Summer Entertainment at Brookfield Zoo’s Summer Nights Features 18 Evenings of Festive Fun

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Looking for something to do this Summer? Spend the evenings at Brookfield Zoo for the zoo’s 4th annual Summer Nights, presented by Meijer. On Fridays and Saturdays from June 16 through August 12, guests of all ages are welcome to enjoy a variety of live music and roaming kids’ entertainment, as well as enhanced dining experiences, a beer and wine garden, animal encounters, and a spectacular laser light show closing out each evening. Summer Nights from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. will have something for everyone, whether it’s families, friends, or couples on a date night.

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Come on out and enjoy the Acoustic opening acts will get the night rollin’ at 4:00 p.m. Then popular local and national bands of all genres will take the main stage at 7:00 p.m. Zoogoers can bring lawn chairs or blankets and relax on the East Mall while taking in the sounds of the following bands:

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Friday, June 16 – The namesake of the Gina Glocksen Band is best known as the 9th place finalist of the 6th season of the megahit television show American Idol. Although Gina was often referred to as the ”rocker chick,’” her musical influences and abilities range far beyond the realm of rock.
Saturday, June 17In the Valley Below is an adventurous indie rock duo that melds art rock, squelchy synth pop, and woozy blues into something you won’t want to miss.
Friday, June 23Ear Candy specializes in performing favorite dance hits from the past 40 years and is one of Chicago’s hottest dance band sensations. Like a great radio station, Ear Candy effortlessly shifts between dance floor smashes by artists such as Usher, Rihanna, Prince, Pink, Michael Jackson, Enrique Iglesias, Justin Timberlake, the Bee Gees, Taio Cruz, INXS, Earth, Wind & Fire, KC and the Sunshine Band, the Commodores, and the Black Eyed Peas without missing a beat. The result is a continuous mix of high-energy songs that are as danceable as they are instantly recognizable.
Saturday, June 24 Jimmy Nick & Don’t Tell Mama is an old-fashioned, guitar-slinging blues prodigy who spent his teenage years being schooled by legendary bluesmen in the famous Chicago clubs of Kingston Mines, Rosa’s Lounge, and B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted Street.
Friday, June 30Keith Anderson could be the poster child for the notion that good things happen to good people. He’s quickly earned the reputation of being an adept writer of award-nominated hits, not just for his own projects but also for other artists. His good guy persona is as widely known as his high energy.
Saturday, July 1RockStar Rodeo is more than just your average country band and a lot more than just your ordinary rock show. These guys and gal deliver one of the most high-energy performances in the Midwest and have recently expanded much of their musical repertoire by delivering not only the best in top 40 country but also many of the timeless rock classics from the 80s through today. A nonstop show with crowd interaction that is second to none. One minute you’ll feel the energy as the crowd sways their hands side to side while singing “Wagon Wheel,” and the next minute, they’re playing the air guitar to an ageless hit like “You Shook Me All Night Long.”
Friday, July 7Sixteen Candles, which was established in 2003, makes it their personal duty and pleasure to bring all the great ‘80s songs audiences love to life in full force. The members are five fun-loving guys with a simple passion for the music of years gone by and a mission to fuse nostalgia and style to create a sight/sound spectacular unlike any other.
Saturday, July 8We Are Scientists, a NYC-based indie rock band, puts the FUN in funk with their captivating performances and unique style.
Friday, July 14Indika Reggae – Born in Jamaica, Courtney Panton joined Indika Reggae in 1997. Under his leadership, the band has performed extensively throughout the Midwest and has backed an array of top reggae acts, including Gregory Isaacs, Everton Blender, Frankie Paul, Ritchie Spice, Richie Stevens, Christopher Martin, Luciano, and Gramps Morgan, to name just a few.
Saturday, July 15YellowHammers began writing as a trio in 1994 when Terry White (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Rob Pierce (vocals, guitar), and Kevin James (bass, vocals) left Los Angeles and regrouped in Chicago. It was here that they honed a new sound, as well as found two additional members in Phil Levin (drums) and Tom Kneesel (pedal steel, guitar). The melodies that resulted revealed a musical influence from Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones, with lyrical influence from Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, and Lou Reed. With each new track, the YellowHammers are adding to a rich catalog of scenes and landscapes teeming with characters that are confused, lost, fallen, sincere, honorable, and salvaged on the shoulders of each other.
Friday, July 21American English is simply the best Beatle tribute story of our time. At the inception of the band, thousands of Beatle fans at Beatlefest® voted them “number one” as winners of soundalike contests for three consecutive years. They have also won Illinois Entertainer of the Year and have been voted Best Tribute Band three of the last four years by their fans in Chicagoland. Their demand here and abroad, coupled with their spectacular fan base, has anchored them into a professional setting and launched them into larger venues and theatres worldwide.
Saturday, July 22The Main Squeeze formed in 2010 at Indiana University. The band began selling out clubs to frenzied college students in just a few short months. Their captivating live performances have since earned them a devoted national following and even caught the interest of legendary producer Randy Jackson, who produced their latest album, Mind Your Head. The dynamic five-piece is currently based in Los Angeles.
Friday, July 28Brass Buckle Band is Chicagoland’s premier country-rock band! Young, highly energetic, and very talented, this group of musicians has been compared to the likes of major touring acts such as Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Toby Keith, and many others. Brass Buckle Band is not just any live concert; it is a live musical experience!
Saturday, July 29 – One Moment From Glory (or OMFG) is a Chicago-based Top 40 cover band that always brings the party. Formed in 2011, OMFG has been getting the crowd dancing and partying with their unforgettable, high-energy performances.
Friday, August 4Hello Weekend takes audiences to a whole new level, not only with their incomparable style and sound but also by performing today’s biggest chart-topping hits and recreating them flawlessly. Be it Pitbull, Bieber, Rihanna, Gaga, the newest song out, or that one song that you can’t seem to get out of your head, Hello Weekend will definitely have you singing along and wanting more. One of the newest cover bands to hit Chicago, Hello Weekend has had the opportunity to perform at some of the city’s greatest stages (House of Blues, Cubby Bear, etc.).
Saturday, August 5 – House Party brings to the zoo acclaimed Chicagoland award-winning DJs who will have the crowd on their feet dancing to tunes all night long.
Friday, August 11Hi Infidelity rocks the hits from the ‘80s and today: Journey, Bon Jovi, REO Speedwagon, and Boston, to name a few, along with some Buckcherry, Daughtry, Maroon 5, and even Bruno Mars, among today’s hits. The band was voted as the Best Rock Cover Band and Best Male Vocalist multiple times, and Bobby Scumaci has been voted Best Keyboardist in a local magazine’s Annual Readers Poll. A Hi Fi show is a total concert experience; the band prides itself on recreating the songs as you know them and boasts the best harmonies around.
Saturday, August 12Dishwalla is a platinum-selling, award-winning alternative rock band with a career spanning more than two decades. After taking a break for several years, the band reformed in 2008 with original members Rodney Browning Cravens on guitar, Scot Alexander on bass, George Pendergast on drums, Jim Wood on keyboards, and Justin Fox as lead vocalist.

