Sleepover Safari FAQs

What do the Sleepover Safari activities include?

Every Sleepover Safari includes a variety of activities and learning opportunities that include biofacts (bones, pelts, and teeth, oh my!) and animal enrichment crafts (fun animal-friendly items that are later filled with food and treats that the animals love to chew and play with.) You will also take a night hike through the zoo – there’s no telling what you may see after everyone else has gone home for the night! If you are quiet enough, there is a chance you will catch site of wild animals, both on exhibit, and local wildlife too!
After your hike, take it easy back at the Discovery Center where you will be welcomed back with an ice cream social. After your treat, it is time to relax and fall asleep to a movie.
In the morning you will be woken up by the smell of a full, hot breakfast buffet. Once you have filled your stomach, you will head out on your morning hike. On this hike, you will get to see the zookeepers feed your animal enrichment crafts to the animals—it is a fun treat for you and them!
Your Sleepover ends at 10:00 Saturday morning. Though we will be parting ways, you and your party are welcome to stay in the zoo all day!

What is the minimum age to attend a Sleepover Safari?

The minimum age to spend the night with us is six (6) years old. All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult (either their parent/guardian or chaperone). We are unable accommodate any guests under the age of six (6), including infants.

Should we eat dinner before we arrive?

Yes. Dinner is not served at the Sleepover Safari. However, part of the evening's activities include an ice cream social. A hot breakfast buffet is served Saturday morning.

What should we bring?

Change of clothes
Sleeping Bag
Small plastic bag for dirty clothes
Hairbrush or comb
Toothpaste and toothbrush

What should we not bring?

Cell phones*
iPods, tablets, or other game devices
Cots or air mattresses*

*Cell Phones: Adult chaperones only may bring cell phones and may be used for emergencies only. Please restrict non-emergency calls. Staff may request to hold cell phones that have been used inappropriately. All emergency communications must go through Zoo personnel.

*Air Mattresses: Due to space restrictions, NO air mattresses are allowed. You may bring single-sized camping sleeping pads (no larger than an average sleeping bag). Staff may request that sleeping pads not be used if they are deemed too large.

Can we bring food or beverages?

Due to strict space limitations, we ask that you do not bring food or beverages, with the exception of water, with you to your Safari. The zoo’s catering staff will provide all the food, as listed in your registration. There are also water fountains readily accessible to all guests in the Discovery Center. If one of your participants has special dietary needs please contact the Service Representative at (708) 688-8361 or as soon as possible, but no later than one (1) week prior to their scheduled visit so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Where do we sleep?

Participants will be sleeping in the Discovery Center. The rooms are heated and carpeted. There are large bathrooms in the Discovery Center. Beds or cots are not available.

May I bring an air mattress?

Due to space restrictions, NO air mattresses are allowed. You may bring single-sized camping sleeping pads (no larger than an average sleeping bag). Staff may request that sleeping pads not be used if they are deemed too large.

How many people will be participating in the Sleepover Safari?

There will be up to 150 participants sharing the night’s adventure with other groups of similar age.

I require a special accommodation – who can I speak to?

We will gladly do our best to fulfill any special accommodations to make your Sleepover as pleasant and fun as possible. Please contact the Conservation, Education, and Training Department Hotline at (708) 688-8342 to speak with a representative. You may also wish to speak with our Accessibility Representative at (708) 688-8338.

What if my child or I have food allergies?

If you or your child has any food allergies, you may contact us at for a list of snacks and their ingredients. You are also welcome to bring your own snacks as well.

Who cleans up?

All participants are responsible for cleaning their sleeping area, as well as properly disposing all trash.

What if someone needs to leave the zoo during the Sleepover Safari?

Participants (both children and adults) are allowed to leave zoo grounds in case of an emergency or by pre-arrangement and must be escorted by zoo staff. Please tell your instructors at check-in if you know of an early departure so they can make arrangements. There are no refunds due to early departures.

What animals will we see?

There’s no guarantee of what animals we’ll see in our evening adventures around the zoo. Animals may choose to remain hidden, or off exhibit for a number of reasons. But if you’re quiet, there’s a chance you’ll catch site of wild animals, both on exhibit, and local wildlife too! On Saturday morning, the group will have the opportunity to visit animal exhibits. All Sleepover Safari guests are also welcome to stay in the park on Saturday to continue visiting the animals.

Where can I find lost articles?

Lost articles will be taken to the main Security Office at the south end of the zoo. Call 708-688-8811 and ask for Lost and Found.

Is admission to the zoo on Saturday included?

Yes! You and your party are welcome to spend all day Saturday in the zoo. Your official Sleepover Safari ends at 10:00 a.m.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?

Cancellation and refund policy for family reservations.
Cancellation and refund policy for large group reservations.
For questions regarding our policies or to request a refund, please call the Conservation, Education, and Training Department Hotline at 708-688-8342.


What is the group pricing?

Group pricing is $70 per person (child or adult). A 10% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your group’s date and space. The remaining balance and final head count are due 30 days prior to the Sleepover. There is no additional discount if members of your group are also Brookfield Zoo Members.

How do I make a group reservation?

Reservations can be placed through our website at You may choose to pay the deposit only or the full amount. If you choose to pay the deposit only, the remaining balance will be due no later than 30 days prior to your sleepover. A reminder e-mail will be sent one week prior to this 30 day deadline. Please click here for more details on our group registration and cancellation procedures.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, as well as checks.

Will my scouts receive a badge?

Sleepover PatchYes! All participants (both groups and individuals) will receive an exclusive Brookfield Zoo Sleepover Safari badge that says “I Spent the Night with the Animals!”


Is there a minimum or maximum group size?

We welcome groups of all sizes to our Sleepovers! We can accommodate a maximum capacity of 150 participants. If you have a group of 100 or more, we welcome you to inquire about having a private Sleepover—just give us a call at (708) 688-8342.

Do parents need to accompany their child?

No, parents do not need to accompany their child, but we do require a minimum ratio of one (1) adult chaperone per five (5) children. Approximately five (5) weeks prior to your Sleepover, your leader will receive an e-mail including a Parental Consent Form and Medical Waiver to be filled out for children attending without their parents or guardians.

Is there any paperwork I need to fill out before our Sleepover?

Yes, all necessary paperwork will be sent to the e-mail address provided at registration approximately five (5) weeks prior to your Sleepover. This e-mail will also serve as your balance due reminder. All paperwork is to be completed and brought with you on the day of your Sleepover. If you have any questions about the paperwork, please call the Education Hotline at (708) 688-8342.

What other information should I know before registering my group?

You should know:
- Type of group and troop/pack number if applicable.
- Your general group size. Be aware when doing a head count that we require a minimum ratio of one (1) adult per five (5) children. (Example: You may have 20 scouts in your group, but you will need a total head count of at least 24: 20 scouts + 4 chaperones) We understand that it can be hard to get solid commitments many months in advance, so we are able to make minor adjustments in head count up until the 30 day mark.

What is your group cancellation and refund policy?

Please click here to view the group cancellation and refund policy. All group reservations are subject to the 10% non-refundable deposit.

We are proud to partner with the National Inclusion Project to benefit Zoo Campers with special needs, including physical disabilities, autism, sensory processing disorders, and attention deficit disorders.