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KIDS + TEENS | Celebrate World Penguin Day at Brookfield Zoo

World Penguin Day, Brookfield Zoo, Glancer Magazine


BROOKFIELD, IL – Penguin lovers can waddle their way to Brookfield Zoo on Saturday, April 21, and join in the World Penguin Day celebration. Activities for the entire family will be taking place between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.—both inside and outside The Living Coast exhibit, which is home to the zoo’s Humboldt penguins.

The first 1,000 youngsters to join the festivities will receive a commemorative World Penguin Day wristband. The bands are the same colors as those on the zoo’s penguins, and are how the animal care staff identify each individual bird. Kids can check out the ID guide posted in The Living Coast’s Rocky Shores’ habitat to determine which penguin is wearing the same color band as theirs.

Several of the zoo’s penguins seem to have a knack for painting! Zoogoers can meet a few of the resident “artists” outdoors at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday (weather permitting). The penguin’s one-of-a-kind pieces of art, created with nontoxic watercolors, will be on display. On the back of each canvas is a photo of the penguin “artist” and his/her footprint signature. The public also has an opportunity to win one of three paintings by entering an online random drawing, which will take place starting Wednesday, April 11, 9:00 a.m. CST through Wednesday, April 25, 5:00 p.m. CST. To enter, go to (must be 13 years of age or older). Winners from the entrants will be randomly chosen and announced on the zoo’s Facebook page and website on Thursday, April 26.

Additionally, a pack of five notecards featuring images of the penguins’ paintings will be available with a minimum $10 donation. Proceeds will go towards the Chicago Zoological Society’s Animal Care and Conservation Fund to help support its efforts in the Punta San Juan program. Located along South America’s west coastline in Peru, Punta San Juan is a reserve where research and community outreach is being conducted to help protect the species native to the region, including Humboldt penguins.

Guests can also attend Zoo Chats and observe the penguins being fed in their habitat at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. During the informal talks, animal care staff will share stories about the zoo’s colony of Humboldt penguins along with conservation efforts that are being done to help protect these charismatic animals. Additionally, at noon and 1:30 p.m., staff will provide the birds with special enrichment items as well as answer any questions from the public.

Also joining in the day’s event will be the zoo’s volunteer educators, who will be at an information station with penguin artifacts. Volunteers will engage guests of all ages in the “egg shuffle” activity. Those who have wondered what it is like to be a penguin parent can try walking while balancing a replica egg on top of their feet. This demonstrates how several species of penguins protect their eggs.

Nearby, a 6-foot-tall penguin sculpture made of plastic trash will remind everyone about the negative impact plastic waste pollution has on ocean life. Zoogoers can help keep these majestic birds safe with simple daily practices, including recycling plastic garbage and using reusable bags at grocery stores. Individuals can also download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Consumer Guide at that suggests choices based on responsible fishing practices. These everyday actions can ultimately help reduce toxic waste that is dumped into the oceans, the home of penguins.

Those interested in helping care for the Humboldt penguins at Brookfield Zoo can contribute to the Share the Care program. For $35, the recipient will receive the Basic Package, which includes a 5-inch x 7-inch color photograph of a penguin, a personalized adoption certificate, a fact sheet about the species, a Share the Care car decal, and an invitation to the 2018 Share the Care Evening. For further information, visit

World Penguin Day activities are free with zoo admission of $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Parking is $14. Brookfield Zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield. For more information about World Penguin Day at Brookfield Zoo, visit or call (708) 688-8000.


About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit

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