The Brookfield Zoo, part of the Chicago Zoological Park society, is located just outside the city of Chicago. The zoo opened in 1934, and its goal is to support animal care, promote education, and be involved with zoological research and conservation. One area of research involves dolphins, and in this endeavor, the Chicago Brookfield Zoo works in conjunction with Mote Marine in Sarasota, Florida.
At the Chicago Brookfield Zoo, the wild animals are the stars of the show. With an array of lions, bears, reptiles, pachyderms, monkeys, tigers, birds, butterflies, and more, the Chicago Zoological Park is a must-see attraction that will provide a day full of fun and adventure for the whole family. Visiting the Brookfield Zoo is one of the many fun things to do with kids during a Chicago vacation.
Throughout Brookfield Zoo, there are numerous sights to see and things to do, and a good way to navigate around the area is by taking the Motor Safari. Climb aboard, and take your pick of four stops located throughout the park, and one ticket allows visitors to ride as many times as they like all day. Self-guided tours allow visitors to select the animal or area they are most interested in learning about, and the Motor Safari is the perfect way to get around to the different areas within the zoo.
For example, Wild Encounters takes visitors behind the scenes to the animals' nonpublic areas, where keepers feed and take care of the individual species. For kids, there is the Children's Zoo at the Chicago Brookfield Zoo, which has demonstrations involving animals, such as showing how to spin wool, and allows children to interact with the barnyard animals. The Hamill Family Play Zoo is the perfect spot for children to be creative as they take on the role of animal keeper or even of their favorite animal.
There are also enclosed exhibits with viewing windows, such as Bear Grotto, where visitors are face to face with an Alaskan brown bear. There are also interactive exhibits at the Chicago Brookfield Zoo, including the Perching Bird House, where the aviary's natural habitat is full of birds flitting throughout the branches above your head.
Tropic World at the Brookfield Zoo is one of the largest indoor exhibits dedicated to animals in the world. Visitors can experience a rain forest, as this exhibit features monkeys, otters, anteaters, and pygmy hippos living in a tropical atmosphere, while in the Australia House, they get the opposite experience down under as they see spiders, lizards, birds, bats, and kangaroos. A particularly magical exhibition at the Chicago Zoological Park is the seasonal butterfly exhibit, where hundreds of colorful beauties are released into the screened outdoor garden.
The Chicago Zoological Park is open throughout the year, and advance tickets are available at the north and south gates of the park for general admission, which allows entrance into the zoo only, while Brookfield Zoo coupons for All-in-One provide entry into the zoo and admission to seven attractions. The Admission + 3 Brookfield Zoo coupons allows entry into the zoo, and visitors can choose three of the seven attractions. Strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs are available for a fee while visiting the zoo, and snack stands, restaurants, and shops are open throughout the grounds. Other family friendly attractions around the city include Navy Pier, the Children's Museum, and the Lincoln Park Zoo.