Brookfield Zoo Sets Reopen Date for July 1

Brookfield Zoo will reopen its gates to members beginning July 1 and to the general public on July 8 with restrictions on capacity and open exhibits. 

When the zoo reopens it will be with its Dinos Everywhere exhibit intact. More than 40 animatronic dinosaurs will be visible throughout the park without the need for an extra ticket. 

Non-refundable tickets including parking will be available through the Brookfield Zoo website. Members must preregister for a time to enter the zoo, with available slots in 20-minute increments. 

New safety measures in place for the opening include requirements for face masks guests aged 2 and older, social distancing signage and markings throughout the zoo, additional hand sanitizing stations and some buildings will be temporarily closed. Restrooms will be opened and cleaned with hospital-grade cleaners on an increased schedule, the zoo said in a release

What’s open?

All outdoor exhibits are visible and open. See the bison, bears and cats. Meet the newest African Painted Dog puppies, and Brutus and Titus, two lion brothers who arrived just as the zoo closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Restrooms are open and cleaned on an increased schedule using hospital-grade cleaner. 

Take selfies with the stone lions at the entrance – the pair are wearing specialized masks – and shop the outdoor kiosks and restaurants, or bring a picnic lunch.  

Because of the vast acreage, the zoo is not putting time limits gauging how long guests can stay in the park. 

What’s closed? 

All buildings and indoor exhibits are closed. That includes Tropic World with primates, The Living Coast with penguins, the Hamill Family Play Zoo, Seven Seas with dolphins and Butterflies, which typically opens in May. 

Indoor restaurants and gift shops are also closed, but outdoor kiosks and vendors will be open with markings to help guests in line maintain social distancing. 

Can I still feed the goats? 

For sure! The Hamill Family Wild Encounters is open, and also free. Guests will have to remember to bring their own quarters (at least $.50 per feeding), as change won’t be made in the new, cashless environment. 

No people are allowed in the goat enclosure at this time, and the aviary isn’t open to feed the birds in the Wild Encounters aviary, but goats can be fed along the fence as long as social distancing between groups is maintained. 

The rest of the Wild Encounters is open, so families can take the opportunity to see the emus and wallabies, red panda, reindeer, llamas and alpacas. 

Staying safe

Signs around the zoo remind guests to maintain social distancing, and paw prints on the ground will help designate 6-foot markers. 

Groups no larger than nine can purchase or reserve tickets in advance.

Hand sanitizers are located throughout the park, and maps of the location of each can be found on the other sanitizers. 

Check out the zoo’s new rules before you go.

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This article originally published on June 30, 2020. It has been updated with the most recent information. 

Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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