Top 4 Reasons to Go to ZooLights - NBC4 Washington

It's lights, animals, action at the annual light display at the Smithsonian's National Zoo! ZooLights, powered by Pepco, is open from 5–9 pm from now through January 1 (closed Dec. 24, 25 and 31). Scroll down to see why this free event is a can't-miss holiday experience.

#1: You'll see the animals in a whole new light

Pandas, elephants and tigers, oh my! The animals you love to visit by day are recreated as sparkling statues at night. If you get chilly, head inside to any of the retail locations for your favorite animal plush and to do some holiday shopping.

#2: The lights are just the beginning

More than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights turn the National Zoo into a wonderland—but that's only the start. Marvel at the breathtaking illumination of the iconic Olmsted Walk, then catch a laser light show or nibble tasty winter treats while enjoying live musical performances. Top it off by venturing to the new Gingerbread Village at the Elephant Outpost for a unique photo opportunity.

#3: It's bigger and better than ever

In addition to the beloved Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel and National Zoo Choo-Choo, sponsored by Metro by T-Mobile, this year's attractions include the Reindeer Games Fun Zone, sponsored by GEICO, which features illuminated rides and a holiday-themed obstacle course, and Symphony of Lights, an interactive musical experience on the Great Meadow.

#4: Free admission; priceless memories

Admission to ZooLights, powered by Pepco, is free. Proceeds from your concessions and retail purchases support the National Zoo's animal care and conservation programs. So as you roast s’mores at Conservation Pavilion or wander the Zoo's sparkling paths, you're making the memories of a lifetime while helping make a difference.