Summer Nights is included with the purchase of general admission: $19.85 for adults and $14.50 for children ages 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Parking is $12. Guests who arrive after 4:00 p.m. for Summer Nights will receive $2 off admission and $6 off parking. Special value pricing also includes a choice of one free attraction: Butterflies!, The Carousel, Dolphins In Action (6:00 p.m.), Hamill Family Play Zoo (closes at 6:00 p.m.), Hamill Family Wild Encounters, or Dinos & Dragons.

Discounted zoo admission tickets may also be purchased at any Chicagoland Meijer store throughout the year.

For additional information about Summer Nights,

visit CZS.org/SummerNights or call (708) 688-8000.

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LIVE MUSIC

KIDS ENTERTAINMENT

ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

SPECTACULAR LASER LIGHT SHOWS

So much great entertainment to see weekend after weekend. I can’t wait to share this with family and friends and meet up for the fabulous entertainment. I had friends that went last year and they said that they had a great time. I’m always in for a great time.

Entertainment for the youngsters will take place each evening at 6:00 p.m. at the Kids’ Stage, presented by JULIE, Inc., Family-friendly acts include music, juggling and acrobatics, magic shows, and puppet and clown performances. Additional entertainers will mingle and engage guests in fun-filled roaming routines.

For those wanting to get up close to animals, the zoo’s animal ambassadors will be making appearances between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. Several animal exhibits and other in-park attractions (some require separate admission) will also be open until 8:30 p.m. These include Butterflies!, The Carousel, Clouded Leopard Rain Forest, Dolphin Underwater Viewing, The Fragile Desert, Hamill Family Wild Encounters, Pinniped Point, The Swamp, and the zoo’s summer exhibit, Dinos & Dragons.

Guests who work up an appetite can choose from a wide selection of scrumptious food and beverage items prepared exclusively for Summer Nights. Restaurants open late during the festivities include the Beer Garden, Castaway Grill, South Snacks, BZ Red Hots, and All American Popcorn.

Brookfield Zoo is located in Brookfield, IL at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.

I was not compensated for this post. I was sent details by the Brookfield zoo PR Rep and kindly shared details for my readers. Hope you enjoy the Summer. IF you went last year and enjoyed the day I’d love to hear about it. Please share in comments below . Thanks so much

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5 Responses

  1. Sarah L says:

    We have great summer concerts at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

  2. Cynthia R says:

    What a fun event, I wish I lived by to go. Looks packed too!

  3. Sarah L says:

    Looks like lots of fun. Too bad I live 1200 miles away…

  4. Janet W. says:

    What a ton of great events throughout the summer! I’d love to attend some of them!

  5. shelly peterson says:

    Sounds like a great place to visit. They have some great Summer events planned.