Select Dates: November 19–January 2. View the calendar of ZooLights dates below. Click to buy tickets or browse for special events.
$5 Admission Nights
Members: password is the first three digits of your member number.
Chicago’s favorite holiday tradition is back and better than ever in 2021 with our new Pepper Family Wildlife Center at the heart of the zoo, a new holiday lights experience on our Main Mall, and an exciting new light show on our South Lawn. Also new this year: sensory-friendly visit times and an impressive 18-foot holiday tree sure to inspire festive oohs and aahs.
ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Invesco QQQ is a cheerful, family-friendly holiday event in the heart of the city.
This year’s ZooLights will again feature hundreds of luminous LED displays and seasonal experiences, all under the glow of millions of lights.
Social Narrative for ZooLights
A social narrative is available to help guests with cognitive and sensory processing disabilities prepare for their zoo visit. This addresses what to expect, zoo rules, safety information, and situations guests might encounter.
Sensory-Friendly Nights at ZooLights
ZooLights will have limited capacity again this year. Tickets are required. Monday and Tuesday nights are free and Wednesday-Sunday tickets are $5.
- All guests (including infants) must have a ticket.
- Nightly capacity is limited to foster a safe and enjoyable guest experience, meaning more space to enjoy the beautiful lights with your family and friends!
Tickets to ZooLights on Mondays and Tuesdays are free! Capacity is limited.
- Nov. 22 & 23
- Nov. 29 & 30
- Dec. 6 & 7
- Dec. 14
- Dec. 20 & 21
- Dec. 27 & 28
Friday, November 19, and Monday, December 13, from 4-10 p.m.
Lincoln Park Zoo members and their guests get exclusive access to a free night of ZooLights, including a preview of the festivities before gates open to the public. Please note that only zoo members and their guests may enter the zoo on these dates. While complimentary, member registration is required.
Members: password is the first three digits of your member number.
November 30 & December 15 from 4–6 p.m.
We work to minimize barriers and ensure that everyone can fully experience the zoo. Our programs, spaces, and facilities are fully accessible to visitors, volunteers, and staff.
New this year: Lincoln Park Zoo is offering two sensory-friendly visit times. During these special event times, all blinking or moving lights will remain static or turned off. Music will be turned off, as well. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
- Photos with Santa (through December 23, 4–9 p.m.)
- Lincoln Park Zoo Holiday Tree (Pepper Family Wildlife Center)
- Snowy’s Spirits & S’more pop-up holiday bar (nightly)
- Gorgeous 3D LED lights and hundreds of larger-than-life displays
- Warm spiced wine, frosty beers, and festive cocktail specials
- Delicious holiday snacks
- Joyful gift shopping
New This Year: Light Up the Lawn!
New in 2021! Each evening at 4:30, Lincoln Park Zoo offers a guest, sponsor, or partner the opportunity to “flip the switch” on the South Lawn light show. This is a fun, paid experience that makes a great gift or fun gathering—and an even better photo op! For more information on availability and pricing, contact email@example.com.
Tickets are available for purchase at any ticket booth across zoo grounds, as well as at Landmark Café and the zoo’s Gift Shop. All experiences require one ticket. Members can purchase discounted tickets at the Member Center.
- Attraction tickets are $4 each, 10 for $36, or 20 for $69
Light Maze Presented by Invesco QQQ
Twist and turn through the dazzling Light Maze, a beautifully lit path sure to bring on the festive fun. Make sure to wear your 3D Holospex® glasses for extra glow!
Reimagined and enhanced for 2021, the new Enchanted Forest is a fairy-tale dreamland! Meander among butterflies, flowers, mushrooms, and dripping lights with whimsical music and a magical ambiance. A must-see photo op!
AT&T Endangered Species Carousel
Hop on and take in the lights as you go round and round—a great spin for all ages!
Lionel Train Adventure
Best for kids 10 and under (accompanied by parents), Lionel Train Adventure offers a ride through a small garden with fun sculptures and animal whimsy along the way.
Propose in a Perfect Setting
ZooLights Presented By ComEd and Invesco QQQ provides the perfect backdrop for popping the question. Make an amazing day shine even brighter amidst 2 million twinkling lights and beautiful zoo grounds. It will be an experience you’ll never forget, in a place you can revisit for years to come!
Private Celebration Engagement Package
- One bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberry service for couple
- One usher to secure space
- Illuminated walkway
Thank you for considering Lincoln Park Zoo for your proposal. We look forward to working with you and making the season even brighter!
Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Adults Night Out: Holidaze!
