Do you like arachnids? If so, Brookfield Zoo has Amazing Arachnids for you starting this Saturday! If not, you’ll still be amazed, and maybe even a bit grossed out and awestruck and all of the leggy goodness that lies behind the glass cases. I’m talking spiders, scorpions, vinegaroons and a multitude of other creepy-crawlies that are lying in wait for you to visit them soon! The three amigos and I trekked to Brookfield today to check out the exhibit before it opens to the public.
Let me just tell you right now, I’m not afraid of spiders, but I’m not trying to cozy up to them either. This exhibit gives zoogoers an up close and personal view of the most stunning arachnids ever. I’m still kind of reeling from seeing baby scorpions on top of their mother’s back. By the way, scorpions glow under black light, just in case you want to go looking for them in your home and scare yourself in the meantime. It’s like they’ve been raving all night long.
The exhibit is a special one, and costs $5 for adults and $3 for children 3-11. You’ll walk through the exhibit and learn about the importance of arachnids in three areas: art,culture, and science. In the art section, you’ll check out why folks in music, film and literature love to reference these 8-legged creatures so much. In the cultural section, you’ll learn about their relationship to conservation, folklore and mythology. While the science section will show how arachnids are used medically. Not only will you get to check out 100 live arachnids, but you’ll be in the LARGEST collection available to the public in North America.
A variety of hands-on interactivities and opportunities for guests of all ages enhance the experience. These fun and entertaining components include weaving a web, assembling puzzle pieces to create a unique spider, learning an Italian folk dance called the Tarantella, and controlling the movements of a tarantula at the Arachnid Mobility station that features two computer monitors. In the Arachnid Art Gallery, zoogoers can view 10 beautiful arachnid images by world-renowned German arachnid photographer Julian Kamzol.
Additionally, animal care staff will bring the nuances of the species to life with amazing facts and lively tales during spontaneous Zoo Chats. Guests will not only get up-close views of various arachnids, they will also learn what arachnids eat, how they survive in the wild, what are their natural predators, and how—as individuals and families—they can help play a vital part in preserving arachnids and their habitats.
Another component of Amazing Arachnids—Mission Safari Maze—is a maze experience that blends education along with physical activity, making it a unique learning adventure for guests of all ages. The interactive attraction connects guests to the stories and strengths of 16 species of animals that can all be seen at Brookfield Zoo. Animals include the bison, Amur tiger, Andean condor, bald eagle, black rhinoceros, black widow spider, Blanding’s turtle, Bornean orangutan, emperor scorpion, green-winged macaw, Indian peafowl, Orinoco crocodile, peacock tarantula, red knee tarantula, reticulated giraffe, and white-bellied pangolin.
As zoogoers enter, they spin one of four giant colorful spinning wheels featuring a total of 48 missions or tasks that link guests with one of the animals featured in the neon green 3,500-square-foot maze. After spinning a wheel, zoogoers are then challenged to move through the immersive attraction that engages them to learn about the different traits of the species and how people can protect them. Throughout the maze there are play-and-learn interactives, including a climb-on spider web, jungle vines, swinging bars, and a monorail zip slide. Youngsters and families can play over and over again with a new adventure each time, all the while lending more and more meaning to their subsequent journey around the zoo to see the animals with which they now have a personal connection.
Amazing Arachnids is open to the public from May 26 – September 3 and is located on the West Mall of the zoo.
8400 31st Street (1st Avenue and 31st Street)
Brookfield, IL 60513
Monday-Friday: 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Adults: $21.95 ($20.95 online)
Seniors 65 and over: $15.95 ($14.95 online)
Children 3 to 11: $15.95 ($14.95 online)