News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
December 23, 2021
NOTE: Scroll down to end of press release to download photos.

Holiday Magic® at Brookfield Zoo Resumes December 26-31

Brookfield, Ill. —Families looking for something to do in the Chicagoland area during the final week of 2021, can head to Brookfield Zoo for its 40th annual Holiday Magic®, presented by ComEd and Meijer. The final days are December 26-31 from 3 to 9 p.m. (Brookfield Zoo will not open until 3 p.m. on Holiday Magic days.) Prior to arriving at the zoo for an evening filled with memorable moments, guests are required to secure advanced admission and parking tickets online at

As Chicagoland’s longest-running lights festival, Holiday Magic® features over two million twinkling LED lights. Several new features have been added to this year’s event, including the “Sea of Light” featuring more than two miles of colorful, sparkling lights on the zoo’s entire West Mall; a 41-foot-tall tree adorned with thousands of brilliantly colored LED lights choreographed to seasonal tunes; and a 3D 16-foot-tall gingerbread house, presented by T-Mobile, that guests can walk through making the perfect backdrop for a family photo.

Additionally, there is the 600-foot-long “Tunnel of Lights,” presented by Xfinity, synchronized to music, the ever-popular luminous 20-foot-tall orb aglow with thousands of lights, over 700 community and corporate trees decorated with ornaments along the walkways and around Roosevelt Fountain, and larger-than-life animal sculptures. Guests of all ages can play the Game of Gnomes, and embark on a fun-filled scavenger hunt in search of 25 enchanting locations. Each whimsical gnome measures between 12 to 20 inches high that can be found around the zoo.

Many of the indoor and outdoor animal habitats are open, and there is a festive Dolphins in Action presentation (extra fee applies) at 4 and 6 p.m. each night.
The fun doesn’t stop at holiday lights—guests can take a spin on the skating rink, located on the East Mall. The rink is made of synthetic plastic known as Glice®—a material composed of heat-pressed layers of polymers—so no water or electricity is required for operation. The cost for unlimited time for all skaters on the rink is $7. A limited number of skates are available to rent for a $5 fee. Skaters are welcome to bring their own skates.

Reservation times for Holiday Magic are available in 15-minute increments. Zoo admission and parking tickets, which must be reserved in advance at, are $24.95 for adults, $17.95 for children ages 3-11, and $19.95 for seniors 65 and over. Parking is $15. All tickets are nonrefundable.

#      #      #
Photo Captions--credit CZS-Brookfield Zoo
33: As guests enter Brookfield Zoo's south gate during Holiday Magic®, they are greeted by the iconic lion statues adorned with wreaths, as well as a 16-foot-tall gingerbread house--a perfect backdrop for a family photo.

46: The "Sea of Lights" at Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic® features more than two miles of sparkling lights that transform the West Mall into a creation of colorful waves.

64: During Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic®, guests can take memorable photos in the ever-popular dazzling giant orb.

72: Families can take photos at a festive-themed frame during Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic®.

7115: Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic® features over two million twinkling LED lights.

9659:  A 41-foot-tall tree, located inside Brookfield Zoo's north entrance, is adorned with thousands of brilliantly colored LED lights and choreographed to seasonal tunes during the 40th annual Holiday Magic®.
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


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.