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Brookfield Zoo
Vacation Travel Guide

Brookfield Zoo showing zoo animals and dangerous animals

Visit an African savannah, the Australian Outback and the depths of the ocean — all in a single afternoon.

The Brookfield Zoo is spread out across more than 215 acres (87 hectares) in the suburb of Brookfield, 12 miles west of downtown Chicago. It has natural-looking habitats for a large and varied collection of animals, from grizzly bears to kangaroos, big cats and rare parrots. Come by car or public transport and plan to spend a morning (when the animals are most active) or the entire day.

There are two entries: one on the north and one on the south side of the zoo. Make sure you pick up a map from the ticket booth and remember which entrance you came in. Wear comfortable walking shoes, and if you don’t want to walk all day, buy a ticket for the Motor Safari trams that run scheduled tours. Hop on and off as you please at four different stops around the grounds.

Don’t miss the Dolphin Presentation, which runs twice daily. It costs a little extra, but is well worth the price to see experienced keepers interact with Dolphins performing tricks. There are many other presentations throughout the day, including gorilla feedings and penguin “Zoo Chats.” Check times on the zoo’s official website.

Kids can get close to armadillos, horses, cows, lemurs and reptiles at two petting zoos: Children’s Zoo and Hamill Family Play Zoo. They’re next door to each other in the southwest corner of the park.

North from here you’ll find the big cats and seal enclosures. Hoofed animals (zebras, camels, and donkeys) can be found next to kangaroos, emus and ostrich in the Australian Outback enclosure. Head west for the African Savannah (giraffes, hogs and aardvarks) and the Great Bear Wilderness, which has polar and grizzly bears.

Once you’ve seen all the animals you can, take time to relax in the peaceful park surrounds. There’s a food court and snack vendors dotted around, or bring your own packed-lunch.

Top things to do in Brookfield Zoo

Top Hotels Close to Brookfield Zoo

Rodeway Inn Lyons - La Grange
Rodeway Inn Lyons - La Grange
2 out of 5
8640 W Ogden Ave, Lyons, IL
The price is $84 per night from May 16 to May 16
Situated in Lyons, this motel is 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Brookfield Zoo and within 9 mi (15 km) of Oakbrook Center Mall and SeatGeek Stadium. Ernest Hemingway Museum ...
3.1/5 (710 reviews)
"it was good. receptionist was really nice and friendly"

Reviewed on Mar 28, 2021

Rodeway Inn Lyons - La Grange
Colony Motel
Colony Motel
2 out of 5
9232 West Ogden Ave, Brookfield, IL
The price is $70 per night from May 17 to May 17
Situated in Brookfield, this motel is 1.8 mi (3 km) from Brookfield Zoo and within 9 mi (15 km) of Oakbrook Center Mall and Oak Brook Golf Course. SeatGeek Stadium ...
3.5/5Good! (88 reviews)
"I love staying at the Colony Motel; it’s so close to Galloping Ghost Arcade it’s not funny. This motel is ALWAYS clean, the staff is very nice, and the rooms have what you need to sleep. THAT SAID, if you are a bougie person and need extra fancy, this place isn’t for you. This is a very old (1940’s? ..."

Reviewed on Mar 31, 2021

Colony Motel
Welcome Inn & Suites - Lyons
Welcome Inn & Suites - Lyons
3922 S Harlem Ave, Lyons, IL
The price is $79 per night from May 16 to May 16
Situated in Lyons, this hotel is 2.1 mi (3.5 km) from Brookfield Zoo and within 6 mi (10 km) of SeatGeek Stadium and Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. Douglas ...
3.4/5 (16 reviews)
Jacuzzi tub and mirrors!
"The employees were great and the room was very much fun but it could have used a more thorough cleaning."

Reviewed on Oct 22, 2020

Welcome Inn & Suites - Lyons
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Brookfield Zoo Flight + Hotel Deals

Courtyard by Marriott Chicago Downtown River North
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DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago Midway Airport
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Brookfield Zoo

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Best Lodging Options Near Brookfield Zoo

Rodeway Inn Lyons - La Grange
Rodeway Inn Lyons - La Grange
2 out of 5
8640 W Ogden Ave, Lyons, IL
The price is $84 per night from May 16 to May 16
Rodeway Inn Lyons - La Grange
Colony Motel
Colony Motel
2 out of 5
9232 West Ogden Ave, Brookfield, IL
The price is $70 per night from May 17 to May 17
Colony Motel
Welcome Inn & Suites - Lyons
Welcome Inn & Suites - Lyons
3922 S Harlem Ave, Lyons, IL
The price is $79 per night from May 16 to May 16
Welcome Inn & Suites - Lyons
Presidential Inn & Suites
Presidential Inn & Suites
2.5 out of 5
3922 Harlem Ave, Lyons, IL
Presidential Inn & Suites
Beautiful Modern Apartment W/outdoor Deck in Historical District and Attractions
Beautiful Modern Apartment W/outdoor Deck in Historical District and Attractions
Berwyn, IL
Beautiful Modern Apartment W/outdoor Deck in Historical District and Attractions
Travel Inn
Travel Inn
2.5 out of 5
1150 W Roosevelt Rd, Broadview, IL
The price is $75 per night from May 16 to May 16
Travel Inn
Berwyn FHS Rental
Berwyn FHS Rental
Berwyn, IL
Berwyn FHS Rental
? Stunning 7 BR 3 BA Home 20 Mins to City Center
? Stunning 7 BR 3 BA Home 20 Mins to City Center
Cicero, IL
? Stunning 7 BR 3 BA Home 20 Mins to City Center
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Chicago West-O'hare Arpt, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Chicago West-O'hare Arpt, an IHG Hotel
2.5 out of 5
200 S Mannheim Road, Hillside, IL
The price is $89 per night from May 31 to May 31
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Chicago West-O'hare Arpt, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.