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Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic

This year, one of my favorite Chicago holiday activities was going to Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo with my mom, dad and grandmas.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Holiday Magic is basically the normal zoo, but with… holiday magic! Everything is decorated with lights, and there’s a big, beautiful Christmas tree right when you walk in.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

We were wondering why people were getting so close to the tree…

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

When we read the brochure and realized that it was a talking tree!

Hi tree!

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

But no matter how hard we tried…

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

…the tree was a bit shy, and wouldn’t say hello.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

The Holiday Magic evenings also have special events, like ice carving, magic shows, cookie decorating, performances, and SANTA!

There are even carols to the animals!

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

I’m sure they loved it.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Especially this guy:

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Although I bet the tiger would have liked it if you ignored this warning:

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

We arrived at the zoo at 4pm, right when Holiday Magic began. As it got darker, the lights on the trees became more and more pronounced.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Until it was fully dark and a beautiful holiday display was revealed!

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Cold? Don’t worry, you can have hot chocolate (or a beer!) while you enjoy the lights.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

My favorite part about Brookfield Zoo is that the exhibits are composed in a way that makes you feel as if you’re actually in an Asian Rainforest or in a Sub-Saharan desert.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And my favorite exhibit at the zoo is the Tropic World, formerly known as the monkey house!

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Oh don’t mind me, I’m just strolling through the jungle!

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

See, isn’t it cool?!

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Outside the Holiday Magic special events continued.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Like a Christmas tree dance, where the lights turned on and off and changed colors to the tunes of Christmas songs.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And a light show outside The Swamp where Santa break danced!

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Before we left, we said one more goodbye to the tree. The tree was so sorry to see us go, it was speechless (I’m beginning to think the “talking tree” is just a trick the zoo is playing on its guests!).

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic - Chicago travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

You can find more information on Holiday Magic, and Brookfield Zoo in general, here.

And if that tree has talked to you, I’d like to hear about it!

~A

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