BROOKFIELD – More than a million twinkling lights and a 41-foot LED talking tree will be on display through the end of the year as part of Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic.
The event, in its 32nd year, will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. on weekends starting Saturday and running through Dec. 22, as well as the week of Dec. 26 to 31. Other activities include caroling to the zoo animals, live entertainment, professional ice-carving demonstrations, a laser-light show and a new holiday light spectacular.
Guests can warm up inside the Holly Jolly Theater, where choirs, dancers and other local entertainers will put on holiday-themed performances. They can also join professional carolers singing holiday tunes to the animals. Caroling will start at 5:30 p.m. for the camels, 6:30 p.m. for big cats and 7:30 p.m. for bears.
Zookeepers will be on hand to share interesting facts about animals during special Zoo Chats featuring information about crocodiles at 5 p.m., reptiles at 5:30 p.m., bears at 6:00 p.m., lemurs at 6:30 p.m., rhinos at 7:00 p.m. and big cats at 7:30 p.m.
Santa Claus will be waiting for youngsters in his holiday cottage, located just west of the zoo’s Scoops restaurant. There, he and Mrs. Claus will listen to children’s wish lists (through Dec. 22).
On Dec. 31, families can ring in 2014 with an early countdown at the Zoo Year’s Eve celebration. The event begins at 6 p.m. with music, games, and giveaways. At 8 p.m., a kid-friendly countdown will also take place at Hamill Family Play Zoo, where families with younger children can create noisemakers to ring in the Zoo Year.
With the exception of rides and photo opportunities, activities are free with paid admission of $15 for adults and $10.50 for children ages 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and older. Children 2 and under are free.
For additional information about Holiday Magic, go to www.CZS.org/events or call 708-688-8000.