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“Hidden Gem just Outside Chicago” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo
8400 W. 31st St., (First Ave. and 31st St.), Brookfield, IL 60513
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Ranked #1 of 7 Attractions in Brookfield
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Attraction details
Owner description: 216-acre zoo with over 400 species of animals.
Toledo, Ohio
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem just Outside Chicago”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

We planned a weekend trip to the Chicago area due to the Brookfield Zoo having an appearance by the Kratt Brothers (various children's nature shows including Kratts' Creatures, Zoboomafoo, and Be the Creature, and Wild Kratts) and our youngest being a huge fan. We had never been to the Brookfield Zoo before and so had no idea what to expect, especially coming from a city that itself has a world-class zoo. We left very impressed. The grounds were spacious and well-kept. The animal exhibits looked to be well thought out and accommodating. We were also able to see some animals that we do not have in our Toledo Zoo.

Admission felt a bit pricey but then again, as members of our local zoo we are not used to paying single-day admission and pricing could well be the norm.

All of the children, including the 14 and 18 year old very much enjoyed the visit. We absolutely recommend!

Visited June 2013
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529 reviews from our community

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Wheaton, Illinois
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Beautiful Park Setting and Great Animal Exhibits”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

We have a membership, which is the way to go IMO if you live locally. There is so much walking and so much to see that we never really can see everything in one visit. My all time favorites to see are the Giraffes and the Butterflies exhibit. It is a small additional charge for the Butterflies (around $2 adults) but it is so magical to see the different varieties of Butterflies fluttering about the special landscaping of flowers and a stream inside an enclosure you walk through. There are several options for snacks throughout the Zoo; pretzels, Dippin' Dots, Popcorn, Italian Ice, etc. the one negative that I can think of, is you are likely going to walk a good distance from where you park your car, so I can suggest getting there right at opening time, to better your chances of parking close to the entrance. But if you're like us, getting there early just never works out... So the other option is to go at the 2-3:00 hour when people are leaving-the zoo is less crowded and you can get a closer parking spot...this works well because with our 6 yr old; 3 hrs at the zoo is plenty long. Also, do not forget your stroller or a wagon-there is no Shuttle to the front entrance-again the walk from/to the parking lot alone will deplete any kid's walking power that they need for the Zoo itself!( you can rent wagons/strollers at the Zoo, but this is INSIDE the gate, which won't be as helpful for the extra walking needed for the parking lot. There are two playgrounds at the Zoo which seems to be a big draw for the younger kiddies-seems odd that they like it so much when there's a ton of things around them to see! There is a good amount of Handicapped parking up front. Brookfield is currently doing a special pass, that for a little extra money you can come back to the Zoo on a future second day. This would be great for out-of-towners who would like to split up their day. There is A LOT to see here! Right now, they are doing their special exhibit "Dinosaurs Alive" which is a park setting with animatronic Dinosaurs. It was really interesting for the adults and of course fun for your Dinosaur fans too. Just a great zoo-get a map and start exploring!

Visited July 2013
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Holland, Michigan
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Spacious grounds, well maintained”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013 via mobile

Many staff volunteers in all areas of the park helping the public with questions and animal information
Spacious park with nice wide walkways.
Well recommended.

Visited July 2013
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Chicago, Illinois
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Very nice zoo!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

My family loved the zoo!

The pros are the grounds were very well maintained and the whole park, even the restrooms are very clean. The dolphin show was the highlight for my daughter hands down. The show is second only to the Indianapolis zoo and we have been to our fair share. The animals are very well cared for from the looks of it. Looks like they have put a lot of time and $$$ into some new exhibits which was a nice addition.

The negatives are it is VERY spread out and A LOT of walking so be prepared!! I also did not like how many "Animal Houses" they had very inconvenient because they don't let strollers in the houses so you have to park them and carry your child through. After 20 times of doing putting her in and out of the stroller I was about done.

Overall I would give it a 3.5 but I had too round up

Visited May 2013
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Gran Rapids, MI
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great zoo, plan on a full day”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

For our very first family vacation, we decided to take our 2 1/2 year old to Brookfield Zoo. This turned out to be a great trip! There are a wide variety of habitats and animals to see plus some great add on exhibits to choose from as well. My son LOVED the "Dinosaurs Alive!" exhibit & the dolphin show. Both were worth the extra $5 for sure! This zoo is quite large so plan to get there early and spend the entire day if you want to see everything. We arrived at 10:30am and did not leave until 5pm. If you go on a hot day, plan to bring a lot of water with you as you are doing a lot of walking all day long. The zoo does have ample shady spots with picnic tables if you need a break and even a couple playgrounds if the parents need to sit down for a few but the kids are still raring to go. My only two complaints about this zoo are that 1.) You have to park your stroller outside for nearly EVERY indoor exhibit...which is like 75% of the zoo. Having to get my son in and out of the stroller and grab our valuables out every time was a little annoying. Plus, after half the day, we had to carry my son through the exhibits where the stroller was prohibited because he was tired, and 2.) Every time you exit and exhibit you HAVE to go through a gift shop to get out. They have a gift shop for every special exhibit int he place which meant we were forced to walk through 6 different gift shops throughout the day and with a toddler, that is super annoying since they want everything. Overall, my son had a great time, the animals were all out and active even at the hottest part of the day, and it was worth the price of admission. Next time, I would probably pack lighter and take an umbrella stroller rather than our big Jeep jogging stroller though.

Visited July 2013
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