News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351, 
May 13, 2024

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A Summer of Exciting Adventures Await Guests at Brookfield Zoo Chicago

Chicago, Ill. — Brookfield Zoo Chicago continues to celebrate its 90th year anniversary with a summer that will be filled with memorable and incredible adventures for guests. Highlights include new animal habitats and a returning seasonal favorite, a new VR film featuring Africa’s great migration, and the opening of the popular splash pad and spray misters for keeping cool during a summer visit.
Butterflies!—opening May 25
The Zoo’s popular seasonal Butterflies! habitat opens May 25 and features hundreds of beautiful winged wonders native to North America, including question marks, painted ladies, monarchs, swallowtails, and more. At any given time 20 to 30 different species can be seen fluttering throughout the screened-in habitat amidst water features and a variety of regional grasses and flowering plants. As guests enter the serene habitat, they will pass by a window where they can see the transformation from pupa to butterfly. Additionally, animal care staff and the Zoo’s volunteers will be available to answer any questions about the colorful delicate insects. (The cost is $3.50-$4.)

Also opening May 25, is a new outdoor turtle habitat. On any given day (weather permitting), guests will see several native turtle species, including Blanding’s, spotted, painted, common musk, red-eared slider, ornate box, eastern box, and three-toed box. Located in the southwest corner of Hamill Family Nature Plaza, the two raised habitats will allow guests of all ages to view these aquatic, semi-aquatic, and land reptiles from different vantage points. The naturalistic environments feature native plantings that serve as shade, hiding places, and browse, and there’s also rockwork as well as logs for the turtles to bask on. Graphics will highlight facts about the species as well as Brookfield Zoo Chicago’s field work and conservation efforts to help turtle populations in the wild.
Koalas—coming soon
Zoogoers will have the opportunity to say “G’day” to Brumby and Willum, two male koalas, when they make their highly-anticipated public debut this summer. The 2-year-old marsupials, will reside in the Hamill Family Play Zoo, which is now free year-round to guests. Brookfield Zoo Chicago is one of only 11 accredited zoological institutions in North America where the public can see this vulnerable species and learn about their native Australian habitat, what’s being done to protect them, and their unique diet of eucalyptus leaves.
Roaring Nights—summer concert series
Brookfield Zoo Chicago is celebrating its 90th anniversary with Roaring Nights, a sensational summer concert series, featuring amazing nights of music, fun, animal experiences, and dancing on the Zoo’s East Mall. The Fray will take the stage on June 22 with its chart-topping hits and on July 27, Gin Blossoms will bring its signature blend of rock and pop to the Zoo. The Barenaked Ladies concert on July 12 is already sold out, and tickets for the two remaining are selling fast. During the evening, several of the animal habitats will be open until 7 p.m. and concert goers can meet animal ambassadors on the East Mall between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. each evening. Additionally, guests can take a spin on The Carousel until 7 p.m., or view the Chicago skyline in the distance and the onstage entertainment while riding the Zoo’s Anniversary Ferris Wheel—which offers a whole different vantage point from110 feet up—until 9 p.m. (extra fees apply). A wide selection of delicious food and beverage items will also be available for purchase. Ticket prices range from $45-$55. For every individual adult ticket purchased, one child 12 and under is free. VIP offerings for guests 21 and over feature a Brutus Package at $160-$170 and a Titus Package for $90-$100. Parking is $17-$20. Each ticket sold directly contributes to the care of the Zoo’s animals, education programming, and global conservation efforts. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit
Virtual Reality Film—"The Great Migration”
Beginning May 18, guests can experience a new virtually reality (VR) film that will take them on an incredible journey to witness Africa’s great migration. Each year, millions of wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes traverse East Africa's wide-open grasslands in a continuous, circular trek in search of fresh grazing lands and water, pausing only for a few months when females are giving birth. Along the way, hundreds of thousands of the herd fall prey to stalking predators, including lions, crocodiles, cheetahs, and hyenas. In “The Great Migration,” the latest addition to Immotion's wildlife immersive film experiences, zoogoers can witness how these millions of free-roaming animals make their way through the peaks and perils of Africa's savannah terrain, from the Maasai Mara river in Kenya to the majestic landscape of Tanzania's Serengeti, in search for a better life across the animal kingdom. The film is just over 6 minutes in length and is viewed through personal headsets with immersive sound and high-tech motion seats. (The cost is $8; $6 for Zoo members.)
Splash Pad and Spray Misters
When the weather heats up, guests will be able to cool off under the four misters located throughout the park as well as at the splash pads, located near The Living Coast and at the Pavilions, which is open when no private events are taking place.
Giraffe Feeding Encounter
Beginning May 25 and continuing all summer, zoogoers have the opportunity to get up close to and feed Brookfield Zoo Chicago’s reticulated giraffes. The popular Giraffe Feeding Encounter allows guests to connect with these majestic creatures, learn about the individuals at the Zoo from the animal care specialists, and find out what conservation efforts are being done to help the species in the wild. For $15, guests receive several leaves of the giraffe’s favorite greens allowing for memorable moments and selfie opportunities. Daily feeding times are from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., noon to 1 p.m., and 2 to 3 p.m., weather permitting.
Become a Member Today: Experience More, Save More
With all the incredible happenings taking place at Brookfield Zoo Chicago, now is the perfect time to become a Zoo member. The benefit features free admission and parking (in the main lot) year-round as well as discounts to some of the in-park paid attractions and discounts at restaurants and gift shops and for special events. Plus, it’s a wonderful way to support the Zoo’s animals, programming, and conservation efforts to help species around the world. To learn more about membership levels or to become a member, visit

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Photo Captions--credit Brookfield Zoo Chicago
7-31-23-86 and 7643: Guests can see between 20-30 different species of winged wonders in Brookfield Zoo's seasonal Butterflies! habitat opening May 25.

4660: Experience "The Great Migration"a virtual reality film at Brookfield Zoo Chicago. The 6-minute immersive film experience will feature the millions of animals that make their way through Africa.

5191: Brookfield Zoo Chicago guests can see several species of turtles, including spotted turtles at a new outdoor habitat this summer.

6845: The Blanding's turtle is just one of several species of turtles that guests can see at a new outdoor habitat this summer at Brookfield Zoo Chicago.

5871, 5891, and 5937: For $15, zoogoers visiting Brookfield Zoo Chicago can feed the giraffes as well as learn about the species and what conservation efforts are being done to help them in the wild.

Roaring Nights: Brookfield Zoo's Roaring Nights summer concert series features amazing nights of music, fun, animal experiences, and dancing on the Zoo's East Mall.

Splash Pad and 6-14-21-076: When the temperatures get hot, guests can cool off this summer at Brookfield Zoo's splash pads or under several misters located throughout the park.

About Brookfield Zoo Chicago
Celebrating 90 years as a global leader in animal well-being and conservation, Brookfield Zoo Chicago inspires conservation leadership by igniting emotional connections for people with wildlife and nature, locally and globally. The Zoo is a private nonprofit organization that operates on 235 acres of land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County and is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 species, including many of Earth’s most endangered. Brookfield Zoo Chicago was the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and ArbNet. For more information, visit