2022 Christmastime Events at the Brookfield Zoo

This year, the Brookfield Zoo in west suburban Brookfield, Illinois is the 41st annual Holiday Magic®, presented by ComEd and Meijer.  In a press release, the Chicago Zoological Society (C.Z.S.), which operates the Brookfield Zoo, described Holiday Magic® as “Chicagoland’s longest-running lights festival.”  Events occur from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the dates below.  The Brookfield Zoo will not open until 3:00 p.m. on those dates.

Time BlockDates
1st Time BlockFriday, November 25, A.D. 2022 (Thanksgiving Friday)  

Saturday, November 26, A.D. 2022  

Sunday, November 27, A.D. 2022  
2nd Time BlockWednesday, November 30, A.D. 2022  

Thursday, December 1, A.D. 2022 (1st Day of Advent)  

Friday, December 2, A.D. 2022 (2nd Day of Advent)  

Saturday, December 3, A.D. 2022 (3rd Day of Advent)  

Sunday, December 4, A.D. 2022 (4th Day of Advent)  
3rd Time BlockWednesday, December 7, A.D. 2022 (7th Day of Advent)  

Thursday, December 8, A.D. 2022 (8th Day of Advent)  

Friday, December 9, A.D. 2022 (9th Day of Advent)  

Saturday, December 10, A.D. 2022 (10th Day of Advent)  

Sunday, December 11, A.D. 2022 (11th Day of Advent)    
4th Time BlockWednesday, December 14, A.D. 2022 (14th Day of Advent)

Thursday, December 15, A.D. 2022 (15th Day of Advent)  

Friday, December 16, A.D. 2022 (16th Day of Advent)  

Saturday, December 17, A.D. 2022 (17th Day of Advent)  

Sunday, December 18, A.D. 2022 (18th Day of Advent)  
5th Time BlockMonday, December 26, A.D. 2022 (2nd Day of Christmas)  

Tuesday, December 27, A.D. 2022 (3rd Day of Christmas)  

Wednesday, December 28, A.D. 2022 (4th Day of Christmas)  

Thursday, December 29, A.D. 2022 (5th Day of Christmas)  

Friday, December 30, A.D. 2022 (6th Day of Christmas)  

Saturday, December 31, A.D. 2022 (7th Day of Christmas) (New Year’s Eve)  

Holiday Magic® features over 2,000,000 twinkling L.E.D.s (light-emitting diodes). [1]  The C.Z.S. stated these lights produce “an evening filled with shining moments.”

“The ‘Sea of Lights’ returns with a new exciting design featuring two miles of colorful, sparkling lights synchronized to music, on the zoo’s entire West Mall,” the C.Z.S. stated.  “The transformation into a magical creation of moving lights will immerse guests in the holiday spirit as will the adjacent 600-foot-long ‘Tunnel of Lights,” presented that zoogoers can walk through.” 

                Those visitors who enter by the North Gate are greeted by the Brookfield Zoo’s forty-one-foot-tall Christmas tree, brightly illuminated by colorful L.E.D.s and choreographed with festive tunes.  Strolling along the Brookfield Zoo’s malls and around Roosevelt Fountain, visitors will also view 750 community and 70 corporate Christmas trees adorned with ornaments and lights.

During Holiday Magic, several indoor and outdoor animal habitats are open, though not all parts are open.  These include the Tropic World sections devoted to South America and Asia, the Pachyderm House, Big Cats, Swamp, Feathers and Scales, Reptiles and Birds, Living Coast, the sections of Hamill Family Wild Encounters devoted to reindeer and goats, Great Bear Wilderness, the front section of Australia House, and the Hamill Family Play Zoo.  All indoor animal habitats close at 8:30 p.m. with two exceptions.  Tropic World and the Hamill Family Play Zoo will close at 8:00 p.m.

                The C.Z.S. stated, “Holiday Magic is the perfect opportunity for taking dazzling family snapshots.”  Visitors are welcome to take pictures of themselves “inside a luminous 20-foot-tall orb aglow” from thousands of L.E.D.s or beside a brilliantly illuminated 16-foot-tall 3D gingerbread house, or with a Santa Claus cutout. 

There are also bigger-than-life-sized animal sculptures scattered about the grounds.  These include a giraffe, a bison, a bear, and a reindeer.

