Picnics at Brookfield Zoo

Celebrate Summer Wild in Style!

Summertime is fun time at Brookfield Zoo! And what better way to celebrate the season than with a day at the zoo--complete with a delectable meal for your favorite group of folks!

From the best in casual barbecue fare to elegant luncheon options, our professional culinary team will create the perfect dining experience for your company picnic, family reunion, or other occasion.

Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of our many picnic areas throughout the zoo or hold your picnic in The Pavilions, a fantastic new facility located near the zoo’s North Gate.

Check out The Pavilions!

Before and after lunch, your guests can stroll through the zoo and enjoy the more than 2,500 animals that make their home here. From aardvarks to zebras, Dolphins in Actions to Motor Safari rides, there’s plenty to see and do. Make sure to check out the zoo's Carousel near the North Gate. The 72 hand-carved, whimsical animals are a hit with kids and adults alike, making a spin the best way to cap off a successful event!

Also check out our Unique Reception Venues below for your other special events.

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Unique Reception Venues

Unique VenuesOur unique venues provide the perfect backdrop for any event--from company picnics to formal affairs, weddings to bar mitzvahs. Plus, our top-notch catering staff and professional culinary team will ensure that your event is elegant and virtually effortless.

Discover which spectacular venue is right for your event starting with our newest facility The Pavilions, which is located near the zoo's North Gate entrance.

Check out The Pavilions at Brookfield Zoo!

Or, read below for our list of other fantastic reception venues throughout the park!


¡Será una fiesta excepcional!

Serás la envidia de todos con tu fiesta en el lugar sin igual. Brookfield Zoo ofrece salones de fiesta donde podrás oír los rugidos de los leones en la distancia, los monos cotorreando y también veras a las jirafas extendiendo el cuello para ver donde está la fiesta.
Planea tu evento con nosotros, ya sea un picnic de trabajo o una fiesta formal, boda o quinceañera. Además, nuestro chef y su equipo se encargaran de todo para que tu evento sea elegante y prácticamente sin un esfuerzo tuyo.
¡Asegura tu salón de fiesta hoy!

Dining and Meeting Venues
  • Discovery Center
    Serving as Brookfield Zoo's premiere banquet facility, Discovery Center offers an array of room options ideal for receptions, banquets, dances and business meetings:
    Savannah Room - Capacity: 350 (reception); 300 (banquet rounds); 350 (theater)
    Founders Room - Capacity: 100 (reception); 80 (banquet rounds); 80 (theater)
    Riverside Lobby - Capacity: 150 (reception)

  • Bocaditos
    This beautiful banquet and meeting facility features hardwood floors, hand-carved South American artwork, and stunning balcony views. Available for receptions, dinners, dances, and meetings.
    Capacity: 250 (reception); 150 (banquet); 150 (theater); 40 (u-shaped)

Cocktails with the Animals

As part of your evening at Brookfield Zoo, treat your guests to “Cocktails with the Animals.” View fascinating animals from around the world and enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres amid the beautiful décor of one of our world-class exhibits. Some animal exhibits can accommodate dining.

  • Great Bear Wilderness
    Explore the wilderness and celebrate among playful grizzly and polar bears. Enjoy fresh air in a scenic, lush landscape or trek below the surface to enjoy dual underwater viewing windows with bears swimming through your backdrop.
    Capacity: 200 (reception)

  • Tropic World
    Explore the lush rain-forest canopies of Africa while monkeys, apes, birds, and other amazing animals look on.
    Capacity: 400 (reception)

  • The Swamp
    Drift along a Cajun country bayou and get close to crocodiles, wood storks, snapping turtles, river otters, and a host of other wetland creatures.
    Capacity: 400 (reception)

  • Seven Seas
    Enjoy the graceful antics of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins as they provide a constantly changing backdrop to your festive event.
    Capacity: 250 (reception)

  • The Living Coast
    Break away to the coastal waters of South America and see moon jellies, sharks, green sea turtles, and a myriad of sea creatures.
    Capacity: 200 (reception)

  • Habitat Africa!
    Visit the plains of Africa and mingle with giraffes and other magnificent animals as they move gracefully across the savannah. Both indoor and outdoor event venues are available.
    Capacity: 250 (reception)


Seasonal Venues
  • Feathers and Scales: Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibians
    Your event will soar to new heights in this newly rennovated exhibit a variety of fine-feathered friends, including hornbills, toucan, cookoos, and roadrunners.
    Capacity: 150 (reception)

  • Pinniped Point
    Watch sea lions and seals splish and splash in their open-air exhibit. Go nose to nose with these playful pinnipeds as they glide past you in the Underwater Viewing Area.
    Capacity: 250 (reception)

  • Butterflies!
    Discover hundreds of dazzling butterflies flitting about in this lush, open-air, garden setting. This seasonal exhibit is open late May through mid-September.
    Capacity: 100 (reception)

Information Request Form

Thanks for your interest in hosting an event at Brookfield Zoo--the WILDEST place in Chicago! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your special event and you will be contacted by one of our party professionals!

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