I don’t know about you, but I’m so psyched for this fall, especially Halloween! One of our favorite annual fall traditions is Brookfield Zoo’s Boo! at the Zoo, presented by Ferrara Candy Company and sponsored by Meijer. It’s a great chance to see some of our favorite animals, plus go to a few stations and go trick-or-treating! Besides stopping for treats at their four trick-or-treat stations, you’ll also be able to take a quick photo at each station with a Halloween background and enjoy other Halloween activities.

Fun Activities:

  • Youngsters can bring their trick-or-treat bags to the zoo and slither over to four candy stations for a Ferrara Candy Company treat. Expect sweet treats like Lemonhead, Trolli Sour Brite, Now and Laters, and Black Forest Organics. (Treats are provided while supplies last.)

  • Take memory-making photos at the Halloween-themed backdrops at each station.
  • Strut your costume at the Costume Parade, which kicks off at 1:00 p.m. in front of the Discovery Center and ends on the West Mall.
  • After the parade, enter the Costume Contest at 1:30 p.m. Judges will select winners in five categories: scariest, best animal theme, most original, best group theme, and weirdly awesome, in honor of Ferrara Candy Company’s weirdly awesome Trolli candy brand.
  • Learn fun facts about the zoo’s furry friends at special Zoo Chats scheduled throughout the day. At 11:30 a.m., hang out at Australia House for a little banter about bats before wandering over to Regenstein Wolf Woods to hear about Mexican gray wolves at noon. Head to Hamill Family Play Zoo at 12:30 p.m. to learn about Goliath bird-eating spiders, and at 1:00 p.m. discover wise facts about owls. Scorpions will take the stage at the Play Zoo at 2:00 p.m., followed by large snakes at 2:30 p.m., and finally ravens at 3:00 p.m.
  • Watch the Pumpkin Smasher pulverize pumpkins into pieces every hour starting at 11:00 a.m. at the West Mall.
  • Watch professional pumpkin carver Steve Dahlke create masterpieces out of gigantic pumpkins that weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

  • Create a skeleton using recycled materials at the Hamill Family Play Zoo or decorate a spooky-looking and delicious cookie at the West Mall.
  • Other fun activities include a run through the Crazed Maize Corn Maze, take a spin on the Creepy Cowboy Carousel, or snag a seat aboard a Haunted Hayride.

Nitty Gritty:

WHAT: Boo! at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo
WHEN: Saturdays and Sundays, October 21-22 and 28-29, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL 60513
COST: General zoo admission is $19.85 for adults and $14.50 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $12. (Additional fees apply to some Boo! at the Zoo activities.)

**Sign-up for Boo! At The Zoo is now open for residents of Hillside, Bellwood, Berkeley, Melrose, Stone Park and Northlake to get free admission and round-trip transportation from Memorial Park in Hillside to the event. Registration is first-come, first-serve as 46 people each day (Oct. 21 & 22 and Oct. 28 & 29) will get complimentary admission. Residents can register on-site at the Eisenhower Community Center, located at 700 Speechley Blvd, Hillside in the admin building. Registration for the first weekend closes at 8 pm on Friday.