ZooLights, a Holiday Staple in Chicago, Returns to Lincoln Park Zoo for 29th Year With New Displays

ZooLights, a Holiday Staple in Chicago, Returns to Lincoln Park Zoo for 29th Year With New Displays

Tickets are $7 to $10 per person for ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Invesco QQQ beginning Nov. 17; Mondays remain free.

CHICAGO (October 17, 2023) – Tickets go on sale Thursday, October 19 for the much-anticipated holiday staple ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Invesco QQQ at Lincoln Park Zoo. Tickets for members are on sale now.

General admission ZooLights tickets are $7 per person. Tickets on Fridays, Saturdays, Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 22), and New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) are $10 per person. As part of the zoo’s ongoing commitment to accessibility, general admission is FREE on Mondays. Tickets will be available for purchase at lpzoo.org/zoolights.

Lincoln Park Zoo members will also receive a special preview night and discounts throughout ZooLights. Not a member? Join today at lpzoo.org/membership!

Ticket sales from ZooLights directly support the zoo’s world-class animal care, global conservation efforts, and innovative learning programs. Events like this also help keep the zoo free to the public 365 days a year.

“ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Invesco QQQ is back with more to enjoy and experience than ever before,” said Director of Marketing & Events Gretchen Kirchmer. “We hope to inspire a new nostalgia for generations of families and friends to come, as they watch Lincoln Park Zoo transform into a shimmering winter wonderland in the heart of Chicago!”

This year’s ZooLights features a dazzling array of new and modern LED light displays that offer an exciting update to this classic event. Guests will be immersed in ethereal and interactive elements across the zoo. Also on view is a never-before-seen garden-themed light show on the zoo’s South Lawn.

Visitors will encounter festive photo ops as they wander through the zoo, plus costumed characters and traditional Victorian carolers will be travelling around on select nights. The Pepper Family Wildlife Center will transform into the North Pole, hosting visits with Santa alongside the zoo’s holiday tree and festive décor.

Returning this year is the twinkling Light Maze Presented by Invesco QQQ, the towering Ferris Wheel providing stunning views of ZooLights from above, live ice carvers masterfully crafting showstopping carvings and the expansive light tunnel on the Main Mall.

Guests will also be able to enjoy a tasty assortment of food and drinks at Edie Levy’s Landmark Café. Snowy’s Sprits & S’more is a holiday-themed pop-up bar with festive cocktails, hot drinks, and fire pits for roasting s’mores. Hot cocoa and snack stations will be located around the zoo for visitors looking to quickly satisfy their sweet tooth.

ZooLights runs from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 4:30 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 22), and New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31). ZooLights opens to the public on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 and closes after Jan.7, 2024. ZooLights will not be open Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Invesco QQQ is once again powered by green, renewable power. All the lights are energy-saving LEDs and are powered by wind energy.


In addition to the nightly lights and music displays ZooLights is known for, Lincoln Park Zoo will also present a series of special events including adults-only events, seasonal music, and more.

ZooLights Free Admission Mondays

ZooLights will offer FREE admission on Mondays on Nov. 20, 27, and Dec. 4, 11, and 18, and Jan. 1, 2024. All regular ZooLights hours, ticketed attractions, apply and food and beverage is available for purchase. Admission to the event is free but tickets are required for all guests, including infants.

Sensory-Friendly Night

Lincoln Park Zoo will host its annual Sensory-Friendly Night at ZooLights on Wednesday, Dec. 6. During this special evening, guests of all ages can experience ZooLights while most lights remain static, and those that do move will be slowed down or turned off. Music will be played at a reduced volume, and guests are encouraged to wear noise reduction headphones if they’d prefer silence. This is a perfect evening to attend for anyone looking for a more serene ZooLights experience. Tickets are required and are $7 per person.

Family-friendly New Year’s Eve

Ring in the new year with your loved ones. This family-friendly celebration features a special countdown every hour, so you can partake in the festivities regardless of your group’s bedtime!

Rides and Special Attractions

Those looking for some extra fun during ZooLights are invited to hop on and enjoy a ride on the beloved AT&T Endangered Species Carousel or take a journey on the Lionel Train Adventure kiddie train. The Ferris Wheel and Light Maze Presented by Invesco QQQ are also back for a limited time during ZooLights. One ticket ($4) required per guest per attraction for most attractions; Ferris Wheel requires two tickets ($8) per guest. Guests interested in attraction ticket packages can purchase them online in advance or at numerous locations inside the zoo.


Each of these special winter events offer a unique holiday experience.

Sunday, December 10: The Chris White Trio Tribute to A Charlie Brown Christmas (multiple shows)

Back for an encore at Café Brauer, guests will tap their toes during this soulful jazz tribute to a favorite holiday classic. This year, enjoy this tradition in Pepper Family Wildlife Center for the very first matinee, complete with hot chocolate bar and entry to ZooLights! Visit lpzoo.org/zoolights for showtimes and ticket prices.

Thursday, December 14: Adults Night Out: Holidaze

Guests ages 21 years and older can enjoy a night full of entertainment, including Santa and a DJ in Pepper Family Wildlife Center, a DJ on Main Mall, millions of lights, delicious holiday spirits, roasted s’mores, photo ops galore, and so much more, all without the kids or crowds. This event also includes animal chats, unlimited access to the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel, Ferris Wheel, and Light Maze Presented by Invesco QQQ! Tickets start at $15 and the event begins at 6:30 p.m. Food and drink are available for purchase.


Thinking of popping the question? Looking to host a holiday celebration? The zoo offers unforgettable holiday packages for those looking for a unique and intimate way to celebrate the season. Interested parties can find out more by contacting groupsales@lpzoo.org.

ZooLights is produced by Illuminight Holiday Lighting.

Supporting sponsors for ZooLights include Coca-Cola. 101.9 The Mix is the official radio partner of ZooLights.

To learn more about Lincoln Park Zoo, ZooLights, and other upcoming events, visit lpzoo.org.

About Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo inspires communities to create environments where wildlife will thrive in our urbanizing world. The zoo is a leader in local and global conservation, animal care and welfare, learning, and science. A historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, the not-for-profit Lincoln Park Zoo is a privately-managed, member-supported organization and is free and open 365 days a year. Visit us at lpzoo.org.

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