News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
October 27, 2023

Note: Scroll to end of press release to download photos.

Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic® Returns for Another Dazzling Season
Advanced tickets on sale now

Brookfield, Ill. — Gather with friends and family at Brookfield Zoo’s 42nd annual Holiday Magic®, Chicagoland’s longest-running lights festival, presented by ComEd and Meijer®. Holiday Magic takes place November 24-26, and 30 and December 1-3, 7-10, 14-17, 21-23, and 26-31, from 3 to 9 p.m. (Brookfield Zoo will not open until 3 p.m. on these dates.)

During the fun-filled evenings, the park is illuminated with two million LED lights, creating a magical winter wonderland to be enjoyed by guests of all ages. Light displays of giant animals—bison, reindeer, giraffe, and bear—can be seen throughout the Zoo, and guests are sure to get in the holiday spirit as they stroll through two, 300-foot light tunnels synchronized to seasonal tunes. Adding to the ambience are the nearly 900 lit and decorated community and corporate trees located on the Zoo’s malls and around Roosevelt Fountain.

The fun doesn’t stop at holiday lights! Nightly entertainment from 5 to 8 p.m. takes place throughout the Zoo. At the North Pole, located in The Pavilions, guests can take in performances by Those Funny Little People and juggling elves, and youngsters can share their wish lists and have their photos taken with Santa. Youngsters can also deposit their holiday wish lists in the Santa Letter Drop Box. On the Nature Stage, zoogoers can watch professional ice carvers create frozen works of art from giant blocks of ice. And, while strolling the walkways, join in the merrymaking with the roaming carolers as they sing holiday songs.
Plus, jolly dance parties take place at the Polar Plaza (aka Hamill Family Nature Plaza). Additionally, guests can take a festive spin on The Carousel and check out the Zoo’s seasonal virtual reality experience, “Elf Power,” featuring Santa’s helpers on a magical VR journey with reindeer who are bringing holiday cheer to all (an extra fee applies to both attractions).

Throughout the park are opportunities to take memorable photos to remember your visit to Brookfield Zoo, including inside the ever-popular luminous 20-foot-tall orb, presented by Ford, that is aglow with thousands of sparkling LED lights, and in front of a 41-foot-tall tree all decked out in colored LED lights and choreographed to festive music. Or, take a photo next to a 16-foot-tall 3D gingerbread house and a holiday-themed festive frame.
Several indoor and outdoor animal habitats are open during Holiday Magic, including Tropic World, Big Cats, The Swamp, Feathers and Scales, Reptiles and Birds, Desert’s Edge, Clouded Leopard Rain Forest, The Living Coast, Hamill Family Wild Encounters (reindeer and goats only), Great Bear Wilderness, Australia House, and Hamill Family Play Zoo. All indoor animal buildings close at 8:30 p.m., except for Tropic World and Hamill Family Play Zoo, which close at 8 p.m.

Those who work up an appetite can stop by the Zoo’s restaurants and food stands for some standard menu items as well as holiday favorites, such as hot chocolate, cookies, and mulled wine. The Zoo’s shops will also be open and have plenty of gift options that are perfect for every member of the family.

Admission to Holiday Magic is $29.95 for adults, $20.95 for children, and $24.95 for seniors 65 and older. Parking is $17-$20. Advanced reservations are not required for entry at the North Gate, however, guests are encouraged to secure admission and parking online prior to their visit. For South Gate entry, advance reservations and parking fees are required for all attendees, including Zoo members. While making your reservation, take advantage of the opportunity to secure exclusive commemorative Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic merchandise—a snow globe and hot chocolate travel cup. To make reservations and for more information, visit

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Photo Captions—(credit CZS-Brookfield Zoo)
5316: A 41-foot-tall illuminated tree is synchronized to festive seasonal tunes at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Holiday Magic.
5519: A 20-foot-tall orb featuring thousands of LED lights is the perfect place to take a memorable photo at Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic.
5626, 5653, and 5799: Brookfield Zoo’s 42nd annual Holiday Magic features more than two million LED lights that transform the park into a winter wonderland.


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. 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