On our recent trip to Chicago, visiting a zoo was on the top of the list of to-dos for the kids! Why? Because we had heard amazing things about the Brookfield Zoo! With a dolphin show, stingray touch center, penguins and polar bears, yep, there was no question in the kids minds! We received admission to the zoo in exchange for sharing about our experiences, all experiences shared are 100% our own.
As we were driving I couldn’t help but think how could this amazing zoo be smack in the center of the city, but it is. There is a school next door and once you enter the zoo, you forget all about being right next to a neighborhood.
With the dolphin show being at the top of our to-dos, we headed to the stadium first thing. The show is indoors and well worth the $2 ticket charge.
It was so hot, and although their isn’t air conditioning, you are out of the scorching sun and once the dolphins start jumping out of the water, you quickly forget that you are melting. Dolphins are amazing creatures with such beauty and grace and the show teaches you about the dolphins while showcasing their talents.
Next we headed to the stingray touch center. Both the children had up close and personal interactions with the stingrays at the Shedd Aquarium, but that didn’t stop them from wanting to get their hands in the water to feel them again. You are not limited to time, so if there are not huge crowds, I could see us spending a great deal of time here watching the stingrays glide across the water as the children try to gently catch a feel of their rubbery skin.
It was a very hot summer day, so many of the animals were resting in the shade. The kids took a spin on the merry-go-round, again, they think they can’t visit a zoo without a twirl on the merry-go-round and their excitement and smiles are well worth the $2 spent.
We paid a visit to the butterfly gardens that were full of intricate, brightly colored butterflies. The challenge wasn’t getting up close to them, it was that you couldn’t touch them. Boy, that was tempting for the children with them fluttering all around. The reality is, butterflies are so delicate, you can harm them with a simple touch. Their beauty is best enjoyed by just watching and marveling at their design. We really did get to get up close and personal with them, a couple even landed on the kids.
We were praying to make it to the polar bears and that they would be out sunning. On our first pass through we couldn’t spot them. While sad, we ducked into the gift shop and enjoyed the air and really cool selection of high quality souvenirs. Before we left, we decided to check in one more time and we couldn’t have been more excited we did. It was as if he knew we were there just for him. He came right over as close as he could to us and in bear language, talked. It was amazing! They are truly beautiful creations and it was such a great privilege to be able to see just how big and beautiful they are in real life.
The kids were amazed at how small they were in comparison to the giant bears!
There were so many beautiful animals to be seen, we could have spent twice as long or more at the Brookfield Zoo. At the end of the long day, we were so delighted that we made time to find this gem while visiting Chicago. If Chicago is ever on your family’s agenda, make time to slow down and visit the Brookfield Zoo, you will not be disappointed!