News Release

September 17, 2012

Contact: Sondra Katzen
Public Relations


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

Boys and Ghouls of All Ages Are Invited to Brookfield Zoo’s Annual Boo! at the Zoo
Howlin’ Good Times Await on October 20-21 and 27-28

      Brookfield, Ill. — This Halloween season, the annual Boo! at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo offers a chance for guests of all ages to enjoy tricks and treats. The holiday celebration on Saturdays and Sundays, October 20-21 and 27-28, will be a haunting hoot for the entire family. The more-fun-than-scary event has something for everyone from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day.

The spooky fun features a Costume Parade, which begins at 1:00 p.m. each day at the zoo’s North Gate and makes its way around Roosevelt Fountain before concluding at the East Mall. Afterwards, guests can show off their costumes in the Costume Showcase. Judges will choose first- and second-place winners in four categories: scariest, best animal theme, most original, and best group theme. Prizes will be awarded, courtesy of Fisher-Price®. Each weekend during Boo! at the Zoo, the popular toy company will have its Fisher-Price Power Wheels® driving track and play space for youngsters.

Guests can learn some expert pumpkin-carving tips from professional carver Steve Dahlke, who will use a variety of tools to create masterpieces out of 1,000-pound pumpkins. During his demonstrations, guests will be able to ask questions and pick up carving tips they can try at home.

Ghosts and goblins alike can try to find their way through the 7,000-square-foot Crazed Maize, located on the West Mall; take a spin on the haunted Carousel; or 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 special Zoo Chats. At 11:30 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. At 2:30 p.m. in The Fragile Rain Forest, guests can learn about one of the zoo’s longest residents: Gunga Din, a nearly 10-foot-long Burmese python. At 3:00 p.m., run with the pack to the Great Bear Wilderness exhibit to hear all about Mexican gray wolves.

Some of the zoo’s animals are also joining in the Halloween celebration. At 11:00 a.m. each day, guests can watch pumpkins being given to animals: rhinos on October 20, gorillas on October 21, sloth bears on October 27, and African lions on October 28.
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,” and make scarecrows until 3:00 p.m.

As a special treat, Xtreme BUGS, the hit exhibit that invaded the zoo this summer, will be sticking around for a creepy-crawly Halloween encore. The exhibit of epic proportions, presented by Dominick’s, features more than 20 oversize animatronic bugs, including a spooky giant Madagascar hissing cockroach. Additionally, there are more than 100 larger-than-life stationary insects, including spiders hunting, ants feasting upon a scorpion, and cicadas hatching.

Admission to Brookfield Zoo is $15 for adults and $10.50 for children ages 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. Boo! at the Zoo activities are free, with the exception of admission to Xtreme Bugs, The Carousel, and the hayride. Parking is $10. For further information about Boo! at the Zoo activities, visit or call (708) 688-8000. Boo! at the Zoo is presented by Fisher-Price, Bright Start College Savings Program, and American Airlines.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Open every day of the year, the 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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