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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 Sale in December.

Busy Bunny Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 13 | 5-6:30P

Join us for a visit with the Easter Bunny, activities, animal visits, and after-hours access to the zoo. Egg dashes will be available for children ages 2-10. Pre-registration is required.

Check-in begins at 4:30P with activities starting at 5P. All activities and access to tour the zoo will be available between 5-6:30P.

The event is held outdoors so please dress appropriately for the weather.

Copyright/photo credit: Kmiecik Imagery

Party for the Planet

Saturday, April 27 | 10A-2P

Join us as we take part in the largest combined Earth Day celebration in North America with more than 100 other zoos and aquariums. Visit with representatives from businesses and conservation organizations and learn about a wide variety of conservation efforts related to nature and wildlife.

Party for the Planet activities are free with zoo admission.

Endangered Species Day

Saturday, May 18 | 10A-2P

Come to Cosley Zoo to learn more about endangered species in Illinois and around the world. Learn about Cosley Zoo’s efforts to protect the Illinois endangered Blanding’s turtle, and how you and your family can make a difference for some of these amazing animals.

Endangered Species Day activities are free with zoo admission.

Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals
5K/10K and 1/2-Mile Race Event

June 1, 2019 | Downtown Wheaton
5K/10K Race Start: 7:30A | Kids’ ½ Mile Race Start 8:45A

Support Cosley Zoo by participating in one of the Chicago suburbs’ largest and most popular 5K/10K runs!


5K/10KSuper Early Bird

$35until 4/30/2019
  • Packet Pick Up & Race Day Pricing: $45

5K/10KEarly Bird

$405/1/2019 to 5/28/2019
  • Packet Pick Up & Race Day Pricing: $45

Kids’ ½ MileEarly Bird

$15until 5/28/2019
  • Packet Pick Up & Race Day Pricing: $20
Run for the Animals slideshow opens on (link opens in new window)
Run for the Animals 2018 Slideshow


  • Race shirt for the first 2,500 runners (sizes available on a first-come, first-served basis at packet pick up and race day)
  • New in 2019 – All participants receive a finisher medal!
  • Chip-timed race results. The Kids’ ½ Mile is an untimed fun run.
  • Party in the Park post-race party and awards ceremony. Includes complimentary beverage (must be 21+ with valid ID for beer).


Thursday, May 30, 2019 8A-8P at the Wheaton Park District Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard St.


Pair of running shoes awarded to first place overall male and female finishers in the 5K and 10K courtesy of Dick Pond Athletics. Second and third place overall male and female finishers in the 5K and 10K will receive Dick Pond Gift Cards.

Age category awards are given to the top three male and female finishers per category in both the 5K and 10K: 14 & under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80 & up

All runners will receive a finisher medal at the finish line.

The overall winners are determined by gun time and age group winners by chip time per Chicago Area Runners Association guidelines.



The course is USATF certified (#IL14055JW, #IL14054JW)
The Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals is certified by the Chicago Area Runner’s Association.
The 10K course is part of the Chicago Area Runner’s Association Circuit Series.

CARA logo is linked to website (opens in new window)
CARA logo is linked to website (opens in new window)
CARA logo is linked to website (opens in new window)


2019 Cosley Run FAQ (PDF)

Please contact Race Director Michelle Artis with race questions at 630.510.5135 or at


Presenting Sponsor

Interested in sponsoring an event?

Please contact:

Margie Wilhelmi
Director of Marketing

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