, 2021, features over 40 animatronic dinosaurs that are BIGGER and BADDER than ever before, some now mimicking the earth shakers’ real-life bodily functions.

In addition to Dinos Everywhere!, guests can see many of the animals in their outdoor habitats, including Brutus and Titus, 5-year-old African lions who arrived last year; giraffes; Grevy’s zebras; grey seals; Mexican wolves; polar bears; Amur tiger; bison; pygmy hippopotamus; camels; kangaroos; brown bears; Amur and snow leopards; and many more.

The Zoo’s famous hand-carved carousel (one of the nation’s largest) has resumed operating. Additionally, restaurants are open throughout the Zoo’s 216-acre park, including two food trucks—Taco Caja and The COOP—that will debut mid- to late-July on the East Mall. Old favorites, such as BZ Red Hots, are offering new, handmade menu items as well as refreshed décor. At Café del Sol, hungry guests can utilize mobile ordering options that allow you to order ahead, skip the line, and pick up and go. Coming soon is Bean Sprouts, a family café stand featuring kid-height counter service with ImaginibblesTM organic and seasonal snacks and meals just right for young animal lovers.

The North Gate Shop and South Gate’s Wildlife Trading Post are welcoming shoppers indoors again, with a larger selection of environmentally friendly apparel and more. These innovative dining and shopping opportunities are brought to the Zoo by its partner, SSA Group, which in 2020 began revitalizing the culinary and retail services at Brookfield Zoo.

The reopening also kicks off a summer of beloved animal experiences, like giraffe feedings, Penguin Encounters (to begin in July with required reservations) and Hamill Family Wild Encounters, where visitors can witness three wallaby joeys hopping around outside of their moms’ pouches. Guests can also see African spurred and Iguana Cove Tortoises (formerly Galapagos Tortoises) in their outdoor habitat on the north side of Pachyderm House, and take in views of the Zoo’s flock of white pelicans, which has doubled in size with the addition of five new birds on the Formal Pool.

Exciting experiences of all kinds await at Brookfield Zoo this summer. Current protocols include all guests over the age of 2 to continue wearing face coverings while indoors or unable to practice social distancing. Please note, Hamill Family Play Zoo will remain closed at this time. Before arriving at the Zoo, guests are encouraged to visit to review guidelines and expectations.

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Photo Captions (credit CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
2: Guests visiting Brookfield Zoo can see Dinos Everywhere!, featuring over 40 animatronic dinosaurus, including the ankylosaurus, through September 6, 2021.

3: The Carousel at Brookfield Zoo, is open for guests of all ages to take a spin on.

0176: For $10, Brookfield Zoo guests can feed the giraffes daily through October 3 and on weekends in October. 

1023: Layla, one of Brookfield Zoo's black rhinoceros, can be seen in her outdoor habitat on the south side of Pachyderm House.

3067: Orangutans can be seen in Brookfield Zoo's Tropic World: Asia habitat.

3125: The Argentinosaurus is one of more than 40 animatronic dinosaurs that guests can see at Brookfield Zoo's Dinos Everywhere! through September September, 2021.

7048: Hudson, an 11-year-old polar bear at Brookfield Zoo, can be seen at Great Bear Wilderness.

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. 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, and CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


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


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