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Whether it's your first time or a return to an annual tradition, a visit to WildLights this year will bring more lights, more animals and more fun to your holidays! You might say there are more than 600,000 sparkling reasons to come to WildLights, but what other activities can you look forward to during your visit? Here are the Top 10 experiences you just can't miss at WildLights this year! 

Let it glow, let it glow, let it glow

More than 600,000 energy-efficient LED lights will recreate wild animals and wild places in two and three dimensions along the zoo’s pathways and North Meadow. An animated display of nature’s wonder will be woven into the zoo’s famous greenery inspired by exotic destinations from across the globe.


Have an indoor snowball fight in Snowmazium

Family winter fun! Build a snow creature, hear a snow story—and watch out, a snowball fight can break out at any time!


Take a night ride on the carousel

The festively lit carousel is open nightly for WildLights guests ($2 per ride) 


Meet the reindeer

Stop by the north end of the zoo to meet two special visitors exclusively for WildLights guests, a pair of reindeer! Look for the reindeer shelter nearby the zoo's Historic Carousel.


Get your photo with Santa

Santa and his reindeer have returned to the North Pole!

Santa will stop by WildLights every Friday through Sunday prior to Christmas as well as December 21 through 23. Head to the reindeer barn where Santa will greet his reindeer at 5:45 p.m. and then continue on over to Santa’s Camp to meet the jolly old fella and get your holiday photo with him. 


Creatures are stirring

While the zoo’s animals will be tucked in for the night, the Day Exhibit, a showcase of reptiles and amphibians, will be open, offering another indoor venue for the chilly evenings. The north portion of the Adaptations Building will be open for guests to view meerkats and nocturnal animals such as sloths and Indian flying foxes.

Experience WildLights Friday through Sunday and enjoy a live animal presentation at 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. 


Mmmm: Beer and Wine Garden, chowder, hot donuts and more

The new Holiday Beer and Wine Garden will be open at the southwest corner of the Rain Forest Food Pavilion every night. Guests 21 and older can enjoy a selection of beer, wine and mulled wine while cozying-up under the covered space.

Fill up with dinner options including a hot bowl of chowder and pizza, and warm up with winter favorites including hot chocolate and fresh, hot donuts. 

Amelia Wells

Go on a scavenger hunt

A flock of peacock-themed lights is scattered across zoo grounds, flooding WildLights in brilliant rays this year. If you can find and name them all, you can enter to win a weekly prize drawing!


Shop the ZooStore for holiday gifts

Don't miss out on the most unique gifts you can find for the animal lovers in your pack! Pick up nature-inspired holiday decor and gifts for all ages at the ZooStore and outpost locations.

Find more zoo holiday gift ideas


Enjoy the spirit of the season

Listen for the songs of carolers ringing through the zoo each evening and get into the spirit!

Whether you are starting up, diving into, or wrapping up your holiday season with a visit to WildLights, you can't help but feel joyful when you're here.