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Brookfield Zoo

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Monday-Saturday: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm, Sunday: 9:30 am - 7:30 pm.

When to Go:
Weekday mornings and afternoons.

Age Restriction:

Nearest Transit:
Hollywood (Green Line)

Important Information:
Military personnel are granted free admission to the Brookfield Zoo.

Brookfield Zoo

Quick Facts

  • Anytime is a good time to visit the Brookfield Zoo. Open 365 days a year, it's a great place to see how animals adapt to the different seasons.
  • There are over 2,000 animals that live in the Chicago Brookfield Zoo, including dolphins, bison, polar bears, and gorillas.
  • Built in 1934, the Brookfield Park Zoo prides itself on having state of the art facilities to care for its animals.
  • The Brookfield Zoo was the first zoo in the world to successfully perform brain surgery on a gorilla.

8400 31st Street
Brookfield, IL 60304
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Features: Brookfield Zoo, located in Brookfield, Illinois, just west of Chicago, is open every day of the year. The Zoo is located on 216 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, featuring over 2,000 animals. The Zoo first opened in 1934 and became world renowned for its use of natural barriers, such as moats, rather than cages. Brookfield Zoo featured the first Giant Panda exhibit in the United States.

The exhibits, such as the Australia House, Baboon Island, Wolf Woods, Reptile House, Pachyderm House and more, are sure to please. There is also a children's petting zoo and the Play Zoo, where families can interact more closely with the animals. Sure to be a favorite is the Tropic World exhibit, which simulates a tropical rain forest with monkeys, birds and more, even a simulated thunderstorm. Also, be sure to check the schedule so you don't miss the Dolphin Presentation. From Spring through Fall, you can hop on the Motor Safari tram for a guided tour. Brookfield Zoo also features all sorts of dining options and gift shops. 

Why We Go: Internationally recognized for its conservation efforts, the Brookfield Zoo has more than 20 exhibits featuring animals from all over the world. The family-friendly Chicago attraction is also perfect for kids who can get up close with farm animals at the petting zoo.

  • Great Bear Wilderness: The newest attraction at the Chicago Zoo Brookfield features an impressive collection of polar bears, grey wolves, and bison. The 7.5 acre exhibit showcases animals in perfect replicas of their natural habitats.
  • Butterfly Exhibit: The butterfly habitat is one of the most popular exhibits at the Chicago Zoo Brookfield. Go inside the butterflies' world and watch as they fly from flower to flower, sometimes even landing on your head! An additional entry fee is required for this exhibit.
  • Great Food: With so many animal attractions, its easy to forget about lunch. Fortunately, the Chicago Zoo Brookfield has 8 different eateries, all serving a variety of delicious food 

Inside Knowledge: The Brookfield Zoo prides itself on being on the cutting-edge of animal conservation. It was the first zoo to exhibit giant pandas in the United States, as well as the first to showcase the country's first indoor dolphin exhibit. And back in 1941, the Chicago zoo also had the distinction of breeding the world's first black rhino in captivity.

Do's and Don'ts:

  • Do Go Down Under: The Brookfield Zoo's Australia exhibit is a great way to see the animals of the outback without going very far. A number of Australian animals are on display, including kangaroos, emus, and gentle wombats. 
  • Do Touch the Animals: Many of the exhibits are the Brookfield Park Zoo aren't just fun to look at, they're also interactive. Kids can feed and pet some of the most furry - and friendly - animals at this popular zoo in Chicago.
  • Don't Forget to Plan Your Visit: Early in the morning or later in the afternoon are the best times to visit the Brookfield Zoo. You have a much better chance of seeing animals as this is when they are most active.  
  • Don't Pay For Parking: Parking is $9.00 per car, so save some money and take public transportation to the Brookfield Zoo. The zoo is just a couple of blocks from the Hollywood Metra Rail station.