“How is Brookfield Zoo Marking Halloween in 2019?” by S.M. O’Connor

Are you looking for some family-friendly Halloween-themed activities for your little monsters next month?  Bring your tiny monsters, superheroes, etc. to Brookfield Zoo in west suburban Brookfield, Illinois during the second, third, and fourth weekends for the annual Boo! at the Zoo event, presented by Ferrara.[1]  From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.,  guests can take in pumpkin-carving demonstrations, animal Zoo Chats, and other activities.

2019 BOO! AT THE ZOO DATES

2nd Weekend of October

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Sunday, October 13, 2019

3rd Weekend of October

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

4th Weekend of October

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Starting at 10:00 a.m., trick-or-treaters can bring their own bags to five different candy stations throughout the Brookfield Zoo, stocked with Ferrara treats, including SweeTARTS®, Lemonheads®, Black Forest® Gummy Bears, and Trolli® Sour Bite Crawlers.  Treats are available whilst supplies last.  While they make their way to the candy stations, guests can take a ride on the Creepy Carousel, take the haunted hayride, or search their way through the “Crazed Maize” Corn Maze.

From 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., every hour at the top of the hour guests can watch and cheer on the Pumpkin Smasher as he pulverizes and smashes pumpkins on Brookfield Zoo’s West Mall.  Over each weekend, several animals will receive pumpkin treats as part of Brookfield Zoo’s enrichment program and a professional pumpkin-carver will transform 1,000-pound pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns.

Throughout Boo! at the Zoo, animal care staff will relate fun facts concerning what the Chicago Zoological Society (C.Z.S.) calls Brookfield Zoo’s “creepiest critters.”  The C.Z.S. stated, “Spiders, bats, snakes, other creatures that go bump in the night take center stage during special Zoo Chats scheduled throughout the day.  The informal talks provide an opportunity for guests to learn about the animals’ habitats, diets, and conservation messages.”

Adults and teenagers, as well as children, are welcome to exhibit (family-friendly) Halloween attire in the Costume Parade, which starts at 1:00 p.m. in front of the Discovery Center.  [Update: please note that guests over the age of thirteen are prohibited from wearing full-body costumes with their heads covered.  This is for the safety of all guests and to avoid them being mistaken for costumed staff members.]  A disc jockey on the West Mall will entertain youngsters throughout the day with music, contests, and a Costume Dance Party that kicks off at 1:30 p.m.

7d486853-15bb-45f9-bd03-1c8034ad0818Figure 1 Credit: Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Youngsters can bring their trick-or-treat bags to Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration.

a1ce7da9-25ce-4144-95bd-8e7e6edaaff5Figure 2 Credit: Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration, presented by Ferrara, features five different candy stations stocked with treats like SweeTARTS®, Lemonheads®, Black Forest® Gummy Bears, and more.

be014157-a79f-4f6b-8e82-bdf2b3ddd717.jpgFigure 3 Credit: Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Guests can dress up in their favorite Halloween attire and show it off in Brookfield Zoo’s Costume Parade during its annual Boo! at the Zoo.

cec83e8c-17c0-411d-92df-e00012551365.jpgFigure 4 Credit: Chicago Zoological Society Caption: During Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo, guests can go on a (not-so-scary) “haunted hayride.”

c62588f7-7f82-4820-bf7c-565a29b00fdbFigure 5 Credit: Chicago Zoological Society Caption: During Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo, several of the animals will be given pumpkins, some with other nutritious treats inside.

83928f56-15fa-4f67-a3db-702fb3d451f6.jpgFigure 6 Credit: Chicago Zoological Society Caption: Every hour on the hour from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., guests can watch and cheer on the Pumpkin Smasher as he pulverizes pumpkins during Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration.

General zoo admission is $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children (ages three-to-eleven) and senior citizens (ages sixty-five-and-over).  Toddlers and infants two-and-under are free.  Parking is $14.  Additional fees apply to some Boo! at the Zoo activities.

The Chicago Zoological Society is a private, non-profit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.  It is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. The Brookfield Zoo met the American Humane Association’s rigorous standards for the care and welfare of animals to become the world’s first zoo to receive Humane Certified™ certification.

The Brookfield Zoo is open every day of the year.  It is located between the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) and Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) and is also accessible via the TriState Tollway (I-294).  The North Gate Main Entrance address is 8400 West 31st Street, Brookfield, Illinois 60513.  The South Gate Main Entrance address is 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, Illinois 60513.  A train station, the Hollywood (Zoo Stop) on Metra’s B.N.S.F. line, is a few blocks to the south of the South Gate entrance.  The phone number is (708) 688-8000.  The Website is www.czs.org/Brookfield-ZOO/Home.

[1] Ferrara is part of The Ferrero Group.  Headquartered in Chicago, it employs almost 6,000 people spread out over twenty facilities in North America that encompass R&D, manufacturing, and distribution.  It has a portfolio of thirty-five brands, including Lemondhead®, Red Hots®, Now and Later®, SweeTARTS®, Trolli®, Brach’s®, Black Forest®, and NERDS®.   In addition, Ferrara manages Keebler® and Famous Brands® for The Ferrero Group.

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