Play Partner (Seasonal)

Brookfield Zoo - Brookfield, IL4.2

Pay rate $15.75 per hour. High school diploma or (GED) equivalent required. The Play Partner (Seasonal) contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by facilitating play experiences in the Hamill Family Play Zoo for children, newborns to age 10, to provide fun and meaningful ways of connecting children with animals and nature and to provide adults with the approaches and encouragement to help children develop caring attitudes towards the natural world in support of the Society’s mission.

In July 2001, Chicago Zoological Society embarked on creating a revolutionary zoo experience for families. The result is Hamill Family Play Zoo, an interactive play adventure filled with animals, plants, and people that engages children and families helping to develop caring attitudes towards the natural world. The Play Zoo lets children touch animals, paint murals, plant gardens, discover insects and so much more. It is an amazingly fun way to connect with nature. With approximately 300 individual animals representing 58 species, children also have an opportunity to connect with a variety of animals in a unique setting.

Primary duties and responsibilities:
Facilitate play with children, aged birth-10, including holding live animals, in both indoor and outdoor settings, as assigned.
Set up, disperse, and clean up materials on a daily basis in both indoor and outdoor settings as assigned; responsible for the care and proper use of equipment and property.
Attend meetings and training sessions as assigned.
Provide assistance to volunteers as directed.
Other related duties as assigned.

Position Requirements and Specifications

This position includes the following requirements:
High school diploma or (GED) equivalent required.
Minimum three months experience in any of the following areas required: facilitation of play, art, drama, music, or other creative activities; working with and/or supervising adult and youth volunteers; Early Childhood Education; or other educational and/or recreational experience with children aged birth-10.
Must have excellent customer service skills and/or demonstrated ability to work with the public effectively.
Must have strong ability to communicate effectively with children of diverse backgrounds ages birth-10 and their caregivers.
Must be an energetic and flexible team player and able to work in a fast-paced environment.
Must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written.
Must be able to read, write and speak the English language proficiently.
Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.

The preferred qualifications:
Minimum one year of college or equivalent combination of training and experience preferred including coursework in Science, Fine Arts, Drama, Early Childhood Education, Environmental Education, or directly related field or subjects.
Experience in a zoo, aquarium, museum, nature center, or art studio environment a plus.
Some basic computer literacy required, with experience in Microsoft Outlook preferred.
Creative skills/abilities such as musician, actor, dancer, artist, gardener, farmer, naturalist, craftsman, costumer designer/seamstress or other skills relevant to the exhibit experience are a plus.
Bilingual in Spanish, Polish, or a language other than English is a plus.

Additional Information: Must represent the Society in a professional, courteous manner at all times. Must have a genuine interest in nature and animals. Must be willing and able to learn play facilitation skills. Must work non-standard hours, including a flexible schedule with rotating days, including regular weekends, holidays and evening work, as needed. This seasonal position requires a creative and imaginative individual. Incumbent is expected to incorporate knowledge of the Chicago Zoological Society and the Society’s mission, vision and values into daily operations and job responsibilities. Incumbent is also expected to become familiar with and follow all Society policies and departmental procedures. Position requires ongoing training and continuing education. This is a temporary position.

Additional Information

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Schedule Details

This temporary position requires the ability to work non-standard hours including a flexible schedule with rotating days, including regular weekends, holidays and evening work, as needed.

Job LocationChicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo
Zip Code


DepartmentHamill Family Play Zoo (Education

Conservation, Education & Training

Union StatusNon-Union
Work Shift

Any 5 out of 7 days/week