Brookfield Zoo’s annual illuminated celebration of the season — Holiday Magic — returns in December, featuring more than one million twinkling LED lights illuminating the zoo’s walkways, the new Polar Lights, nearly 550 trees decorated by local community organizations and corporations, singing to the animals, professional ice-carving demonstrations, Zoo Chats, photos opportunities with animals, live entertainment, a 41-foot talking tree, a model railroad display, and much more.

The 34th annual Holiday Magic will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27 plus December 28-31, from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Many of the zoo’s animal exhibits will remain open until 8 p.m. during Holiday Magic, including Hamill Family Wild Encounters (parakeet habitat will be closed), Tropic World, The Living Coast, Big Cats, Great Bear Wilderness, The Fragile Kingdom, The Swamp, Feathers and Scales, Birds and Reptiles, and Hamill Family Play Zoo. There will also be a 6 p.m. Dolphins In Action each night. 

Additionally, guests can join carolers to sing seasonal songs to the big cats, bears, and reindeer and can learn about their favorite animals from animal care staff at special Zoo Chats held throughout each evening.

Enjoy live entertainment at the Holly Jolly Theater between 5 and 9 p.m. as well as magicians, a model railroad display, costumed characters, and professional ice carvers, who will create frozen works of art from giant blocks of ice. 

Holiday Magic comes to a celebratory end on Thursday, December 31, when everyone is invited to ring in the New Year at Brookfield Zoo’s Zoo Year’s Eve celebration. 

For more information on admission prices and parking as well as a complete schedule of Holiday Magic activities and entertainment, visit or call 708-688-8000.