Holiday Magic lights up Brookfield Zoo


Bear sculpture featured at Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic Experience (Rauf/LION).

Gabriella Rauf, InDepth Editor

Twinkling lights, loud holiday music, and tall, bright animal sculptures greet you as you enter the Brookfield Zoo for a Holiday Magic night. From 3-9 p.m. on special dates found on the Brookfield Zoo’s website, holiday lights and decorations are lit around the park. Not only does the zoo offer this beautiful visual, but there are also food and refreshments in numerous locations, seasonal gifts sold at the gift shops, a skating rink, gnomes hidden around the park, and much more. Those interested in the event are advised to make all of their purchases and reservations beforehand. At $24.95 per adult ticket, and an additional $13.39 parking fee, admission to see the lights comes at a hefty price, especially compared to the Lincoln Park ZooLights. Still, the price is worth it, considering what Brookfield has to offer. 

Most of the animal buildings are open for people to go through, with many of the animals still out for you to look at. I was able to revisit many of my childhood favorites, including the Swamp and the Tropic House. 

Of course, no zoo visit in Illinois would be complete without the purchase of a Mold-A-Rama (wax animal figurines). I had to try the hot chocolate, which was probably the least amusing part of the park. For $5, a cup of this was quite watered down, and there was no whipped cream or marshmallows to accompany it. However, the lack of a quality hot chocolate did not prevent me from enjoying the Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic experience. I thoroughly enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I recommend this visit to anyone who loves seeing festive lights this time of year, or is looking to feel nostalgic while getting into the holiday spirit. 

4.5/5 paws