Backstage Adventures

If you have always dreamed of being a zookeeper, now is your chance! And, you can also, work side by side with zookeepers as they care for the animals that call Brookfield Zoo home. Whether you love birds or snakes, big animals, or little critters--we have a Backstage Adventure just for you.

Get started by choosing the animal you like best or your favorite exhibit. Try one or try them all--the adventures are endless!

Want to share the experience with someone special? Many of our Backstage Adventures offer substantial savings when you bring a friend or relative to share the experience.

Not seeing member pricing? Current Brookfield Zoo members must create a user profile to connect with member discounts and benefits. Please click here to set up your user profile.

Once you have booked your Backstage Adventure: Ten days prior to your program you will receive a reminder e-mail with details on what to expect from your program, where to park, and information on where your program will meet. This e-mail reminder will serve as your program confirmation and entry into the zoo. Please watch for this e-mail to arrive from adventuresinlearning@czs.org. We suggest adding this address to your trusted contacts list to ensure that you receive all pertinent communications. If you do not receive this e-mail, please e-mail adventuresinlearning@czs.org.  
 

Discover Dolphins (ages 12+)

Backstage Adventure: Discover Dolphins

In this behind-the-scenes adventure, participants will learn about Chicago Zoological Society’s dolphin program at Brookfield Zoo. Each adventure begins with a tour at Seven Seas where you will learn about the ways we care for our animal ambassadors along with conservation programs in which we participate and manage. Participants will also join our dolphin husbandry session where they will spend time up close with the dolphins learning about their anatomy, physiology, and some individual characteristics.

$325 Member, $375 Nonmember
*Save $100 on your second participant! 

Maximum number of participants: 2
Ages: 12 to adult. Children ages 12 - 17 may participate with a paying friend age 12 to 17 OR must be accompanied by one non-paying adult chaperone or a second participant. We cannot accommodate more than two total guests per program.

Length of program: 1 hour, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

How to get started:

  • Review the program details to prepare for your adventure.
  • Register online by clicking the link below.
  • Complete the online registration forms.
  • Print your confirmation page.
  • Print and complete your program waiver form.
  • Ten days prior to your Backstage Adventure you will receive a reminder e-mail with details on what to expect from your program, where to park, and map indicating where to meet your keeper. Please watch for this e-mail to arrive from adventuresinlearning@czs.org. We suggest adding this address to your trusted contacts list to ensure that you receive all pertinent communications.

View Calendar & Register

Flying Feathered Friends (ages 8+)

Backstage Adventure: Flying Feathered Friends

Birds of a feather flock together in our Flying Feathered Friends Backstage Adventure. Learn about the beauty in our skies as you embark on an adventure in the free flight area of our Reptiles and Birds exhibit. Participants will work with zookeepers as they learn about how we care for and train our feathered friends.

$75 Member, $100 Nonmember
*Save $25 on your second participant!

Maximum number of participants: 2
Ages: 8 to adult. Children ages 8 - 17 must be accompanied by a non-paying chaperone who counts towards the total number of participants.
Length of program: 1 hour, 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM

How to get started:

  • Review the program details to prepare for your adventure.
  • Register online by clicking the link below.
  • Complete the online registration forms.
  • Print your confirmation page.
  • Print and complete your program waiver form.
  • Ten days prior to your Backstage Adventure you will receive a reminder e-mail with details on what to expect from your program, where to park, and map indicating where to meet your keeper. Please watch for this e-mail to arrive from adventuresinlearning@czs.org. We suggest adding this address to your trusted contacts list to ensure that you receive all pertinent communications.

View Calendar & Register

Hanging with the Herps (ages 8+)

Backstage Adventure: Hanging with the Herps

The keepers in Feather and Scales will guide you through the fascinating world of frogs, snakes, lizards, turtles, amphibians, and reptiles - a.k.a. the herptiles (“Herps” to their friends.) Learn about handling reptiles, how to use a heat sensor to record environmental data, feeding strategies, environmental enrichment, and more! Guaranteed to make you a lizard lover and frog fan.

$75 Member, $100 Nonmember
*Save $25 on your second participant!

Maximum number of participants: 2
Ages: 8 to adult. Children ages 8 - 17 must be accompanied by a non-paying chaperone who counts towards the total number of participants.
Length of program: 1 hour, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

How to get started:

  • Review the program details to prepare for your adventure.
  • Register online by clicking the link below.
  • Complete the online registration forms.
  • Print your confirmation page.
  • Print and complete your program waiver form.
  • Ten days prior to your Backstage Adventure you will receive a reminder e-mail with details on what to expect from your program, where to park, and map indicating where to meet your keeper. Please watch for this e-mail to arrive from adventuresinlearning@czs.org. We suggest adding this address to your trusted contacts list to ensure that you receive all pertinent communications.

