When Will the Indoor Buildings Reopen at Brookfield Zoo?

Since the beginning of the pandemic and our temporary closure between March 19 – July 8, mandated by the state, everyone here at the Chicago Zoological Society and Brookfield Zoo has been energized and inspired by the support we’ve received from our members, donors, guests, and community. We’re so thankful for all of the feedback and encouragement we’ve received as we maintain our high levels of animal care and guest experience while dealing with significant financial pressures.

While we continue to provide the best zoo experience possible under these circumstances, we understand when many of our guests and members ask “When will the indoor buildings reopen?”

The reason all of the indoor facilities at Brookfield Zoo remain closed despite the reopening of the park is because we are following the State of Illinois Phase 4 guidelines for zoos. These guidelines include specific requirements, such as all guests and employees wearing face coverings at all times when within six feet of others, that everyone maintains a social distance of at least six feet at all times, and that all indoor buildings and rides remain closed.

These are just some of the mandates and requirements that Brookfield Zoo needs to follow as the health of everyone who visits us and works here remains paramount.

“The health and safety of our guests, volunteers, staff, and animals are of paramount importance,” said Stuart Strahl, President & CEO of Chicago Zoological Society, in a statement. “We have been extremely diligent in communicating to staff the most recent updates from health officials, increased the strength of disinfectants used within the park to hospital-grade, posted signage reminding guests and staff of proper hygiene and social distancing, suspended staff travel, and instructed employees to stay home if they were not feeling well. As the situation has progressed, we have a responsibility to do our part to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.”

As for when buildings might reopen, that will depend on when the state determines that zoos can move into Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan. At that time, Brookfield Zoo will consider the best course of action for reopening indoor facilities while also protecting and maintaining the health of all guests, staff, and animals.

The good news is that even though indoor buildings remain closed, there is still so much to see and do at Brookfield Zoo this winter. Holiday Magic lights up the zoo, starting Friday, November 27, and offers so many family-friendly opportunities to enjoy the season. Guests will be able to play the Game of Gnomes and try to find all 24 of them hidden around the zoo. Some of the zoo’s outdoor animals will be available for you to see, weather-permitting. You’ll find a full list of visible animals here. Plus, we’ve got lots of great seasonal food items, hot beverages, and cool merch that you don’t want to miss.

Please review our Know Before You Go page before coming to the zoo and be sure to reserve your timed tickets and parking passes as we are no longer offering admission purchases at the gate.

We look forward to the day when we can reopen all the buildings at Brookfield Zoo so you’ll be able to see the western lowland gorillas of Tropic World, the Humboldt penguins of Living Coast, and the bottlenose dolphins on Seven Seas. But until then, know that all the animals at Brookfield Zoo are receiving the very best care, thanks in large part to donations and support by you. We greatly appreciate it and look forward to seeing you at the zoo this holiday season!

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Posted: 11/1/2020 8:35:16 PM by Sean Keeley

CZS & Brookfield Zoo

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Chicago Zoological Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. Learn more about the animals, people, and research that make up CZS here at our blog.


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