Brookfield Zoo

When our family takes a road trip, we like to visit Zoo’s on the way. Our hometown zoo, which started it all, is Brookfield zoo.

We became zoo members in 2007 with their basic membership.  As our family grew, so did our membership level. We now have the family unlimited membership and use every aspect of it. The best part of our membership is watching our children learn about animals, conservation, and of course comparing yearly pictures.

Just 14 miles from downtown Chicago IL. Brookfield Zoo is a must visit when touring the Chicagoland area. It is easily accessible by bus, train, or car. The zoo first opened its gates on July 1, 1934. It houses over 450 species of animals and covers 216 acres. Brookfield Zoo educates the public as you walk through the zoo with hands on encounters and informational signs. People of all ages can sign up for classes and camps such as Nature Start Programs, Family Play, Sleepover Safari, and numerous different Animal Encounters. Many of these adventures are for older kids, we have them on our bucket list.  The Zoo has offered a free Climate Literacy E-book to the public, it can be found here


Brookfield Zoo is open every day of the year rain, snow, or shine. We highly recommend going throughout the year, and in different weather conditions. In our many years of exploring Brookfield Zoo we have noticed different animals are active in various weather conditions. Summer isn’t always the best time to see animals moving around & playing. Check out this video of our resident polar bear swimming, in January! If you are not much for the cold or rain there over nine different themed animal houses you can go into and explore.

During our summer break we go at least 2 weekends per month and at least one time during week. Summer Nights has to be one of our favorites here. Recently added and expanding every year, Zoo gates are open until 9 PM with live bands and different themed entertainment each week. It is a great way to spend a Friday or Saturday night! It becomes a bit more difficult to visit Brookfield Zoo once school is back in session, but we try to go at least once a month.

If you were to talk with our kids and asked them what they love the most about Brookfield Zoo They could describe the zoo to you in detail. Cordelia our oldest daughter loves the Dolphins and Birds. When she grows up she wants to be a Dolphin trainer and an ornithologist. Evelyn our younger daughter loves the Okapis. We have to visit “Allie” (the nave Eve gave her) and her new baby PJ every time we visit. I bet you can’t guess what she wants to be when she grows up? An Okapi trainer of course! Our youngest child is one and a half. He enjoys the whole place and all different types of animals.

Take our zoo challenge and visit every zoo you can on your road trips. Let us know your favorites and we will put it on our list to visit.


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4 Replies to “Brookfield Zoo”

  1. Our family has traveled to MANY, MANY zoos so next time we find ourselves in Chicago, we’ll have to check this out! I love how interactive and ambitious your girls are! Like your family, we go to our local zoo in Honolulu once a month. There is a great volunteer opportunity where we help restore the native plants and my kids love learning about the plants and checking out the animals after. It sounds like they would be right at home at Brookfield! Great post!

  2. We have a zoo membership that is part of a reciprocal program, so visiting zoos in other cities can be free or at a greatly reduced cost! We have saved so much using this program.

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