Welcome to ZooLights! Tickets are required for all guests (including infants and children). All nights require tickets, including free admission nights. Choose your date using the calendar below, and thank you for supporting this Chicago holiday tradition! Your visit helps keep Lincoln Park Zoo free, and contributes to our animal care, conservation, and education work.
Free Admission Nights
$5 Admission Nights
Members: password is the first three digits of your member number.
The Chris White Trio Tribute to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Sunday, December 11, Two Shows: 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (Zoolights Open)
Tickets to ZooLights are $5 nightly from Tuesday through Sunday. Tickets are free each Monday. All dates require a ticket accompanied by a timed reservation.
All guests, including children and infants, must have a ticket to enter, including free nights.
ZooLights runs 4:30–10 p.m. nightly from November 19 through January 1, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Several dates are also reserved for special events. Special events may impact ZooLights hours. Free or $5 ZooLights dates are:
- November 19-23, 25-30
- December 2–14, 16–23, 26–31
- January 1
Members get perks at ZooLights, including two members-only free nights on November 18 and December 14. Not a member? Join now to get member access to ZooLights, plus discounts on special holiday events and savings on parking, souvenirs, and more!
- Tickets are available starting mid-October. Members get early access!
- Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. ZooLights will take place rain or shine.
- Tickets are required for all guests, including members and infants.
- Tickets are required on free nights.
Free Admission Nights
Free nights are back! On Mondays, November 21 and 28, and December 5, 12, 19, and 26, tickets are still required, but they are free.
Tickets for ZooLights attractions cost $4 for one ticket, $36 for 10 tickets, and $69 for 20 tickets. Tickets will be available to add to your Eventbrite ticket in advance. They will also be available at on-grounds ticket counters.
AT&T Endangered Species Carousel
Round and round you go! Hop aboard your favorite carousel animal: lion, seal, ostrich, and more! 1 ticket per person
Lionel Train Adventure
This short, family-friendly train ride near the West Gate entrance is perfect for little ones! 1 ticket per person
The crowd-favorite Ferris wheel is back in 2022! Glide above the lights and take in zoo, park and skyline views on this classic ride. Get your 3D Holospex® Glasses at this attraction. 2 tickets per person
Light Maze Presented by Invesco QQQ
Twist and turn through this year’s dazzling Light Maze, a safe, beautifully-lit path sure to rouse holiday spirits. Get your 3D Holospex® Glasses at this attraction. 1 ticket per person
S’mores at Snowy’s
Get toasty by a wood burning fire pit. 2 tickets per person
- Photos with Santa (through December 23)
- Hundreds of themed displays with 3D and LED lights all across zoo grounds
- Live ice carving (Fridays and Saturdays only)
- Roaming Christmas carolers (Sundays only, before Dec. 25)
- A holiday pop-up bar at Snowy’s Spirits & S’more
- Warm spiced wine, frosty beers, and festive drink specials
- Delicious holiday snacks
- Joyful gift shopping
- Exciting ticketed attractions
Light Up The Lawn
ZooLights’ Winter Wonderlawn is home to its most dazzling light show, with a thousands of LED lights set to a festive program and the tune of bright holiday music. When you purchase this experience, you “flip the switch” on the Winter Wonderlawn and kick off an evening of magic for all of that day’s ZooLights guests!
The cost for this experience is $250-$350. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for availability.
Proposals and Private Rentals
Thinking of popping the question? Or looking to host a private event at ZooLights? Unforgettable holiday packages are available for those wanting a unique way to celebrate the season with indoor/outdoor access, built-in safety infrastructure, and festive fun for corporate or social groups. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Thursday, December 1, ages 21+
Support Chicago’s free zoo with a craft brew at the fifth annual BrewLights, hosted by the Auxiliary Board of Lincoln Park Zoo. Guests will enjoy local craft, seasonal, and imported beers amidst the dazzle of millions of lights.
Tickets and details coming soon!
The Chris White Trio Tribute to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Sunday, December 11, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (two shows), all ages
Snap your fingers to this jazzy take on one of the season’s classic soundtracks. This event takes place at Café Brauer during ZooLights.
Adults Night Out: Holidaze!
Thursday, December 15, 6:30–10 p.m., ages 18+
This winter version of the zoo’s most popular event series gives adults exclusive access to walk around zoo grounds after hours with hot chocolate, mulled wine, or beer in hand. Come for the millions of holiday lights, stay for cash bars, and educational entertainment. Sound fabulous? Join us!
Frequently Asked Questions
When do tickets go on sale?
Tickets for Lincoln Park Zoo Members become available October 13 and tickets to the general public will be available October 20. Tickets for free admission Mondays will be released weekly on the Tuesday prior to the event date. All ticket links are slated to go live around 11 a.m. on their respective release dates. Find links to purchase tickets at lpzoo.org/zoolights.
Does my child need a ticket?
