Holiday Magic

Location: Zoowide

Date: Saturdays and Sundays, November 30-December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, and Thursday-Tuesday, December 26-31

Holiday Magic presented by   

Bright Lights.  Magical Nights.  Holiday Magic. 

Now in our 38th year, visit Chicagoland’s largest and longest-running lights festival with over a million twinkling LED lights, a 41-foot-tall talking tree, Chicago Wolves Skating Rink, ice carvers, larger than life LED animal sculptures, Zoo Chats, and much more!

Holiday Magic is FREE for Members. Not a Member? Join Brookfield Zoo!  Or Purchase Admission Tickets! View or download the Holiday Magic handout for all details.

Want to experience the Holiday Magic twinkling lights without the crowds! Take an open-air Holiday Lights Tour tram ride throughout the zoo to tour the zoo after the park closes.

Please Note: There will be lane closures on 1st Avenue during Holiday Magic which may impact your visit. Please allow extra time to park. We suggest parking in the North Parking Lot.

Nightly Activities

Santa and Mrs. Clause - Nov. 30 - Dec. 22 - Seven Seas Underwater Viewing 

Holly Jolly Theater – Swan Pavilion
• Stop by to see nightly entertainment of singers, dancers, carolers (see entertainment list below)
Ice Carver – Dolphin Pavilion – 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 p.m.
Magician – Bison Pavilion – 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.
41-Foot “Talking Tree” – North Plaza
20-Foot Lit Orb (Photo Op) – North Mall (south of Carousel)
Holiday Light Show - The Swamp
Chicago Wolves Skating Rink - East Mall
Larger Than Life Light Displays 
 • Reindeer – East Mall
 • Bear – North Mall
 • Bison and Giraffe – South Mall
 • Light Display – West Mall
Dolphins in Action – Seven Seas – 6:00 p.m. (fee required)
Zoo Chats
 • Crocodiles – The Swamp – 5:00 p.m.
 • Reptiles – Feathers and Scales – 5:30 p.m.
 • Reindeer – Hamill Family Wild Encounters - 5:30 p.m .
 • Bears – Great Bear Wilderness – 6:00 p.m.
 • Rhinoceroses – Pachyderms – 7:00 p.m.  
 • Big Cats – Big Cats – 7:30 p.m.
"Santa's Toy " Model Railroad – LGB Model Railroad Club – BZ Red Hots/Riverside Room – 4:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Cookie and Cupcake Decorating – BZ Red Hots (fee required)


Exhibits (Open until 8:00 pm)

• Australia House
• Big Cats
• Camel Yard
• Desert's Edge
• Feathers and Scales
• Great Bear Wilderness
• Hamill Family Play Zoo
• Hamill Family Wild Encounters (The parakeet aviary is closed during Holiday Magic.)
• Pachyderms
• Regenstein Wolf Woods
• Reptiles and Birds 
• Seven Seas (Underwater Viewing) 
• Clouded Leopard Rain Forest 
• The Living Coast 
• The Swamp 
• Tropic World


Holly Jolly Theater Entertainment

-Check back for details

All activities are subject to weather and may be moved, modified, or cancelled at any time. 
 *Motor Safari trams will not be running during Holiday Magic. 

Make sure you sign up for sign up for the Brookfield Zoo email newsletter so you receive regular updates, the latest event news, and special offers direct to your inbox!

Backstage Adventures at Brookfield Zoo

Penguin Encounters!

Join us for a unique close encounter with Humboldt penguins at Brookfield Zoo.

Sign Up for Zoo Classes

Parents and young explorers can experience serious fun at one of our Family Play Classes!

Free Admission for Military Personnel

To show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the men and women in the United States Armed Forces, the Chicago Zoological Society is offering free admission to Brookfield Zoo to all active, reservist, and retired members of the military. Qualified personnel who present a valid ID at one of the zoo's admission booths will be admitted free of charge.