Free Days Brookfield Zoo 2024: Everything You Need to Know

As winter descends upon us, your family may feel the urge to break free from the confines of indoor spaces and embrace the crisp, invigorating air somewhere fun. And what better way to get out and enjoy the season’s natural beauty than by exploring the wonders of Brookfield Zoo? Nestled in the heart of Illinois, this renowned zoo has been a cherished destination for animal lovers of all ages. The best part is you can experience the magic of the zoo without admission fees because Free Days Brookfield Zoo are back!


In this blog post, we invite you to join us on a journey to the Brookfield Zoo as we uncover the treasures it holds during its free days. We'll provide you with essential information, insider tips, and a glimpse of what awaits you, all while encouraging you and your family to embrace the winter season and enjoy a memorable day in the great outdoors.


Free Days at Brookfield Zoo


Brookfield Zoo offers a fantastic opportunity for visitors to enjoy free admission during the winter months to immerse yourself in the marvels of the animal kingdom without any entry fees. The free days run from January to February, providing a budget-friendly way to explore the zoo's magnificent wonders. 


In 2024, you can mark your calendar for free admission on: Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from January 2nd to February 29th


These designated days offer a chance to witness the magic of the zoo without the cost of general admission, making it an ideal outing for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone looking for an exciting winter adventure.


Additionally, it's worth noting that these free admission days include entry to the zoo's Hamill Family Play Zoo and Hamill Family Wild Encounters, providing even more opportunities for engaging experiences with wildlife and interactive exhibits.


Tips for Planning Your Visit on a Free Day


Visiting Brookfield Zoo on a free day can be a wonderful experience, but it's essential to plan your trip thoughtfully to make the most of it. Here are some tips to help you prepare:


Arrive early: Free days can be popular, so arriving early ensures you have ample time to explore and avoid larger crowds.


Check the schedule: Be aware of the zoo's hours of operation on free days and plan your visit accordingly.


Consider parking: While admission is free, there may still be a parking fee, so bring cash or a card for parking expenses.


Dress for the weather: Since these free days fall during the winter months, dress warmly to stay comfortable throughout your visit.


Explore key attractions: Prioritize the zoo's key attractions and exhibits to make the most of your time.


Exploring the Zoo in the Winter


Visiting Brookfield Zoo during the winter months provides a unique and captivating experience as you get to see the animals in a different light. Certain animals at the zoo thrive in cooler temperatures, and winter offers an excellent opportunity to witness their natural behaviors. Among the winter-loving inhabitants are the majestic polar bears, elusive snow leopards, sturdy bison, powerful Amur tigers, and the adorable 1-year-old brown bear siblings, Tim and Jess. These animals are often more active and playful during the colder season, making your visit all the more exciting.


If you're inclined toward a more tropical climate, fear not! Brookfield Zoo has you covered. Many of the zoo's animal habitats expertly replicate warm regions, providing a comfortable environment for both animals and visitors. Tropic World, in particular, is a must-visit area where you can escape the winter chill and explore vibrant ecosystems. Here, you'll encounter western lowland gorillas and orangutans, each with their unique charm. The Living Coast is home to delightful Humboldt penguins, and the Swamp offers a glimpse of the zoo's elegant flamingos. So, whether you're seeking the thrill of winter-loving animals or the warmth of tropical paradises, Brookfield Zoo has something to offer for everyone, making your winter visit a memorable and diverse experience.


Visiting the Zoo


Set within a 216-acre nature park, the zoo is the perfect place to explore the great outdoors during the colder winter months while learning about fascinating wildlife and enchanting nature in the process. With special exhibits, unique animal encounters, and thrilling seasonal activities, the Brookfield Zoo is the perfect place to plan a memorable day away from home with family and friends. Located at 8400 31st St in Brookfield, Illinois, the zoo is operated by The Chicago Zoological Society and is known worldwide for its role in first-class animal care and wildlife conservation.


Tickets and Membership Information


With over 3,000 animal residents and hundreds of acreage to explore, there is so much to see and do at the zoo; it’s worth more than one visit. Many people opt to become zoo members to visit multiple times a year. Brookfield Zoo offers a variety of different membership packages to meet the needs of individuals and families. 


Membership packages include:


Basic – includes zoo admission and parking at the main entrance.

Plus – includes basic benefits plus tickets to attractions you choose.

Unlimited – includes basic benefits plus admission to all attractions on every visit and parking at both entrances.

Plus, every member receives:

Free admission for one year
Free parking for one vehicle at the main entrance (1st Ave. and 31st Street)
Member discounts on selected attractions inside the zoo
Publications including member emails and Gateways, the quarterly member magazine
Restaurant discounts
Education program and special event discounts


Get A Membership Today


Zoo Hours (Winter)


Weekdays 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Weekends 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Book your day today by visiting the zoo’s website:


While You're In Town


In addition to one of Illinois’ largest zoos, Brookfield has much more to offer in the area. If you’re hungry after your long visit to the zoo, enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many bustling restaurants in the area, like The Irish Times, a pub and restaurant with traditional Irish offerings, or Mary’s Morning Mixup for breakfast before your zoo visit. 


If you desire some historical architecture, grab your family and friends and explore the grounds of Grossdale Station to admire the restored 130-year-old historical building with remarkable exhibits and memorabilia. The Brookfield Historical Society also hosts open houses during festivals or special events.


If you want to explore the winter outdoors outside of the zoo, there are plenty of hiking and biking routes along the Salt Creek Trail and many fun outdoor winter activities like sledding and snowshoeing throughout different forest preserves in Cook County. 


Meet Us at The Zoo for A Free Day!


Brookfield Zoo's free days during the winter months provide an excellent opportunity to experience the magic of the animal kingdom without any admission fees. From January 2nd to February 29th, 2024, you can explore the diverse and captivating world of wildlife on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. These special days welcome families, individuals, and groups to embark on a memorable winter adventure. 


As you plan your visit, consider arriving early, dressing warmly, and exploring key attractions to make the most of your time. Whether you're drawn to the allure of animals that thrive in cooler temperatures or the warmth of tropical habitats, Brookfield Zoo has something for everyone. We encourage you to visit Brookfield Zoo to embrace the wonders of nature and create lasting memories with your loved ones. Your winter journey to the zoo promises to be a truly enriching experience, filled with moments of discovery, connection, and joy.