Take a look at the exciting additions that will be new this year:

Anniversary Ferris Wheel
Starting March 15, guests will be able to enjoy the Anniversary Ferris Wheel – in celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the opening of the Zoo. Measuring 110’ tall in height, the massive sky wheel rotates over two and a half times per minute and has 24 riding gondolas that sit up to 6 people each, and feature multicolored LED lighting that will illuminate brightly during evening hours and events. The attraction will be located just east of the newly landscaped Roosevelt Fountain. Tickets are $8 per person, $6 for Zoo members, and free to Unlimited-level members and those with redeemable attraction vouchers. (Please note, riders must be at least 36" tall to ride with a supervising companion, and 42" tall to ride without a supervising companion.)  Lamberink B.V. manufactured this Ferris wheel in the Netherlands, and it will be brought to the Zoo by the Kissel Entertainment Company of Okeana, Ohio.

North American Prairie Aviary
Opening this July, a new North American Prairie Aviary will be home to a pair of sandhill cranes and nearly a dozen greater prairie chickens (a large bird in the grouse family). Nestled within a 3,000-square-foot habitat on the north side of Hamill Family Nature Plaza, the habitat’s natural landscape will feature a pool to entice the 4-foot-tall regal-looking cranes to demonstrate their beak-probing behavior and the lush vegetation serves as a haven for foraging and nesting for the prairie chickens. Both species face challenges in the wild, with populations of the greater prairie chicken decreasing and the Mississippi subspecies of sandhill crane facing extinction. The aviary and its inhabitants will bring awareness on the conservation challenges facing native bird species and convey ways Brookfield Zoo Chicago is working with partners and local agencies to help protect them. The aviary is also included free with Zoo admission.
For the first time in its history, koalas will take up residence at the Zoo. Beginning this summer, the Hamill Family Play Zoo will become home to two male koalas, Brumby and Willum, giving guests the incredible opportunity to get eye to eye with this Australian threatened species and to learn more about their unique biology while also be inspired to develop a respect and appreciation for them and wildlife around the world. The exhibit – included free with Zoo admission – will feature both indoor and outdoor habitats, allowing guests to observe these charismatic marsupials whose diet consists mainly of eucalyptus leaves. This habitat is now open at Hamill Family Play Zoo.

Wild Connections
Starting this spring, you can go behind the scenes when you participate in our new Wild Connections, our animal encounters! These exclusive experiences will give you an up-close look at several of the species residing at the Zoo, including leopard sharks, animal ambassadors, flamingos, river otters, macaws, and more. Not only will you have unforgettable interactions with our animals, you'll also learn key details about the species from our animal care teams.

Please note, dates are subject to change.