News Release

September 9, 2011

Contact: Sondra Katzen
Public Relations


Note: Images of Boo! at the Zoo activities at Brookfield Zoo may be downloaded at

Family-Friendly Halloween Fun Awaits at Brookfield Zoo’s
Annual Boo! at the Zoo Held October 22-23 and 29-30

      Brookfield, Ill. — Little ghosts and goblins of all ages are sure to have a howlin’ good time at Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo Halloween celebration on Saturdays and Sundays, October 22-23 and 29-30. The not-so-scary and fun-filled event has something for the entire family to enjoy from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.

Guests can head over to the Nature Stage to get some pumpkin-carving tips from professional carver Steve Dahlke, who will use a variety of tools to create masterpieces out of gigantic pumpkins. During his demonstrations, guests will be able to ask questions and get some carving tips they can try at home.

At 1:00 p.m., the ever-popular Costume Parade commences at the zoo’s North Gate and will make its way around Roosevelt Fountain before concluding at the East Mall. Leading the parade on October 29 are baton-twirling and flag-spinning members of S.T.A.T. of Illinois (Sheer Talent And Technique) and Hinsdale Central High School’s Marching Band. The following day, October 30, the Palatine Area Community Marching Band will kick off the procession.

Afterwards, guests of all ages will have the opportunity to win special prizes, courtesy of Fisher-Price® and The Bright Start College Savings Program, by entering the Halloween Costume Showcase. Judges will choose first- and second-place winners in four categories: scariest, best animal theme, most original, and best group theme.

On the East Mall, Fisher-Price will also have a super-size play area filled with its coolest new toys—perfect for children 6 months to 5 years old. Plus, little cruisers can try out the kid-size vehicles at the Fisher-Price Power Wheels® driving track.

Guests can take a spin on the haunted Carousel or try to find their way through the 7,000-square-foot “Crazed Maze,” located on the West Mall. Finally, guests can hop on a hayride through the zoo that is sure to provide a hauntingly good time.

Of course, the Halloween celebration would not be complete without some creepy critters. Families can discover interesting facts about some of the zoo’s animals during several special Zoo Chats scheduled each day during the event. At 11:45 a.m. in Australia House, guests can hang around for a chat about Rodrigues fruit bats. Those who venture into The Swamp at 12:30 p.m. can get up close and personal with a black widow spider. Give a hoot for Tex, a great-horned owl, at a 1:00 p.m. chat in Children’s Zoo. Then, at 2:00 p.m., head over to Feathers and Scales and learn some interesting facts about scorpions. In The Fragile Rain Forest at 2:30 p.m., guests can learn about one of the zoo’s longest residents: Gunga Din, a 9-foot-long Burmese python. Finally, at 3:00 p.m., run with the pack to the Great Bear Wilderness exhibit to hear all about the Mexican gray wolves.

In Children’s Zoo, which will be free during Boo! at the Zoo, youngsters can participate in Halloween-themed activities, including “pin the nose on the cat” and “pin the eye on the owl,” as well as make scarecrows, until 3:00 p.m.

Admission to Brookfield Zoo is $13.50 for adults and $9.50 for children ages 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. Parking is $9. For further information about Boo! at the Zoo activities, visit or call (708) 688-8000. Boo! at the Zoo is presented by Fisher-Price and The Bright Start College Savings Program.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. Open every day of the year, Brookfield Zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service.

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