If it’s one thing my kids love it’s dinosaurs. So when their favorite creature visits our favorite Chicagoland zoo, the Brookfield Zoo, we add it to our must-do list. But when you add dragons to the mix, we are so there!

Highlights:

  • Dragons. How often do you hear or see about dragons? As you enter the exhibit, the first area you’ll come upon is the tent with all the dragons and lizards. The presentation was pretty cool! The aquariums were housed in pretty cool structures like this.

  • A real dragon! The komodo dragon was camouflaged but we found him. He was a little smaller than we expected!

Brookfield Zoo Dinosaurs - Komodo Dragon

  • Dino dig area. We saw two boxes for more dino digging fun.

Brookfield Zoo Dinosaurs - Dino Pit

  • Larger than life dinosaurs! These 17 life-size and lifelike animatronic dinosaurs were a sight to see.

Brookfield Zoo Dinosaurs - Velocaraptor

  • Larger than life dragons! We’ve been to a few exhibits such as these with animatronic dinosaurs, but we’ve never seen dragons. Pretty cool!

Brookfield Zoo Dinosaurs - Dinos vs Dragons

Brookfield Zoo Dinosaurs - Gryphon Dragon

  • Test your knowledge. The witty “Game of Bones” questioned your dinosaur and dragon trivia. My little reader enjoyed testing his dino knowledge.

Brookfield Zoo Dinosaurs - Dino Trivia

  • More fun! After you exit the gift shop, veer left and you’ll find another learning experience – a dissection lab. With the help of a guide, you’ll try to piece together the bones of the dinosaur.

Brookfield Zoo Dinosaurs - Dinos dissection

We Wish:

  • We visited on an off day. We came on Mother’s Day and it was a pain to navigate the tent area. If it was less crowded it would have been nice to enjoy the dragon area more.

Tips:

  • The exhibit is closer to the South Gate entrance. Perhaps you’d like to park at the South Gate?
  • Buy your tickets ahead of time. There was a line to buy tickets at the ticket booth in front of the exhibit. I would suggest buying them ahead of time when you buy your general admission tickets.
  • If you pack a lunch (like we do all the time!), they have tons of picnic tables by the exhibit entrance. Plus, it’s shaded!

Brookfield Zoo Dinosaurs - Picnic Area

Bottom Line:

What a fun time for dino and dragon fans! It’s very thoughtfully laid out, informative, witty, and fun. I highly recommend going this summer with the family.

Nitty Gritty:

Website: http://www.czs.org/DinosDragons
Location:  8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois
Hours: Monday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Closed Tuesday and Wednesday; Thursday 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.; Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ticket prices: $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and over. General admission to Brookfield Zoo, which is located at, is $19.85 for adults and $14.50 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older.
Parking: Two parking locations – Main entrance and South Gate entrance. We always prefer the South Gate entrance. Fee for both.
Stroller-friendly? Bring the strollers and wagons to the zoo. They have signs that strollers are welcome in the exhibit, but if it’s crowded the tent area will be hard to navigate with a stroller or wagon. We left ours outside (as did almost everybody) and thought that was the best decision.
Food: There is a food stand when you exit the exhibit. We brought our lunch and ate it by the entrance to the exhibit. Tons of tables in the shade!
Crowded: We visited on a Sunday mid-morning and it was crowded in the tent area. Once we were on the outside trail, it was not bad at all.
What to expect: A tent with real dragons and lizards, 17 animatronic dinos and dragons outside