Brookfield Zoo opens new nature area for families

Brookfield Zoo has unveiled a new nature oasis that includes more opportunities for nature play.

One side of the Hamill Family Nature Plaza is all about relaxation, with seating and more than 10,000 perennial plants and nearly 670 trees and shrubs that will be in full bloom by next summer. Oversized chimes and flower-shaped percussion instruments allow families to create beautiful sounds together while a nest offers a fun place to climb in and pretend to be a bird.

The other side of the plaza is all about discovery. Among the offerings are a water interpretation garden, a science discovery garden with bench seating for zoo education programming and a sensory garden that features accessible spaces, raised garden beds and planting spaces for all abilities.

Also new is the Peacock Café and Grill, featuring a menu themed around sustainable dining. Options include locally grown produce, ice cream made with sustainably sourced palm oil, grass-fed beef burgers, antibiotic-free chicken and sustainably harvested Antarctic salmon. For parents, the zoo’s beer, Hair of the Frog, is on tap.

The Hamill Family Nature Plaza sits at the south end of the park on the former Baboon Island site.

If you go

Hamill Family Nature Plaza at Brookfield Zoo

8400 31st St., Brookfield

For more info and tickets, visit

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