It's the most wonderful time of the zoo! It's time for ZooLights, the Smithsonian National Zoo's famous tradition of lights, music -- and, of course -- animals.
ZooLights opened Nov. 24 and runs through Jan. 1 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., except for Dec. 24, 25 and 31. Admission is free.
During ZooLights, powered by Pepco, more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights transform the zoo into a winter wonderland after dark.
There are three exciting new additions to the ZooLights tradition. Glow Zone is a glow-in-the-dark play zone for children located in the Zoo’s Great Meadow. CulturalDC’s SPACE4: Mobile Art Gallery is a cutting-edge exhibit making its way around the city. Maggie Gourlay created Adaptation/Migration in the Anthropocene for ZooLights and it is located on Olmsted Walk. Lastly, GRUMP Holiday Market runs from Dec. 15-17. It is an alternative art and crafts show featuring local artisans.
Guests 21 and over can enjoy BrewLights on Nov. 30, a ticketed microbrew and craft beer event. Tickets can be purchased online and at the gate for beer samples and savory food samples from top local restaurants.
A special Military Night will be held Dec. 19. Guests who show a valid military ID will receive 15 percent off all gift shop items. Military families will also receive $7 off parking, plus 30 percent off coupon for concessions (alcohol not included).
And Friends of the National Zoo members enjoy a full week of exclusive perks at ZooLights from Dec. 3 through Dec. 10. FONZ members also can partake in Cyber Safari: Passport to Asia, a scavenger hunt that takes you all around the zoo.
Proceeds support the National Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, including species preservation and animal care.
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