Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic

The Game of Gnomes, a fun-filled scavenger hunt, will have guests of all ages searching for 24 gnomes at the Brookfield Zoo’s 39th annual Holiday Magic. For more information and tickets, visit czs.org.

Brookfield Zoo is offering an expanded schedule for its 39th annual Holiday Magic.

With 10 evenings added and expanded hours, this year’s event will be held on 24 nights—Friday to Sunday, Nov. 27 to 29; Wednesdays to Sundays, Dec. 2-6, 9-13, and 16-20; and Saturday-Thursday, Dec. 26-31, from 3 to 9 p.m.

The expanded schedule will allow zoogoers to enjoy the holiday lights before Brookfield Zoo temporarily closes to the public Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 2021, with plans to reopen to the public on March 1, within state restrictions.

During Brookfield Zoo’s upcoming temporary closure, essential animal care specialists and veterinary staff will continue providing the animals with the same high-level of care.

Zoogoers can safely enjoy this year’s Holiday Magic by strolling along the many pathways, lit with more than 1 million twinkling LED lights, including through a brilliantly lit 600-foot-long tunnel featuring thousands of colored lights all synchronized to music.

Additional light displays include a giant 20-foot lit orb, where guests can stand inside to take a memorable holiday photo, a 41-foot tree, and larger-than-life illuminated animal sculptures of a bison, bear and giraffe.

The zoo’s malls and Roosevelt Fountain are all decked out for the holidays, thanks to local community organizations and corporations that decorated 660 LED-lit trees with ornaments, many of them homemade.

New this year, guests of all ages can play the Game of Gnomes. Embark on a fun-filled scavenger hunt in search of 24 gnomes, measuring 12 to 20 inches tall, that will be located throughout the park.

Although Santa Claus will not be making an appearance at Brookfield Zoo this year, families can still take photos next to a life-size cutout of him, as well as at other festively themed selfie frames located around the zoo. Kids will also be able to drop off their letters to Santa in the giant box located on the south mall.

Brookfield Zoo is following Phase 4 guidelines from the state of Illinois, which states no buildings may be open and guest capacity must be limited. To ensure social distancing, advance admission and parking tickets are required. Reservation times will be available in 20-minute increments.

Admission is $24.95 for adults, $17.95 for children ages 3-11, and $19.95 for senior 65 and over. Parking is $15. All tickets are nonrefundable.

For tickets or information, visit czs.org.