News Release
 
Contact: Jeremy Andereck, Public Relations, 312.558.1770, jandereck@pcipr.com                                                                      
June 1, 2016
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
 
Note: A fact sheet and images of Brookfield Zoo’s Hamill Family Play Zoo may be downloaded below.
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Photo Captions (credit: Chicago Zoological Society)
9837: During the summer, children can participate in lady bug releases at Brookfield Zoo’s Hamill Family Play Zoo. Since the exhibit opened in 2015, there have been 630 ladybug releases resulting in around 2,835,000 ladybugs taking flight.
 
2840: At Brookfield Zoo’s Hamill Family Play Zoo, kids can build animal homes and then pretend to be the animals.
 
0012: A volunteer “nurse” mends to the needs of a youngster’s plush pal during one of the celebrations for Brookfield Zoo’s Hamill Family Play Zoo’s 15th anniversary. The final plush animal clinic will be on June 15.
 
8039: Youngsters assist groundskeepers in  harvesting a banana plant during one of the Hamill Family Play Zoo’s 15th anniversary celebrations at Brookfield Zoo. After cutting down the tree the kids paraded it over Tropic World where the gorillas enjoyed eating the plant.
 
8108: Youngsters join staff in a banana plant parade to Brookfield Zoo’s Tropic World. Youngsters assisted the groundskeepers in harvesting the plant during one of the Hamill Family Play Zoo’s 15th anniversary celebrations. The plants were given to the zoo’s gorillas to enjoy.
 
92, 6076, 6085, and 9840: During the Hamill Family Play Zoo’s 15th anniversary celebrations, which take place on the 15th of every month during 2016, youngsters can have up-close experiences with some of the animals that reside in the exhibit.
 
16: Each month during the Hamill Family Play Zoo’s 15th anniversary celebrations, there are informal chats featuring a variety of zoo professions, including a veterinarian. Families can come back month after month to learn something new.
 
6045 and 6036: Each month during the Hamill Family Play Zoo’s 15th anniversary celebrations, there are informal chats featuring a variety of zoo professions, including a craftsman. Families can come back month after month to learn something new.
 
5351: Face painting is a very popular activity at Hamill Family Play Zoo. Since the exhibits opening in 2015, visiting children, and even many adults, have used more than 35,000 crayons to create a variety of animal faces on themselves.
 
 

Brookfield Zoo’s Hamill Family Play Zoo Celebrates 15 Years
Live Music, Gardening, and Scavenger Hunts on June 15
 

            Brookfield, Ill. – Brookfield Zoo’s Hamill Family Play Zoo, an innovative interactive exhibit that has helped redefine how early childhood play can give children the tools they need to build a strong connection with animals and nature, is turning 15 years old. To celebrate, the zoo is throwing a birthday bash for the exhibit’s lemurs, cockatiels, and all of their fans on June 15.

 “This exhibit is a special one to all of us here at Brookfield Zoo, and to our guests as well,” said Stuart Strahl, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society. “We want to get together with them and celebrate the many years of the exhibit’s success in inspiring the next generation of conservationists. As one of the nation’s first major experiences of its kind, Hamill Family Play Zoo has nurtured the curiosity and sense of caring for millions of guests, children and adults alike.”

Doors to Hamill Family Play Zoo for the jam-packed all-day event open at 9:30 a.m. During the event, guests will be able to plant seeds in paper pots to take home for their garden as well as participate in a scavenger hunt, finger print painting, and sand painting. In addition, a plush animal clinic on the South Mall will be available for guests whose pals need some tending to.

Guests can listen as staff from various departments present informal chats that will expose children to different aspects of zoo life, including:
·   At 10:00 a.m., a zoo veterinarian will discuss how the animals are for.
·  The zoo painters will share their incredible artwork at 10:00 a.m. in the Play Zoo backyard and 11:00 a.m. on the South Mall.
·  At 11:00 a.m., on the South Mall, a zoo carpenter will demonstrate how they build structures and objects for the animals, and the zoo’s enrichment workshop crew will demonstrate how they help enhance life for the animals.

The festivities would not be complete without Zoo Chats. At 11:00 a.m., one of the zoo’s animal ambassadors will make a special appearance on the South Mall and at 2:30 p.m., at the Play Zoo, guests can learn about animal training. At 11:30 a.m., families in attendance can help plant carrots, corn, squash, and beans in the Play Zoo’s Family Gardens.

Families can then unwind on the South Mall beginning at 1:00 p.m. for a live music performance by the band “CREW,” a quartet of kids, ages 9 to 12, from Glencoe, Illinois. For the celebration’s finale, the Play Zoo Parade will start its course around the South Mall at 5:00 p.m.

Admission to Brookfield Zoo is $17.85 for adults and $12.50 for children, ages 3 to 11, and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $11. Admission to Hamill Family Play Zoo is $3 for guests 3 and older. For additional information about the Hamill Family Play Zoo’s 15th Birthday Celebration, visit www.CZS.org/Hamill15.

Hamill Family Play Zoo resides on two acres and features three areas of fun and learning: Zoo within a Zoo, Zoo at Home, and the Play Gardens. Open since June 2001, the exhibit has encouraged millions of children and their families to take an active role in learning by touching animals, planting and tending a garden, examining animal X-rays, releasing ladybugs in the summertime, pretending to be a zoo director or animal keeper, engaging in mud finger painting, painting their faces, and building habitats as they imagine what it is like to be an animal.


 
 
 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071
E-mail: Sondra.Katzen@CZS.org

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