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.

Important: Unless otherwise noted, please register for events by calling Cosley Zoo at 630.665.5534.




Live at the Zoo

Thursday, September 25 | 5:30-9pm | Cosley Zoo Front Lawn

Join the movement and help to support the over 300 animals, wildlife conservation efforts, and the more than 150,000 lives that are impacted by Cosley Zoo during the 2014 Live at the Zoo fundraiser.

Enjoy live entertainment by Underwater People and Michael Lynch on Cosley Zoo’s front lawn, explore exhibits after hours, partake in fun turtle races, raffles, and silent auction activities. Come with friends, wine and dine your business associates, entertain visiting guests, or reward your employees. Enjoy the Zoo after dark – it’s bound to be a wild night!

Casual attire appropriate for outdoor weather and flat shoes are suggested. In the event of severe weather the event may be canceled. Please consider your ticket purchase a donation to Cosley Zoo.

Tickets: $50/Person or $80/Couple* Purchase tickets now >

*Must be 21 years or older to attend.

Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 630.665.5534. Ticket includes access to live entertainment, two drink tickets, animal engagement opportunities, and signature tastes of dishes from local restaurants.

Michael Lynch

Underwater People


From the underwaterpeople.com website:

"Along with their public performances, Underwater People has entertained tens of thousands of people at hundreds of private events including; weddings, major corporate conventions, fundraisers and post-race parties for events such as the Chicago Marathon, the Shamrock Shuffle and the Chicago (world's largest) Triathlon (for 7 years in a row!). One of the band's most memorable performances was right on home plate at Wrigley Field!" More...


For more information about this event, please call 630.665.5534.









2014 Scarecrow Contest

Register By: September 25 | Scarecrows Accepted: September 24-October 1
Gather your family, friends, co-workers, and students, to join in scarecrow building fun as Cosley Zoo hosts the 2014 Scarecrow Contest during the zoo’s annual Pumpkin Fest! 

Contest is open to schools, families, individuals, businesses, scouts, and non-profit organizations. Scarecrows must be weather resistant and portray a family-friendly theme.  Scarecrows are to be delivered to Cosley Zoo between September 24 and October 1, 2014 from 9am-5pm.  Top scarecrow will be awarded a gift certificate. 

Fee: Only $25 per scarecrow

Download complete contest rules and registration form (PDF).











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.

For more information about this event, please call 630.665.5534.

Interested in partnering with us on this event? Click here.


Sponsored by:






Friday, October 24, 5:30-7P and 7-8:30P
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.

For more information about this event, please call 630.665.5534.

Interested in partnering with us on this event? Click here.





Festival of Lights and Tree Sales

November 28-December 30
A winter time 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 (11/28/14) and continue through December 30. The zoo is open 9A-9P daily; lights come on at 3P.  All proceeds support the zoo, its animals, programs and development. 

For more information about this event, please call 630.665.5534.



Christmas Tree Lane

Tree decorating to take place November 30-December 6, 2014
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!

For more information about this event, please call 630.665.5534.













Santa’s Craft Corner

Saturday, Nov. 29, Dec. 6 & 13, 10A-2P
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. 

For more information about this event, please call 630.665.5534.







Interested in sponsoring an event?

Please contact Sarah O’Donnell, Development Director, at 630-510-4986 or sodonnell@wheatonparks.org

Benefiting Cosley Zoo

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

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Décor Sponsor:

Participating Restaurants:

Scarecrow Contest

Pumpkin Fest


Festival of Lights and Tree Sales

Christmas Tree Lane

Santa's Craft Corner

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