It was bound to happen. We became members of Brookfield Zoo last week, and I’m not even crying about it. We decided to spend the money for the Family Unlimited membership because it would save us money for parking alone. Sometimes I’m quite smart. Now remind me that we should go at least twice monthly, instead of the once monthly, and I’ll feel like a genius. The REAL reason we went to Brookfield Zoo this week was not to purchase the membership even though admission is $16.95 for adult general admission, $10 parking, we were there to see the new Hamill Family Wild Encounters portion of the zoo.
The new, interactive exhibit spread across 2.3 acres on the former site of the Children’s Zoo gives families a chance to meet a host of different creatures in an environment that’s both animal and human friendly. My children absolutely loved being able to walk through the wallaby and emu exhibit although no emus were present. Sir Twizzler quickly spotted the wallaby statue that was perched carefully on one of the benches housed in the exhibit in case someone in your party needed to rest their feet.
I like to think that my children are precocious when it comes to animals. I think that was proven when we went into the aviary filled with parakeets 450 of them to be exact. This mama was none too happy with all of the flapping, but Mr. Houseful was more than willing to stand front and center with the kids while they received feeding sticks and squealed happily with each bird that landed to eat. Lil Miss Twizzler was even lucky enough to get a couple of parakeets to land on top of her twists. Apologies for no photos, I was too busy freaking out while pretending (horribly) to be okay.
The other interactive exhibit was that of the Nigerian Dwarf Goats. This area gives zoo goers the ability to purchase food for the goats so that they can be fed. Brushes are also provided to allow the coats of the wonderfully busy animals to be combed. Sir Twizzler tried corralling one for this very purpose, but it didn’t seem to want to be groomed.
The Animal Ambassador Pavillion is the home to more than 70+ animal ambassadors that visitors will be able to see up close and personal with their handlers. These special animals include small-spotted genets, caracals, sloths, a red-tailed hawk, a python, savannah and serval cats, and a monitor lizard. During inclement weather, they will be presented to the public in the ITW White Oak Room, located within the building. In warmer weather, they and their handlers will be hanging out in dedicated areas in Wild Encounters’ outdoor spaces.
Brookfield Zoo is open every 365 days of the year
Monday-Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
General Zoo Admission
Seniors 65 and Over $11.95
Children (3 to 11) $11.95
General zoo admission is free on Tuesdays and Thursdays from October 1 through December 31, 2015.
Please note: Indoor animal exhibits close 30 minutes before general zoo closing, except for Tropic World, which closes 45 minutes before general zoo closing.