Blog: Carlita the Croc

Beat the Bustle


Conquer the crowds! Thwart the throngs! Busy season is back at Brookfield Zoo and I know you all will be clamoring in to get a peek at moi. I also know what a damper on your day it can be when you encounter unexpected crowds.  So to help you prepare, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions to help you maneuver through the masses with peace of mind.

  1. Check the weather

Brookfield Zoo is located in Chicagoland, which is well known for its unpredictable weather swings. Check the weather for the day you plan to visit early and often and know that good weather means big crowds.  Keep in mind that “good weather” is a relative term:  40 and 50 degree days in December and 60 and 70 degree days in August are both considered “good weather.”  If you plan to visit on a good weather day, especially during the weekend or a special event, you can be sure many other people had the same idea.

  1. Arrive early…

It goes without saying that humans are busy people. There are a lot of needs to attend to before you can indulge in your desires. However, you are also endowed with the gift of forethought and planning. Swapping a few things in your busy schedule can help you arrive early to the zoo, or take care of priorities before you head in for a relaxing late afternoon or evening.
Arriving when the zoo opens, or shortly after, will help you avoid a lot of the late morning or early afternoon rush that occurs during regular park hours.  If you are hoping to attend a special event, plan to come long before the event begins to avoid the rush.

Pro tip:  Many animals are given access to the public viewing area of their habitat and served breakfast first thing in the morning.  Arriving when the park opens give you the opportunity see the animals up and active before the afternoon siesta time!

  1. …Or late!

On the flip-side, consider getting “just a taste” of the zoo or one of our events, by arriving later in the day or evening to avoid the rush of the primetime crowds. Release yourself of the need to see everything in one visit and prepare to be content with enjoying a few of your favorite animals and exhibits. 

  1. Skip a line…save a few bucks

Did you know Brookfield Zoo is served by two bus routes and a train? Driving is certainly convenient, but can come along with the headache of traffic, cost of gas, and parking fees. Exploring the bus and train routes can help you relax, avoid lines to park, and save a couple dollars on parking. Not to mention, public transportation cuts down on fossil fuel use and supports public transportation infrastructure! We also offer bike racks for those of you who are coming to us off the Salt Creek bike trail!

  1. Pack a snack

There are some great food options at Brookfield Zoo (have you tried the seasonal Cuban sandwich?), with two major restaurants, plus several food stands from which to choose. On those unexpected good weather days, lunch time can be a busy affair. Consider bringing in a snack to help tide you over until after the lunch rush. Or, if you get an early lunch a packed snack can satiate you until dinner. 
I know crowds can be inconvenient, but we love them! Since Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo is a nonprofit organization, big crowds mean we can continue to provide excellent care to our animals, support wildlife conservation initiatives, and develop amazing programs for YOU! 

Anyone else out there have tips to share? Send them along on Twitter or Instagram to @CandidCroc and I’ll be sure to retweet or reshare! Happy Peak Season, everyone! Hope to see you soon!

Posted: 3/21/2017 10:53:30 AM by

Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.


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