BROOKFIELD – December is Holiday Magic time at Brookfield Zoo. This special season is in its 32nd year.
This week, today through Tuesday, is the last of the programs for 2013. The "magic" takes place from 4 to 9 p.m.
A number of performances are being offered for guests' enjoyment. Those hurrying into their vehicles for today's shows will find Those Funny Little People at 6 p.m., McNulty Irish Dancers at 7, and Village of Orland Park Dance Company at 8.
The rest of the schedule at the Holly Jolly Theater is:
• Saturday: 5 p.m. DancEncounters, 6 p.m. Legacy Dance Ensemble, 7 p.m. Those Funny Little People, and 8 p.m. Immanuel Lutheran Church Choir.
• Sunday: 5 p.m. Mundelein Park District Dance, 6 p.m. Those Funny Little People, 7 p.m. West Chicago Performing Company, and 8 p.m. Varieties Music Team.
• Monday: 5 p.m. Mexico en la Piel, 6 p.m. Those Funny Little People, and 7 p.m. Artfull Worship Experience.
• Tuesday: 5 p.m. Those Funny Little People; 6 p.m. Zoo Year's Eve, and 8 p.m. Zoo Year's Eve countdown.
Outside, lights will dazzle and amaze. A laser show on screen will be shown at the zoo's west mall every half hour from 5 to 8:30 p.m. There are 450 decorated trees and 50 corporate trees to be discovered, too.
Adding to the festive air, animal exhibits will be open, and guests can join in the carols of the Season's Greetings professional carolers at 5:30 p.m. with the camels, 6:30 p.m with the big cats, and 7 p.m. with the bears.
Those who would enjoy picking up a few facts about the animals in the zoo, can make plans to attend Zoo Chats. Look for the zookeepers at 5 p.m. with the crocodiles, 5:30 p.m. with reptiles; 6 p.m. with the bears; 6:30 p.m. with lemurs, 7 p.m. with rhinos, and 7:30 p.m. with the big cats.
If all these activities bring on hunger, then take advantage of the food places, which also will be open.
For anyone who would like to greet the New Year differently this year, joining the early countdown at the zoo Tuesday is the way to go, especially for a child-friendly celebration. The action starts at 6 p.m. and includes music, giveaways, and games. At 8 p.m., the countdown will start at the Hamill Family Play Zoo complete with noisemakers, which the younger children can create.
So don't let the snow freeze New Year's plans. Bear or buffalo with it at the zoo.