“Lego Exhibit at Brookfield Zoo to Close Shortly,” by S.M. O’Connor

There are only a few days left to see the exhibit Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo in west suburban Brookfield, Illinois.  The traveling exhibit of LEGO® animal sculptures Brick Safari opened on Saturday, May 11, 2019, as I wrote about in April, and will be open through Sunday, September 29, 2019.  This was the North American debut of the traveling exhibit of over forty life-sized sculptures, comprised of 1,600,000 LEGO® bricks, which took almost 8,000 man-hours to build.  [LEGO® is the trademark of Lego A/S (doing business as The LEGO® Group), which does not sponsor, authorize, or endorse the exhibit.]  The sculptures are displayed along a winding path on the east side of the zoological park.  For the map, click here.

Some of the sculptures, including the lion, giraffe, snow leopard, and pangolin correspond with real animals at Brookfield Zoo.  Others, such as the elephant and giant panda and its cubs, have no living counterparts at Brookfield Zoo at present.

The exhibit appeals to children, Adult Fans of LEGO® (A.F.O.L.), art lovers, and people interested in zoology.  Exhibit visitors can take selfies in a Safari Jeep comprised of LEGO® bricks.  The gift shop near the exhibit’s exit sells a variety of brick-themed products.  Colorful exhibit labels next to each sculpture will feature facts and poems about the animals in question.  Metro by T- – Mobile is sponsoring the exhibit.

Brick Safari is open during Zoo Hours.  Admission to the exhibit will be $5 for adults and $3 for children (ages three-to-eleven) and senior citizens (ages sixty-five-and-over).  Toddlers and infants two-and-under are free.  Brookfield Zoo members get half off admission.  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).

“We wanted to bring STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math) to Brookfield Zoo in a fun way,” stated Andre Copeland, Interpretive Programs Manager for the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo. “Adults will be able to reflect when they were kids, how using STEAM skills allowed them to be creative, problem-solve, and exercise critical thinking skills. For the younger guests seeing the exhibit, they can use their imaginations and learn how anything is attainable if they put these skills to use.”

Brick-SafariFigure 1 Credit: Cathy Bazzoni, Chicago Zoological Society Caption This Bengal tiger sculpture comprised of LEGO® bricks is standing at Roosevelt Fountain while the traveling exhibit Brick Safari remains open at Brookfield Zoo.  It is comprised of 85,000 LEGO® bricks and took 392 man-hours to build.

Brick-Safari-ElkFigure 2 Credit: Cathy Bazzoni, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: This elk sculpture is comprised of 87,464 LEGO® bricks and took 602 man-hours to build.

Brick-Safari-Giant-PandaFigure 3 Credit: Cathy Bazzoni, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: This sculpture of a giant panda eating bamboo  is one of three in the exhibit Brick Safari.  Combined, they are comprised of a total of 40,000 LEGO® bricks and took 206 man-hours to build.

Brick-Safari-GiraffeFigure 4 Credit: Cathy Bazzoni, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: This giraffe sculpture is comprised of 110,000 LEGO® bricks and took 375 man-hours to build.

Brick-Safari-Lion.jpgFigure 5 Credit: Cathy Bazzoni, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: This is one of three lion sculptures in the exhibit Brick Safari.  Combined, they are comprised of a total of 73,000 LEGO® bricks and took 549 man-hours to build.

Brick-Safari-Macaws.jpgFigure 6 Credit: Cathy Bazzoni, Chicago Zoological Society Caption: These two macaws are comprised of 2,000 LEGO® bricks and took forty-eight hours to build.

Brick-Safari-Orangutan.jpgFigure 7 Credit: Cathy Bazzoni, Chicago Zoological Society Caption This orangutan is comprised of 30,500 LEGO® bricks and took 180 man-hours to build.



Sculpture Number of LEGO® Bricks Number of Man-hours
Aardvark 27,342 LEGO® bricks 155 hours
African Painted Dog 12,500 LEGO® bricks 113 hours
Alligator 64,256 LEGO® bricks 346 hours
Arctic Fox 3,250 LEGO® bricks 94 hours
Bengal Tiger (at Roosevelt Fountain) 85,000 LEGO® bricks 392 hours
Bluefin Tuna (2) 33,000 LEGO® bricks 78 hours
Chinese Salamander 11,500 LEGO® bricks 63 hours
Cobra 28,760 LEGO® bricks 95 hours
Dolphin 59,000 LEGO® bricks 84 hours
Duck-Billed Platypus 5,752 LEGO® bricks 29 hours
Elephant 271,739 LEGO® bricks 1,600 hours
Elk 87,464 LEGO® bricks 602 hours
Emperor Penguin (3) 6,900 LEGO® bricks 49 hours
Giant Pandas (3) 40,000 LEGO® bricks 206 hours
Giraffe 110,000 LEGO® bricks 375 hours
Gorilla 33,000 LEGO® bricks 167 hours
Brown Bear (2) 136,569 LEGO® bricks 382 hours
Leopard 42,500 LEGO® bricks 340 hours
Lions (3) 73,000 LEGO® bricks 549 hours
Macaws (2) 2,000 LEGO® bricks 48 hours
Mako Shark 80,000 LEGO® bricks 282 hours
Orangutan 30,500 LEGO® bricks 180 hours
Pangolin 1,500 LEGO® bricks 22 hours
Polar Bear 96,000 LEGO® bricks 312 hours
Red-Ruffed Lemur 7,000 LEGO® bricks 64 hours
Rhino 155,000 LEGO® bricks 403 hours
Ring-Tailed Lemur 5,000 LEGO® bricks 6 hours
Rockhopper Penguin 3,200 LEGO® bricks 101 hours
Sea Otters (3) 17,100 LEGO® bricks 238 hours
Siberian Tiger (4) 72,500 LEGO® bricks 398 hours
Snow Leopard 32,500 LEGO® bricks 101 hours
Tasmanian Devil 6,500 LEGO® bricks 50 hours
Yellowfin Tuna 13,000 LEGO® bricks 38 hours
Totals 1,653,332 LEGO® bricks 7,962 hours


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 Website is www.czs.org/Brookfield-ZOO/Home.


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