Park Rules

Park Rules


To maintain a pleasant and safe environment, the Chicago Zoological Society has adopted the following rules. All zoo guests are expected to follow these rules to assure their safety and the safety of others and to avoid harm to the animals, CZS property, or other patrons.

ANIMAL SAFETY

  • Animal feeding is prohibited. Zoo animals are provided well-balanced diets that provide for all their nutritional needs, and some animals are on specially formulated diets. Public feeding is prohibited, which includes free-roaming birds such as geese, peacocks, and guinea fowl. This reduces the quality of the diets and could be harmful to the animals.
  • Touching animals is to be avoided unless otherwise noted, including native wildlife within the park. In Hamill Family Play Zoo some domestic animals are tame, but not all animals can be touched safely.
  • Pets are not allowed within the zoo under any circumstances and are not to be left locked in personal vehicles during a zoo visit.
  • Service animals are allowed, but guests are to alert the Gate Attendant upon arrival, who will contact Security to give you special instructions before entering the park. Service Animal maps (with locations that are not ideal for service animals to go (ex. - Habitat Africa! The Forest) will be provided to you upon your arrival or are available for download by clicking Service Animal Map.
  • Native plants and animals thrive on zoo grounds. Picking of flowers, uprooting trees and shrubs, stripping branches or leaves, or touching, chasing or harassing captive or native animals are not allowed. Wild native animals that may be encountered in the park include tree and ground squirrels, raccoons, opossums, ducks, Canadian geese, garter snakes, toads, and other native animals. We teach respect and caring toward animals and nature. Animals are not to be harmed or bothered. Also, animals or other materials such as eggs, plants, hair, horns, feathers, etc. may not be removed from the zoo grounds.

ZOO GROUNDS & FACILITIES
  • Guardrails, fences, and barriers must be respected at all times for the safety of both the guests and the animals.
  • Climbing is not allowed anywhere in the zoo except on children’s playgrounds. Rocks, walls, fences, railings, and barriers are to protect people and animals and are to be respected at all times.
  • Running in the park or throwing things is to be avoided for the safety of guests and animals. Also, nothing is to be thrown or dropped into the animal exhibits. Items thrown or dropped into exhibits can be ingested by the animals, which can be harmful or even fatal to animals. If you see any item fall into or thrown into an exhibit, please contact a zoo staff person immediately.
  • Wading or swimming in fountains, pools, or at Swan Lake are not permitted at any time for reason.
  • Smoking within the zoo is prohibited, except for two specific smoking areas that have been designated for the public.
  • Children under the age of 14 years are not to be left unsupervised for any period of time.


FOOD & BEVERAGES

  • Guests are allowed to bring their own food and drink to the zoo. However, bringing alcohol into the zoo is prohibited. Guests are also not allowed to bring glass containers into the zoo.
  • Alcohol is allowed only in designated areas. Alcoholic beverages are sold at various locations throughout the zoo, and they must be consumed at the point of sale. Bringing alcoholic beverages into the park is prohibited.
  • Barbeque grills/private cooking fires are not permitted anywhere on the zoo grounds.
  • Trash and recycling containers are available throughout the park. Please help keep the zoo clean and beautiful and do not litter.

OUTSIDE ITEMS
  • Fireworks are strictly prohibited. Anyone carrying or using fireworks will be immediately escorted from Zoo premises.
  • Bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, and scooters are not allowed in the zoo at any time. These could create a danger to pedestrians, which include small children. Bicycle racks are provided at the main entrance gates.
  • Radios are not prohibited, but guests must keep the volume low enough so as not to disturb the animals or other Guests. Horns and other noisemakers are prohibited.
  • Soliciting and propagandizing are not allowed.

PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Guests are welcome to take photos and video for personal use only. Any commercial photography must receive written permission beforehand from the Chicago Zoological Society.
  • CZS staff will occassionally photograph or take video of guests for educational or promotional purposes. Entry to the zoo grants permission for use of these images. 
  • When taking photos or videos, guests are not permitted to cross any barriers or use devices such as tripods or monopods. 
  • Drones are strictly prohibited. 

ATTIRE & DRESS
  • Proper attire, including shoes and shirts, must be worn at all times. We reserve the right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that we consider inappropriate could detract from the experience of other guests.
  • Shoes must be worn inside all buildings.
  • Guests over the age of 13 are not permitted in the zoo wearing full-body costumes with their head covered at any time. This is to avoid confusion with in-park attractions and for the safety of all guests.

Backstage Adventures at Brookfield Zoo

New Penguin Encounters!

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

Backstage Adventures at Brookfield Zoo

Behind the Scenes Adventure!

Go behind-the-scenes when you register for Backstage Adventures 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.