View Calendar & Register

Junior Zookeeper (ages 7 - 12)

Backstage Adventure: Junior Zookeeper

Sold Out!  Perfect for the young animal lover in your life, Junior Zookeeper is a unique, hands-on experience your child will never forget. See parts of the Hamill Family Play Zoo and Animal Ambassador Embassy that only keepers get to see and meet some of our new Animal Ambassadors. Tamandua, sloth and wallaby are just a few of the animal ambassadors your child may connect during this experience.

$250 Member, $300 Nonmember

Maximum number of participants: 1 child + 1 adult
Ages: 7 to 14. Children must be accompanied by a non-paying adult chaperone who counts towards the total number of participants.
Length of program: 90 minutes, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

How to get started:

  • Review the program details to prepare for your adventure.
  • Register online by clicking the link below.
  • Complete the online registration forms.
  • Print your confirmation page.
  • Print and complete your program waiver form.
  • Ten days prior to your Backstage Adventure you will receive a reminder e-mail with details on what to expect from your program, where to park, and map indicating where to meet your keeper. Please watch for this e-mail to arrive from adventuresinlearning@czs.org. We suggest adding this address to your trusted contacts list to ensure that you receive all pertinent communications.

View Dates & Register

Junior Reptile Keeper (ages 8+)

Backstage Adventure: Junior Reptile Keeper

Sold Out!  Perfect for the young reptile lover in your life, Junior Reptile Keeper is a unique, hands-on experience your child will never forget. The adventure starts with small lizards and snakes at the Feathers and Scales exhibit, then continues at Reptiles and Birds which is home to the Galapagos tortoises and monitor. The experience concludes at The Swamp where the Orinoco crocodiles and alligator snapping turtle reside. See parts of the exhibits only keepers get to see and meet and feed some of the reptiles that live there. This Backstage Adventure is brand new, so sign up now!


$250 Member, $300 Nonmember

Maximum number of participants: 2
Ages: 8 and up. If you are only registering one child, an adult chaperone is required to accompany them. 
Length of program: 90 minutes, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

How to get started:

  • Review the program details to prepare for your adventure.
  • Register online by clicking the link below.
  • Complete the online registration forms.
  • Print your confirmation page.
  • Print and complete your program waiver form.
  • Ten days prior to your Backstage Adventure you will receive a reminder e-mail with details on what to expect from your program, where to park, and map indicating where to meet your keeper. Please watch for this e-mail to arrive from adventuresinlearning@czs.org. We suggest adding this address to your trusted contacts list to ensure that you receive all pertinent communications.

View Dates & Register

Swamp Things (ages 8+)

Backstage Adventure: Swamp Things

Ever feel you were “born on the bayou,” or do you just love swamps? Check out our Backstage Adventures program in The Swamp. Work with keepers as they care for a wide variety of creatures, from swamps around the world, including insects, fish, waterfowl, rodents and otters.

$100 Member, $150 Nonmember
*Save $25 on your second participant!

Maximum number of participants: 2
Ages: 8 to adult. Children ages 8 - 17 must be accompanied by a second participant: either a non-paying adult chaperone or a second paying participant age 8 – 17.
Length of program: 1 hour, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

How to get started:

  • Review the program details to prepare for your adventure.
  • Register online by clicking the link below.
  • Complete the online registration forms.
  • Print your confirmation page.
  • Print and complete your program waiver form.
  • Ten days prior to your Backstage Adventure you will receive a reminder e-mail with details on what to expect from your program, where to park, and map indicating where to meet your keeper. Please watch for this e-mail to arrive from adventuresinlearning@czs.org. We suggest adding this address to your trusted contacts list to ensure that you receive all pertinent communications.

View Dates & Register




Have questions? Contact the Education Department at adventuresinlearning@czs.org!

 

Cancellation and Refund Policy

 

 

Dinos & Dragons

Dinos & Dragons!

Dinos & Dragons, presented by Meijer, has roared to life at Brookfield Zoo for the summer, including a live Komodo Dragon and other amazing reptiles!

 

Backstage Adventures at Brookfield Zoo

New Penguin Encounters!

Join us for a unique close encounter with Humboldt penguins at Brookfield Zoo.

Sign Up for Zoo Classes

Parents and young explorers can experience serious fun at one of our Family Play Classes!

Teacher Classes at Brookfield Zoo

Register for Teacher Classes

Teachers can choose from a wide variety of uniqe courses for continuing education credit at Brookfield Zoo.

Free Admission for Military Personnel

To show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the men and women in the United States Armed Forces, the Chicago Zoological Society is offering free admission to Brookfield Zoo to all active, reservist, and retired members of the military. Qualified personnel who present a valid ID at one of the zoo's admission booths will be admitted free of charge.