Special Events

Cosley Zoo hosts a variety of events every year, including the popular Run for the Animals in June and The Festival of Lights & Christmas Tree Sales in December.


35th Annual Run for the Animals

5K – 10K – 1/2-Mile Zippity Zoo | One of the Chicago Suburbs’ Largest 5K/10K Runs

Saturday, June 4, 2016 | Memorial Park, Wheaton | Race Start: 5K/10K – 7:30am; 1/2-Mile – 8:45am

Thank you to everyone who participated, volunteered and/or supported this year’s Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals!.

We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Race Results

5K Race Results
10K Race Results

Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals PhotoGallery
2016 Run for the Animals image gallery.

The Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals 10K is a CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit Race

CARA Runners' Choice Circuit Races Logo

For more information, please visit: www.cararuns.org



Supported by:

Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals logo

Race Wheaton Run Package available for purchase at active.com site

paws for breakfast

June 4 | 7-10am
Mary Lubko Center
208 W. Union, Wheaton

Proceeds benefit Cosley Zoo.

Cooked & served by:
arrowhead restaurant and bar

Supported by:

Gerald Subaru
Art Pape – Foundation President

Bentley Thursday’s

Thursdays, June 16, 23, 30 and July 7, 14 | 11 am-Noon

Look for Cosley Zoo’s mascot, Bentley the Bobcat, during his Thursday morning strolls around the zoo!

  • Regular admission rates apply

bentley the bobcat

Zoo Nightlife!

Friday, June 17; rain date June 24 | 7-10 pm

Ever wonder what it’s like at Cosley Zoo after dark? Zoo Nightlife will include family activities, animal encounters, a guided zoo night hike and lots of family fun complete with a campfire and s’mores!

Preregistration is requested.

  • $6 ages 2-12;
  • $9.00 ages 13-Adult;
  • Free for those under the age of 2


zoo nightlife

Cosley Zoo-vie Series: Kung Fu Panda 3

This is a free, members-only event!

Friday, July 8 | 8-10 pm | Cosley Zoo Front Lawn

Bring blankets, camp chairs, etc. for seating on the front lawn. In the event of rain the screening will be moved indoors.

This is a member’s only event, please bring your membership card and photo ID for admission.

Reservations are recommended.


Not a member?
Sign up now and join us for the movie. Use promo code PANDA and save $5 on membership.


(L-R) Po (voiced by Jack Black) and his long-lost panda father Li (voiced by Bryan Cranston) pose for a portrait in DreamWorks Animation’s KUNG FU PANDA 3.

Cosley Zoo Uncorked Wine Tasting

Thursday, July 21, 2016 | 5:30-8:00 pm | Cosley Zoo

Enjoy an evening of wine, appetizers, live music, complimentary chair massages, and a chance to win terrific raffle prizes – all to benefit Cosley Zoo!


$40 per person / $75 per couple


Supported by:

Cosley Classic Golf Outing

Monday, August 1, 2016 | 10:30 AM to 8:00 PM (CDT) | Arrowhead Golf Club

Enjoy a day on the beautiful Arrowhead Golf Club in support of the Cosley Foundation. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, lunch, steak dinner, on-course drinks, gimmick holes, raffle, and silent auction.


Interested in supporting this event? Please view the Sponsorship Opportunities Packet (PDF) and/or contact TJ Hicks, Cosley Foundation Director of Development at 630.210.2875 or at tjhicks@wheatonparks.org.


Supported by:ClassicSponsors

Jan Kiebler


classic logo_Opt1

Minion Day

Thursday, August 11 | 10 am-Noon

Go bananas with the Minions! Come out to Cosley Zoo and meet the Minions. Don’t forget your camera!

  • Regular admission rates apply


Pumpkin Fest

October 1-31

Taking in the beautiful fall colors at Cosley Zoo is a must do! Come see the animals in the crisp fall air, listen to the squeals of excitement from the children conquering the straw pyramid or finding their way through the corn stalk tunnel, and take in the thousands of pumpkins scattered on the zoo’s lawn.

Apples, gourds, pumpkins, cider, cornstalks, and various sizes of straw bales are available to purchase. Be sure and check out the fall merchandise in the Wild Side Gift Shop, too. Proceeds from your purchases benefit Cosley Zoo.

  • Regular admission rates apply

pumpkin fest


Friday, October 28 | 5:30-7 pm and 7-8:30 pm

Don’t miss this fall festival full of Halloween fun! Come dressed in costume to enjoy loads of activities. Take a stroll through our “not so scary” straw maze, a gander around the spooky pond path, meet live animals, carve or decorate a pumpkin, play games, enjoy refreshments and make crafts. Stop at various stations along the Trick or Treat Trek to collect your supply of holiday goodies.

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited, so register early. Non-refundable payment is due at the time of registration.

Cosley Zoo member fees –

  • $7 ages 3-14;
  • $4 ages 15-adult;
  • Free ages 2 and under

Non-zoo member fees –

  • $10 ages 3-14;
  • $5 ages 15-Adult;
  • Free ages 2 and under


Festival of Lights and Tree Sales

November 25-December 30

A winter visit to Cosley Zoo has become a family tradition for many. Make sure it is one of yours! Cosley Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with 20,000 twinkling lights creating spectacular displays, an amazing selection of Christmas trees for you to purchase, hot chocolate, and holiday gifts. The Festival of Lights and Tree Sales begin the day after Thanksgiving (11/25/16) and continue through December 30. The zoo is open 9 am-9 pm daily; lights come on at 3 pm. All proceeds support the zoo, its animals, programs and development.

  • Zoo Admissions is free during the Festival of Lights and Tree Sales. Donations are greatly appreciated.
  • Cosley Zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
  • Cosley Zoo is open 9A-Noon on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

christmas tree

Christmas Tree Lane

Gather together your scout group, friends, coworkers or family members to help decorate Cosley Zoo for the holidays! We provide a lit five foot tree and you provide wildlife-friendly ornaments and imagination. Trees are displayed through December. Payment is due upon reservation; trees are limited so call today!

  • $45/ tree
  • Limit 35 trees
  • Trees decorating to take place November 27-December 3


Santa’s Craft Corner

Saturday Nov. 26, Dec. 3, 10 | 10 am-2 pm

Can’t make it to the North Pole? Do the next best thing and come to Cosley Zoo where you can see Santa AND the animals! While visiting Santa, make a craft or two and enjoy refreshments.

  • $5/ family donation
  • $3 for printed photo with Santa

Interested in sponsoring an event?

Please contact Margie Wilhelmi, Director of Marketing, at 630-510-4984 or mwilhelmi@wheatonparks.org.


Benefiting Cosley Zoo

Proceeds from all events support Cosley Zoo and its activities, including educational programs and wildlife conservation.