News Release
October 21, 2020
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations,, 708.688.8351
NOTE: To download photos of Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic, please scroll down to end of release.

Brookfield Zoo Offering Expanded Holiday Magic Schedule Before
Temporarily Closing to Public for January, February

Brookfield, Ill. – Brookfield Zoo is offering an expanded schedule for its 39th annual Holiday Magic, presented by ComEd and Meijer. With 10 evenings added and expanded hours, this year's event will be held on 24 nights—Friday-Sunday, November 27-29; Wednesdays-Sundays, December 2-6, 9-13, and 16-20; and Saturday-Thursday, December 26-31, from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The expanded schedule will allow zoogoers to enjoy the holiday lights before Brookfield Zoo temporarily closes to the public January 1-February 28, 2021, with plans to reopen to the public on March 1, within state restrictions.

“Through these challenging times, the health and safety of our guests, volunteers, staff, and animals continues to be our top priority,” said Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of Chicago Zoological Society, which operates Brookfield Zoo. “The past seven months have been incredibly challenging as we all continue to deal with the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, yet we continue to be reminded of the perseverance, understanding, and tremendous support of our staff, members, and guests. We hope zoogoers take advantage of the additional Holiday Magic evenings this year, and we look forward to opening to the public again in March.”

During Brookfield Zoo’s upcoming temporary closure, similar to the temporary closure that took place March 19 – June 30, essential animal care specialists and veterinary staff will continue providing the animals with the same high-level of care.

The 39th Annual Holiday Magic
Zoogoers can safely enjoy this year’s Holiday Magic by strolling along the many pathways, lit with more than one million twinkling LED lights, including through a brilliantly lit 600-foot-long tunnel featuring thousands of colored lights all synchronized to music.
Additional dazzling light displays include a giant 20-foot-lit orb, where guests can stand inside to take a memorable holiday photo, a 41-foot tree, and larger-than-life illuminated animal sculptures of a bison, bear, and giraffe. The zoo's malls and Roosevelt Fountain are all decked out for the holidays, thanks to local community organizations and corporations that decorated 660 LED-lit trees with ornaments, many of them homemade.
New this year, guests of all ages can play the Game of Gnomes. Embark on a fun-filled scavenger hunt in search of 24 whimsical and enchanting themed gnomes, measuring 12- to 20-inches-tall that will be located throughout the park.
Although Santa Claus will not be making an appearance at Brookfield Zoo this year, families can still take photos next to a life-size cutout of him, as well as at other festively themed selfie frames located around the zoo. Kids will also be able to drop off their letters to Santa in the giant box located on the south mall.
Those who work up an appetite or want to warm up with a hot beverage, there will be outdoor food stands offering seasonal fare for purchase, including funnel cakes, praline nuts, cinnamon sugar pretzels, popcorn, pizza, burgers, spiced wine, hot chocolate, and beer. Outdoor merchandise kiosks will have unique items for guests who would like to do some holiday shopping. 
Brookfield Zoo is following Phase 4 guidelines from the state of Illinois, which states no buildings may be open and guest capacity must be limited. To ensure social-distancing, advance admission and parking tickets are required. Reservation times will be available in 20-minute increments. Tickets must be reserved at All admission and parking tickets must be secured by both zoo members and guests prior to arriving. Admission is $24.95 for adults, $17.95 for children ages 3-11, and $19.95 for senior 65 and over. Parking is $15. All tickets are nonrefundable. Those who are not familiar with the zoo's current protocols, it is recommended to review them at

Holiday Magic-1: Guests can walk through a 600-foot-long tunnel featuring thousands of LED synchronized to music on Brookfield Zoo’s West Mall. 

Holiday Magic-2: Several of the 24 whimsical and enchanting themed gnomes that guests to Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic can search for throughout the park.

Holiday Magic-3: Brookfield Zoo will be lit with more than one million LED lights during its 39th annual Holiday Magic.

Holiday Magic-4: The iconic lion statues at Brookfield Zoo’s South Gate are decorated for the holiday season.

Holiday Magic-5: Larger-than-life LED animal statues, including a bison, add to the festive spirit of Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic.

Holiday Magic-6: Brookfield Zoo will be lit with more than one million LED lights during its 39th annual Holiday Magic.

Holiday Magic-7: Large LED reindeer statues light up Brookfield Zoo’s West Mall during its 39th annual Holiday Magic.
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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. The zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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