ZooLights Are Shining

It’s time again for one of my favorite sights of the season—Lincoln Park Zoo lit up in millions of lights.

President and CEO Kevin Bell shares his favorite sight of the season--Lincoln Park Zoo lit up in millions of lights.

ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Charter One continues this weekend, lighting up from 5–9 p.m. Friday through Sunday. In addition to the lights, this fun, free event features nightly ice carving, holiday crafts and visits with Santa. You can even warm up with a little hot chocolate…or spiced wine, if that’s more to your liking.

Beyond the lights, which are spectacular, the event also gives visitors a chance to see some of the zoo’s animals after hours. If you’ve never seen the Hoffmann’s two-toed sloths at Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House, ZooLights is a perfect opportunity. This nocturnal species moves throughout its exhibit at night.

Similarly, you can get a look at Kwan’s gorilla troop bedding down for the evening with the two new babies. If the group is sleeping, though, please don’t try to rouse them. You may remember what it’s like to have an infant in the house…

ZooLights will run Friday to Sunday until December 26, at which point we’ll leave the lights on every night until January 6. You may have seen this event in the news; I hope you can make it to see it yourself.

Kevin Bell


When did the tradition begin?

Hi Kevin, I hope to hear back from you. I was trying to find this info all over the web, but no one is talking about it. When were the first lights hung in the zoo, and when did com-ed and Charter One begin this awesome tradition? Hoping to find a little history on the subject. Thanks!

Great Question

Per our records, ZooLights began in 1995. It was a pay event until 2003, at which point it became free for everyone--just like the zoo! ComEd signed on as a partner in 2003, and Charter One added their support in 2007.

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