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ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Written By: Jessie White

The Lincoln Park Zoo boasts amazing views of the Lake Michigan shoreline, a large variety of exhibits and species to explore for hours, and countless ways to get involved within the Chicago community. With weekly “Family Nights”, semi-monthly 5ks, and many more events it would only make sense that the holiday season brings the return of a Chicago favorite event of the zoo: the Lincoln Park Zoolights.

Thousands of dazzling luminous displays sweep the entirety of the Lincoln Park Zoo with the month-long Zoolights event. This free and truly unique event is made possible with over 2.5 million different gorgeous lights which may be just one reason why the tradition dates all the way back to 1994.


All festive Zoolights attendees will have the honor of enjoying:

  • Thousands of dazzling light displays that are sure to impress.
  • Warm spiced wines and crisp beers.
  • Live ice-sculpture carving.
  • Ticketed experiences like the Electric Light Maze and Ferris Wheel.
  • Photos with Santa.

(Before December 23rd, of course, he has work to do up North!)

  • Musical light shows with 3-D holiday spectacles.

* (Make sure to grab a pair while supplies last for a special surprise when you look at the lights.)

  • Delicious holiday snacking with pleasant gift shopping all around.
  • Much more!

For the Zoo Lights’ 25th year they will continue the festive traditions that have kept guests coming back again and again while also bringing new and exciting light shows for everyone to enjoy. As one of Chicago’s best free events during the holiday season the Zoolights will give everyone a one-of-a-kind holiday experience that they will cherish and remember for a lifetime.



All Friday-Sundays

Weekdays in which Zoolights will be available:

December 17th, 18th, 19th, 26th, 31st (Special Event)


Wednesday the 1st to Sunday the 5th.

Zoolights will be in full swing each day at 5 pm to close!

For a full calendar of the Lincoln Park Zoo’s holiday festivities click here.


The Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N Clark Street

Chicago, IL

Need Hotel Accommodations?

The Willows Hotel

Located at the edge of Lakeview and Lincoln Park, accessible via Brown Line train

 The City Suites Hotel

In the heart of Boystown, accessible by the Red Line train

 The Majestic Hotel

Located in the heart of Wrigleyville, accessible via Red Line train

 The Ivy Hotel

Located near the Magnificent Mile in Chicago’s Loop


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