Yes, every individual in your party must have a ticket for entry, including infants, children, and Lincoln Park Zoo Members.
Is there a free evening?
Yes, Monday evenings offer free admission, but you must register for a free ticket on Eventbrite. You may reserve up to six (6) tickets per transaction.
Are tickets free for Members?
Regular ZooLights nights require $5 entry for everyone. However, Lincoln Park Zoo members and their guests get exclusive, free access to ZooLights on Friday, November 18, and Wednesday, December 14. Members must still register for tickets on Eventbrite for those nights. Not a member? Visit lpzoo.org/join to learn about membership benefits.
Will more tickets become available at a later date?
We suggest buying your tickets early as we cannot guarantee tickets will be available at a later date or at the event.
What time should I arrive at ZooLights?
Please check your PDF ticket to confirm your assigned entry time. You will have a 30-minute entry window. Please note that the confirmation email will indicate the night’s ZooLights operating hours but you should refer to your ticket for your designated entry time.
Is parking available?
Do I need to print my ticket?
Nope! All guests must show their ticket for entry to ZooLights, but you may do so on your mobile device via the emailed PDF, printed PDF, or through your Eventbrite app.
For the most efficient experience, please take a screenshot of your ticket in advance, and turn your phone’s brightness to the maximum when approaching the gate.
What if I am late or early for my 30-minute entry window?
Please arrive as close as possible to your designated time. We do understand that things happen, and will do our best to accommodate. In the event that this does happen, please be patient with our staff as they scan others in. We want everyone to have a wonderful experience.
Can I transfer the ticket to another date if I can’t make it?
Unfortunately not, but you can transfer the ticket to another person and purchase another date.
Where do I buy tickets for ZooLights attractions?
Tickets for the Light Maze Presented by Invesco QQQ, AT&T Endangered Species Carousel, the 65-foot Ferris wheel and Lionel Train Adventure can be purchased on zoo grounds during your visit. Locations include the Searle Visitor Center, the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel, Gift Shop and Lionel Train Adventure.
Can I download a program ahead of time?
Please do! Programs are only available digitally and it is recommended to download the program and map in advance. Visit lpzoo.org/zoolights to access both.
Are masks required?
Lincoln Park Zoo follows CDC, city, and state public health guidelines for outdoor events. Please wear a face covering inside the animal buildings as the impacts of COVID-19 on many species is still unknown.
What if it rains/snows during ZooLights?
ZooLights takes place rain or shine. Please dress accordingly.
What are sensory-friendly visit times?
Lincoln Park Zoo is offering one sensory-friendly ZooLights evening on November 29 from 4:30-10 p.m. Tickets are $5. During this evening, all blinking or moving lights will remain static or turned off. Music will be turned off, or turned to a low volume, as well. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
What is Light Up the Lawn and how much does it cost?
Each evening at 4:30 p.m., Lincoln Park Zoo offers a guest, sponsor, or partner the opportunity to “flip the switch” on the Candyland Light Show Sponsored by UChicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital on the Winter Wonderlawn. This is a fun, paid experience that makes a great gift, fun family gathering, corporate event or proposal—and an even better photo/video op! For more information on availability and pricing, contact email@example.com.
Where can I take my photo with Santa?
You can take a photo with Santa in Helen Brach Primate House nightly from 4:30–8:30 p.m. through December 23 before he returns to the North Pole.
Will I see animals?
Most outdoor and indoor habitats will be open for viewing during ZooLights. However, some buildings and areas may be closed at various times throughout the season for animal care needs or private events. Animals at Lincoln Park Zoo have access to behind-the-scenes spaces and can choose where to spend their time and if they’d like to be in view of guests.
What are the age restrictions for this event?
ZooLights is an all-ages event. However, all guests must have a ticket—including infants and children.
Can I purchase tickets at the door?
All tickets must be purchase by guests at lpzoo.org/zoolights or via EventBrite. Lincoln Park Zoo will not have staff or kiosks for selling tickets at event gates.
What can’t I bring to ZooLights?
Food and alcohol purchased outside the zoo is prohibited, along with firearms or weapons of any kind. Smoking or vaping tobacco and cannabis are also prohibited for the health and safety of our animals and visitors. Pets are not allowed at the zoo, but service animals are welcome. Learn more at lpzoo.org/accessibility.
Lincoln Park Zoo’s Code of Conduct can be found here.
Can I bring a group of people to ZooLights?
Unfortunately, there are no special ticketing options for large groups. Groups of all sizes are welcome to book tickets in batches of 6 (free admission nights) or 10 (paid nights) via Eventbrite. Groups can also rent a space at the zoo and enjoy a private area with catering options. To book a rental, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a question about ZooLights. Who should I contact?
Would you like to sponsor ZooLights? Email email@example.com.
Interested in a hosting a private event during ZooLights? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have accessibility needs and would like assistance buying a ticket? Email email@example.com.
Other questions or issues not listed here? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.