Brookfield Zoo Celebrates New PBS Show Nature Cat & the 15th Birthday of the Hamill Family Play Zoo

Brookfield Zoo Celebrates Nature Cat, 15th birthday

With the warm weather we’re having now it’s hard to believe that it was SO cold just last weekend. We braved the cold to spend the day at Brookfield Zoo and meet PBS star Nature Cat.

Nature Cat images

Nature Cat is an animated show on PBS featuring a house cat named Fred. When Fred’s family leaves for the day, Fred becomes Nature Cat, “backyard explorer extraordinaire”. Nature doesn’t always feel totally natural to a house cat, but Nature Cat overcomes his fear. With the help of other animals, Nature Cat has lots of adventures and enjoys exploring nature.

Nature Cat made a special appearance this weekend at the Hamill Family Play Zoo in Brookfield Zoo, meeting with fans, taking photos, and offering souvenirs and crafts to many families. After our photos with Nature Cat, and trying out our new Nature Cat binoculars and magnifying glass, we spent some time at the craft table making a special bird feeder to hang on a tree outside out house.


We spent at least half of our visit to Brookfield Zoo in the Hamill Family Play Zoo. The kids met some animals, including a rooster, did some craft projects, played in several different areas, and even got in the mood for Hippo Day (February 15) by playing in the mud!



Sunday was FREEze Day at Brookfield Zoo, so we also got to see a dog sled demonstration. We visited several of our favorite exhibits at the zoo; luckily a lot of our favorites are indoors so we didn’t have to spend much time out in the cold.


2016 is the 15th birthday of the Hamill Family Play Zoo, and to celebrate they’ll be partying on the 15th of each month throughout the year, with an extra big celebration on June 15, 2016. Each month with feature a different zoo staff member representing the activity areas in the play zoo.

  • Monday, February 15: Carpenters
  • Tuesday, March 15: Groundkeepers
  • Friday, April 15: Education and Zoo Writers
  • Sunday, May 15: Education
  • Wednesday, June 15: The Big Birthday Party! More details to come
  • Friday, July 15: Zookeepers and Veterinarians
  • Monday, August 15: TBA
  • Thursday, September 15: Groundkeepers
  • Saturday, October 15: Education
  • Tuesday, November 15: Volunteers
  • Thursday, December 15: TBA

Brookfield Zoo is offering FREE admission on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays through February 28, 2016.

While you’re there you should also visit Wild Encounters, which just opened last year and offers the opportunity to get up close (and maybe even touch) some animals. Read about our visit to Wild Encounters.

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