Thursday, December, 16 from 6:30–10 p.m.
The winter installment of the zoo’s most popular after-hours event gives adults exclusive access to stroll zoo grounds with hot chocolate, mulled wine, or beer in hand. Come for the millions of holiday lights, stay for the carousel rides!
Zoo Year’s Eve
Friday, December 31, from 9 p.m.–12:30 a.m.
Ring in the new year surrounded by one of the biggest light shows in Chicago! Warm up with s’mores by the fire at Snowy’s Spirits & S’more and toast 2022 with champagne at midnight. In partnership with River North Fests.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are sensory-friendly visit times?
Lincoln Park Zoo is offering two sensory-friendly visit times on November 30 and December 15 from 4-6 p.m. During these special event times, all blinking or moving lights will remain static or turned off. Music will be turned off, as well. Please email email@example.com with questions.
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.
I want to change my tickets. What is the refund and exchange policy?
Tickets are non-transferrable and non-refundable.
Are tickets free for Members?
Lincoln Park Zoo Members and their guests get exclusive, free access to ZooLights on Friday, November 19 and Monday, December 13. Not a member? Visit lpzoo.org/join to learn more.
Will more tickets become available at a later date?
No. Tickets are first come, first served. We suggest buying your tickets early as we cannot guarantee tickets will be available at a later date.
Can I purchase tickets at the door?
No. All ZooLights tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be available at the gates.
Where do I buy tickets for ZooLights attractions?
Tickets for Light Maze Presented by Invesco QQQ, Enchanted Forest, AT&T Endangered Species Carousel, and Lionel Train Adventure can be purchased on zoo grounds during your visit.
What time should I arrive at ZooLights?
Please check your PDF ticket to confirm your assigned entry time. Note that the confirmation email will show all ZooLights operating hours but you should refer to your ticket for your designated entry time.
What if I am late or early for my 30-minute entry window?
Early or late access is not permitted so please arrive on time. Also, we thank you for your patience as there may be a short wait while we safely check-in guests. Note: The zoo will close to the public at at 3:00 p.m. and all zoo guests must exit prior to the first ZooLights ticketed time slot.
Will my visit be limited to the time frame on my ticket?
Nope! You’re welcome to stay and enjoy ZooLights until the event ends at 10 p.m.
Is parking available?
Paid parking is available at our lot located at Fullerton Ave. and Cannon Dr. (2400 N Cannon Dr.). The zoo is also accessible by train via the Armitage and Fullerton stations and by bus via the 22, 36, 151, and 156 routes.
Do I need to print my ticket?
Nope! All guests must show their ticket for entry to ZooLights. For the most efficient experience, please have your PDF ticket ready on your smartphone or in the Eventbrite app
Will I see animals?
Hopefully! 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. Additionally, all animals have the choice to be in view of guests or behind the scenes.
Can I download a program ahead of time?
Printed programs may be limited at ZooLights in order to maintain guest and employee safety. Download a zoo map and ZooLights program in advance by visiting lpzoo.org/zoolights.
Are masks required?
Lincoln Park Zoo follows CDC, City, and State public health guidelines. Please wear a face covering in all zoo buildings.
What if it rains/snows during ZooLights? Will ZooLights be cancelled?
ZooLights takes place rain or shine. Please dress accordingly. Tickets are non-transferrable and non-refundable.
Will there be food and beverages available for purchase?
Yes! There will be sweet and savory seasonal food and drink available for purchase. Park Place Café, Landmark Café, and Birds Eye Bar & Grill will also be open for full meals.
What are the age restrictions for this event?
ZooLights is an all-ages event, however all guests, including kids and infants, must have a ticket to enter.
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 South Lawn light show, Winter Wonderlawn. This is a fun, paid experience that makes a great gift or fun gathering—and an even better photo op! For more information on availability and pricing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I take my photo with Santa?
You can take a photo with Santa at the Helen Brach Primate House nightly from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. through December 23.
What can’t I bring to the ZooLights?
Alcohol purchased outside the zoo is prohibited, and we ask that you refrain from smoking tobacco and cannabis inside the gates for the health and safety of our animals and visitors. Pets are not allowed at the zoo, but service animals are welcome. Lincoln Park Zoo’s Code of Conduct can be found here.
I’d like to propose at ZooLights. Can you help me make it special?
Wonderful! Please reach out to email@example.com
Interested in sponsorship opportunities?
Interested in hosting a private event at ZooLights?
Have accessibility needs or need help buying a ticket?
Interested in volunteering at ZooLights?
Other questions or issues not listed here?