Summer Bucket List: Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo

Worth the Trip

My family loves LEGO® bricks. Everyone from the youngest to the oldest plays with them, we follow LEGO artists, it’s a great family past time and reinforces all the STEM skills the kids are learning in school. We also love animals and the zoo. I was a biology major, all of my kids are animal lovers and the zoo is one of our favorite summer activities. When you combine those two things, you have a summer bucket list must!

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My husband and I had the opportunity to take a sneak peek of the Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo before it opened in May. While the kids haven’t forgiven me for not taking them, my husband and I had a fantastic time!

Brick Safari features features over 40 sculptures on display for the first time in the United States . The sculptures are all of animals and most are built to scale (life-sized!) which means children can get a really great idea of size and scale of animals as they can get much closer to the brick tiger than a real one.

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For height reference, I’m 5’2″

Whether your kids are curious about the animals or about the builds each display will foster their curiosity and answer questions. They can learn how many bricks (Orangutan – 30,500 Penguin – 6,900) as well as how many hours (180 hours, 49 hours). They also learn facts about the animals, learn about how STEM skills from playing with bricks transfer to zoology and more!

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The animals are located along a winding wooded pathway where previous special exhibits have been held at the east side of the zoo. We have been to all of the last special exhibits as well as other LEGO sculpture displays and this was hands down our favorite. As we wondered the path my husband stopped and said, “even though I know where I am, that dog just totally startled me.”

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The details that are created with the bricks are awe-inspiring. I found myself zooming in and taking lots of pictures so my children could try to replicate them at home. They are also made out of recognizable bricks. You look at them, and you instantly say yes, those are the bricks I played with as a kid. There were very few specialized pieces and almost no modified parts, which is not something you see at all Adult Fans of LEGO® (AFOL) events.

Worried your kids will just want to touch and build and not just look at the LEGO bricks? No worries there is plenty of hands-on activities to keep them entertained. First, there is a seek-in-find to keep the kids on the lookout for baby penguins. When the pathway ends you will be in a tent that serves as both a gift shop and play area. There you will find STEM toys to try as well as bricks to build with and brick challenges. As a parent of littles, I’m sure you’ll want to rush through to avoid a meltdown over a purchase but don’t! Make sure you redirect them to the fish tank for one last awe-inspiring display.

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Know before you go:
– The exhibit has paved paths, and as a frequent guest with small children, I highly recommend bringing or renting a wagon or stroller.
– All of the sculptures are outside, the path is partially shaded, but you should dress for the weather.
– My experience with special exhibits is that weekday afternoons tend to be the least crowded, weekends the most.
– There is an additional fee for the Brick Safari of $5 for Adults and $3 for children and senior. Children under 2 are free, and zoo members receive half off admission.
– Brick Safari is open during regular zoo hours through September 29.

Print our Brick Safari Checklist before you go to help your kids find all the sculptures!

Does your kids think he’s an expert? Try our Brick Hunt Brick Finder for specific bricks used in the sculptures.

This is one special exhibit you won’t want to miss!

Brick Safari – Now through September 29
Brookfield Zoo 
8400 31st St., Brookfield
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Save on admission with Groupon or grab a museum pass from your library.


Disclosure: We received admission to Brookfield Zoo for an event.  No further compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Some links provided are affiliate links. We will earn a small commission on purchases made through these links to support the site. Thank you for clicking!

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About Melissa Haak 870 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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