Light up the night at ZooLights — back starting this weekend

ZooLights at the Smithsonian National Zoo in D.C. kicked off with a sold out crowd of 6,500 guests Friday night, and organizers say tickets are available in limited quantities for a packed opening weekend.

“ZooLights is the perfect opportunity for the whole family to come out and have a blast,” said Annalisa Meyer, deputy director of communications for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

“You can get outside, walk outdoors in the open air and stroll around the zoo to kick off the holiday season and see the seasonal lights,” she added.

This year, the Zoo says more than half a million lights were used to decorate every path and exhibit.

Now in its 15th year, the festival promises to take thousands of visitors into a winter wonderland. To fit with the Zoo’s mission, all the lights used are environmentally-friendly LEDs.

You can get a hot chocolate or cider while walking through the zoo, and even come home with a souvenir of your favorite animal.

ZooLights runs from Nov. 24 through Dec. 30, from 5 to 9 p.m., and on Sundays from 5 to 8 p.m. It’ll be running from Friday-Sunday to start, but there will be extended days later in the season. More details can be found on the Zoo’s website.

Ticket prices are $6 for anyone over the age of 2 this year.

Check out these cool photos of ZooLights 2023!

Also, be on the lookout next Tuesday, Nov. 28, when WTOP’s Matt Kaufax visits Zoo Lights for an more in-depth look and chats with guests for WTOP’s “Matt About Town” feature segment!

Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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