Brookfield Zoo opens its gates for many free days this month

If you think of Brookfield Zoo only as a warm weather outing with your kids, you might be missing out on some really special moments with the animals.

Mark your calendars for FREEze Day on Sunday, Feb. 11

Brookfield Zoo offers dog sledding demos, meet-and-greets with animal ambassadors on the West Mall and zoo chats throughout the day.


Not only do many of the animals prefer the colder temperatures and are more active, particularly when it snows, you might actually find yourself on a nearly-personal tour of their areas because the zoo docents are less busy, says Sondra Katzen, director of public relations at Brookfield Zoo.

“Most people find it very tranquil,” she says about the zoo in the winter. She particularly enjoys the stroll around Swan Lake at the zoo’s northwest corner.

Worried about the cold?

The animal buildings are heated and some even feel downright tropical, including Tropic World, allowing you to warm up building to building, Katzen says.

To make it even more tempting, the zoo is opening its gates for free general admission on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 28.

Plus, with the Hamill Play Zoo free through Feb. 28, many parents venture out to the zoo just for an hour or two this month to keep cabin fever at bay.

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