Located just 13 miles from Downtown Chicago, the massive Brookfield Zoo stretches across more than 215 acres of pristine land. The property is meticulously groomed and very well cared for, and families delight in the beautiful landscape, which includes fountains, open fields, flowerbeds and statues, but also entirely enclosed ecosystems — swamp, desert, rain forest, Australian Outback and even ocean.
The zoo itself is home to over 2,300 animals belonging to over 450 different species. Families can see everything from western gray kangaroos and emus in the zoo’s Australian House, to clouded leopards and Burmese pythons in the Fragile Rainforest. They’ll also spot energetic, incredibly playful and extraordinarily intelligent bottlenose dolphins in the Seven Seas exhibit, and can take a walk over to the Regenstein Wolf Woods where — yes, you guessed it — there are live wolves!
The zoo specializes in animal care and breeding, and offers visitors several education programs as part of its Center for Conservative Leadership. Kids and students are welcome to participate in any of the programs, hosted by the Chicago Zoological Society. Programs include Wild Encounters, where guests are invited to see the zoo from the eyes of the keepers, and Zoo Tours, where adults, children and families are lead through the zoo by experienced, knowledgable and friendly staff.