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Brookfield Zoo to temporarily close beginning Jan. 1

The zoo will offer an expanded schedule for its annual Holiday Magic event.

Brookfield Zoo is set to temporarily close Jan. 1 due to the pandemic.
Brookfield Zoo is set to temporarily close Jan. 1 due to the pandemic.
Sun-Times file

Brookfield Zoo will be closed to the public for two months beginning Jan. 1, the institution announced Thursday.

“Through these challenging times, the health and safety of our guests, volunteers, staff, and animals continues to be our top priority,” Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of Chicago Zoological Society, which operates Brookfield Zoo, said in a statement.

“The past seven months have been incredibly challenging as we all continue to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, yet we continue to be reminded of the perseverance, understanding, and tremendous support of our staff, members, and guests. We hope zoo-goers take advantage of the additional Holiday Magic evenings this year, and we look forward to opening to the public again in March.”

Before the temporary closure, the zoo plans to offer an expanded schedule for its annual Holiday Magic event, running an additional 10 evenings and beginning Nov. 27.

Santa Claus will not make an appearance at the popular event, with a life-size cutout there to replace the jolly man in red and white. Outdoor food stands will offer a range of food, including pizza, hamburgers, popcorn, funnel cakes and a variety of beverages.