Also scattered about the zoo grounds are gnome sculptures, but the gnomes are hidden.  Visitors young and old alike can embark on a scavenger hunt to find twenty-seven gnomes in the 2022 Game of Gnomes.  Each sculpture measures twelve-to-twenty-inches in height. 

Tykes can “deposit their written holiday greetings and drawings for the animals in a designated box.”  They can also drop off their letters to Santa Claus in a super-sized red box.  Both boxes are situated on the Brookfield Zoo’s South Mall.

Do you like to ice skate?  Exclusively on Holiday Magic® dates, visitors can use the ice-skating rink on the Brookfield Zoo’s East Mall.  Instead of ice, the rink has Glice®.  According to the C.Z.S. press release, Glice® is “a material composed of heat-pressed layers of polymers—so no water or electricity is required for operation.” 

For a $7 fee, skaters can use the rink for an “unlimited time.”  Skaters can bring their own skates.  A limited number of ice skates are available to rent for $5.

The Brookfield Zoo’s giftshops are open and offer “unique holiday gifts” in addition to the usual fare.  The restaurants and food stands are open to sell “holiday-themed food and drinks.”

Admission tickets for the Brookfield Zoo are $24.95 per adult, $17.95 for children (ages three-to-eleven), and $19.95 for senior citizens (sixty-five-and-above).  Parking is $15 per vehicle.  For more information about Holiday Magic®, visit  https://www.CZS.org/HolidayMagic.

Visitors, including Brookfield Zoo Members, who want to park in the South Lot must reserve parking spaces in advance as well as admission tickets and parking tickets online at https://www.CZS.org/HolidayMagic.  This is not true for visitors who wish to park in the North Lot.  However, the C.Z.S. encourages visitors to purchase admission and parking tickets online before they visit.

Credit: Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo Caption: This is a picture of Coney Gnome from 2021.  This year, zoo visitors can see Coney Gnome and search for twenty-six other gnomes during Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic®.

Credit: Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo Caption: Over 2,000,000 L.E.D.s (light-emitting diodes) illuminate the Brookfield Zoo during Holiday Magic®.

Credit: Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo Caption: “Inside a giant glowing orb is the perfect place to take a memorable photo of a visit to Brookfield Zoo during Holiday Magic®,” according to the Chicago Zoological Society.

Credit: Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo Caption: During the Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic® nights, visitors will be dazzled by the 41-foot-tall Christmas tree adorned by thousands of brilliantly colored L.E.D.s (light-emitting diodes) and choreographed to festive tunes.

Credit: Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo Caption: Visitors to the Brookfield Zoo on Holiday Magic® nights can walk through the 600-foot-long “Tunnel of Lights” synchronized to festive music.

Credit: Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo Caption: Visitors to the Brookfield Zoo on Holiday Magic® nights can walk through the 600-foot-long “Tunnel of Lights” synchronized to festive music.

Credit: Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo Caption: Over 2,000,000 L.E.D.s (light-emitting diodes) illuminate the Brookfield Zoo during its annual Holiday Magic®.  Here, we see another perspective of a larger-than-life reindeer sculpture and the gingerbread house.

Credit: Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo Caption: Over 2,000,000 LED lights illuminate the Brookfield Zoo during its annual Holiday Magic®.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

The C.Z.S.is a private, non-profit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.  Founded in 1920 and chartered in 1921, the C.Z.S. brought to life the vision of Edith Rockefeller McCormick (1872-1932) to give Chicago a zoo without bars modeled on the Tierpark Hagenbeck, known in English as the Hagenbeck Animal Park, a privately-owned zoo in Hamburg founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenback, Jr. (1844-1913).  The Brookfield Zoo opened in 1934, during the second year of Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress International Exposition (1933-34). 

            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.  Under normal circumstances, the Brookfield Zoo is open every day of the year.  It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

            The Brookfield Zoo 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

ENDNOTE


[1] Since I pointed out in my article about the 2022 ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo that the Lincoln Park Zoo press materials did not mention the word Christmas (as if they were afraid to identify which holiday they were celebrating), I will point out the same is true of the Brookfield Zoo’s press materials for 2022 Holiday Magic®.

img_5134

Help Keep the Lights On

If you like this content, you can help keep more of it coming with a one-time donation of as little as $1. My nieces’ Christmas gifts won’t buy themselves.

$1.00

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close