Brookfield Zoo's 31st Annual Holiday Magic

December 7, 2012

Chicagoland's largest holiday lights festival, presented by ComEd, will feature more than one million twinkling lights and activities that will bring holiday cheer on 14 nights in December. Families and friends can enjoy ice-carving demonstrations, a laser light show, singing to the animals, live music and entertainment, magic shows, and more. Holiday Magic, now in its 31st year, will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23, plus the week of December 26-31, from 4:00 until 9:00 p.m.

A new holiday-themed laser and video show will light up a 40-foot-by-30-foot screen on the zoo's East Mall every 30 minutes between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m., and the West Mall will be decorated with dinosaur light displays and an 18-foot-tall animated snowman. Guests will also be able to view more than 430 decorated community trees lining the zoo malls, and around Roosevelt Fountain, 50 corporate trees will "dance" to festive music throughout the festival.

While strolling the walkways, guests can see some of their favorite animals. Exhibits open until 8:00 p.m. during Holiday Magic include Great Bear Wilderness, Tropic World, Australia House, Big Cats, The Swamp, Feathers and Scales, Birds and Reptiles, Tropic World, The Living Coast, The Fragile Kingdom, Seven Seas Underwater Viewing, Pachyderm House, Children's Zoo, and Hamill Family Play Zoo. Additionally, there will be a 6:30 p.m. Dolphin Show each evening of the event.

Zoogoers can warm up inside the Holly Jolly Theater, where choirs, dancers, and other local entertainers will give holiday-themed performances. The opening night's highlights include a jingle bell rockin' performance by Expression Dance Studio, a memorable holiday show by Those Funny Little People, and a festively fun performance by Lights, Camera, Dancin'. (A complete list of entertainment scheduled to perform is included below.)

Guests can bring holiday cheer to the camels, farm animals, and bears by joining Season's Greetings professional carolers as they sing holiday tunes each night throughout the festival. Also, zookeepers will be on hand to share interesting facts about animals during Zoo Chats about crocodiles at 5:00 p.m., reptiles at 5:30 p.m., bears at 6:00 p.m., rhinoceroses at 7:00 p.m., big cats at 7:30 p.m., and reindeer at 8:00 p.m.

In Seven Seas Underwater Viewing, Santa Claus will take a break from his busy holiday prep to hear children's wish lists (through December 23). And in the Riverside Room, members of the LGB Model Railroad Club will have a 41-foot-by-25-foot model railroad display with 13 trains that can run simultaneously for train enthusiasts of all ages to view.

On December 31, families can partake in an early countdown to the New Year at Brookfield Zoo's Zoo Year's Eve celebration. The fun begins at 6:00 p.m. with holiday music, games, prizes, and an early New Year countdown at 8:00 p.m. so that the younger guests can join in the fun.

In addition, the zoo restaurants and food stands will be open with full menus and holiday treats-such as cookies, hot chocolate, and cappuccino-and gift shops will have hundreds of items that could make perfect gifts and stocking stuffers for hard-to-shop-for loved ones.

During Holiday Magic, guests should park in Brookfield Zoo's main parking lot (First Avenue and 31st Street). Activities are free (with the exception of rides and photo opportunities) with paid admission of $15 for adults and $10.50 for children ages 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. Children 2 and under are free. Car parking is $10; bus parking is $12. For up-to-date information on scheduled entertainment and activities, go online to or call (708) 688-8000. Guests will also receive a schedule of events when they arrive.

Holiday Magic is sponsored in part by American Airlines, Lang Ice, and The Goddard School.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service.

Live Entertainment Featured at Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic Holly Jolly Theater (located in the Swan Pavilion)
Saturday, December 8
5:00 p.m. S.T.A.T. of Illinois
6:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
7:00 p.m. Anima Young Singers of Greater Chicago
8:00 p.m. Lake Zurich STAR Dance Company

Sunday, December 9
5:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
6:00 p.m. Oak Forest Park District Dance
7:00 p.m. Mexico En La Piel
8:00 p.m. Carl Sandburg Chamber Singers

Saturday, December 15
5:00 p.m. Beyond Center Stage Performing Arts Academy
6:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
7:00 p.m. Coal City High School Show Choir
8:00 p.m. Dorothy's Dancing Unlimited "Dansations"

Sunday, December 16
5:00 p.m. Palatine Dance Company
6:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
7:00 p.m. Lively Arts Academy
8:00 p.m. Jo's Footwork Dance Ensemble

Saturday, December 22
5:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
6:00 p.m. Bear-ettes Poms and Twirling Bears
7:00 p.m. Forevermore Dance & Theater Arts
8:00 p.m. St. Bruno Poms & Twirling Queen Pom Corp

Sunday, December 23
5:00 p.m. Reading of The 12 Days of Christmas in Illinois
6:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
7:00 p.m. Dance Academy
8:00 p.m. Hearland Voices

Wednesday, December 26
6:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People

Thursday, December 27
5:00 p.m. Swedish American Children's Choir
6:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
7:00 p.m. Allegro Dance Company
8:00 p.m. The Noteables

Friday, December 28
6:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
7:00 p.m. Legacy Dance Ensemble

Saturday, December 29
5:00 p.m. Chicagoland Square Dance
6:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
7:00 p.m. McNulty Irish Dancers
8:00 p.m. Chicagoland Square Dance

Sunday, December 30
5:00 p.m. Leap of Faith Arts Ministries' Shining Lights Dancers
6:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People

Monday, December 31
5:00 p.m. Those Funny Little People
6:00 p.m. Zoo Year's Eve with DJ Glenn David

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