Brookfield vs. Lincoln Park: A Zoo Lights Comparison

Local Zoos are Lit This Holiday Season

Chicago is lucky to have not one, but two great zoos! This time of year, that means two great light displays. Celebrate the holiday season with millions of lights and thousands of animals this year.

zoo lights
Photo Credit: Lincoln Park Zoo

Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic is in its 35th Year and features over one million lights. Lincoln Park’s ZooLights has over two million lights this year and is in its 22nd year. Both locations feature ice carvings, musical light displays, and more!




Santa is coming to town! And has a pretty busy schedule! Photos with Santa are offered at both locations. Brookfield offers photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus December 17 – 18 in the Seven Seas Underwater Viewing area. Don’t worry if you’re busy prepping for the holidays! You can snap a selfie with Santa at Lincoln Park until December 23rd.

zoo lights
Photo Credit: Lincoln Park Zoo



zoo lights
Photo Credit: Brookfield Zoo

What else is there? Well, a lot.


Highlights from Brookfield include:
-A 41-foot tall talking tree
-NEW Polar lights display
-Photos with animals (alpaca, llamas, and reindeer!)
-Singing to the animals (reindeer, big cats, and bears)
-Train display
-Dolphins in Action will also be open (additional fee)

Highlights from Lincoln Park include:
-Free kids crafts
-Family Nights December 12, 19, and 26 including free carousel rides
-Chris White Trio’s Tribute to Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas December 15
-Ice skating for a $5 fee




zoo lights
Photo Credit: Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights
Visit December 9 – 23, 26 – 31 and January 1
Hours: 4:30pm – 9pm


Brookfield Zoo’s Holiday Magic
Visit Saturdays and Sundays, December 3 – 18
Monday – Saturday, December 26 – 31
Hours: 4pm – 9pm

How much does it cost?


The light displays at Lincoln Park Zoo are free. At Brookfield, admission is charged, but ComEd offers a buy one, get one free coupon for the holiday lights. Admission to Holiday Magic is free if you are a Brookfield Zoo member.


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