Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic 2014: Planning A Visit


We check out what Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic 2014 has to offer – polar bears, a million Christmas lights and more


We were seconds away from hitting the air when they opened the door. Hudson, a polar bear born in 2006, stumbled out into the habitat. I’m 33 years-old, I’ve been coming to the Brookfield Zoo as long as I can remember, and I still turn into a kid when I see an animal like that in person.

Every year, over a million lights are adorned all over the grounds for Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic, their annual Christmas spectacular. We were there LIVE today on the 4-6am shows of the WGN Morning News.

As for things to see? First, we hit the West Mall of the Zoo – it’s been transformed into the Holiday Village. That’s where Santa has his headquarters. There is also a pretty neat light show set to music. Check out some video…


The trees are timed to a selection of holiday music playing in a constant loop. You can sit and watch it all, or just catch a bit of it each time you walk by. From there, we went to see Hudson the polar bear….  

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic 2014

Brookfield’s Andre Copeland told us about how Polar Bears survive in the wild. At the zoo Hudson was dining on carrots and other vegetables. If you were to see polar bear like this in his native environment, he’d probably be hunting a seal. I suggested a live demonstration for our next visit. Not sure if that’s going to happen.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic 2014

Next we went to check out the Holiday Light Show Spectacular. The entire thing is projected onto the front wall of The Swamp building on the south end of the zoo. Guests can email photographs of their family to [email protected] and they could become a part of the show. Other highlights include a 3D dancing Santa and other fun winter animations. And to cap things off, more animals…


While they aren’t quite creatures of the winter, we went inside to check out a few of the zoo’s ambassador animals. They included a Porcupine and a Serval. Both were a lot of fun to see up close – the Serval looks like a cross between a Cheetah and your typical house cat. The thing can run up to 45 mph and jump nine feet in the air. Check out our segment with them…

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic runs through the end of December. You can see it on Saturdays and Sundays from 4-9pm, and the entire week of December 26-31. It’s one of those events I enjoy covering every year – I feel like a learn something about wildlife every time I visit. Hopefully viewers do, too. Here’s more contact info in case you’d like to get in touch with Brookfield Zoo…

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic 2014 | Saturdays and Sundays in December and the full week of December 26-31 | 4pm-9pm | Events included with zoo admission | 708-688-8000 |

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