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Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo

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Thanks to our lead sponsor:

Pepco

Thank you to our sponsors:

Big Bus Tours

Capital One

Coca-Cola

Comcast

Geico

Giant

Washington Post

NBC4

Washingtonian

Washington Post

Join Fonz!
ZooLights

ZooLights, powered by Pepco
Nov 28 - Jan 1 (Except Dec 24, 25, 31) 5 - 9PM
Admission is Free!

ZooLights is brighter than ever!

Join the thousands of visitors who make ZooLights a part of their annual holiday tradition. ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats, and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland. New this year will be a dazzling laser light show set to music at the Elephant House!

Special Nights

Member Nights: As a special thank you, all FONZ members are invited to enjoy FONZ Member Nights at ZooLights! FONZ members will receive a set of coupons including FREE parking at ZooLights, 4 free tubing rides, 4 free carousel rides, an additional 5% off purchases at any Zoo gift shop, plus a panda tote bag! Members will receive their coupons by showing their membership card with matching ID at Lion Information or Panda Information booths. Not yet a member? Join Now or give a Gift Membership!

Events and Activities

ANIMALS

Thaw your paws in our exhibit buildings and see our nocturnal critters! The Small Mammal House, Great Ape House, Reptile Discovery Center, and Think Tank will be open every night. Free!

ZOO-MAGINATION

Welcome to Zoo-magination Station. Trains, trains and more trains journey through a land of Legos, an alphabet countryside, and a magical animal party in the Zoo’s Visitors Center.

SPEEDWELL FOUNDATION CONSERVATION CAROUSEL

Begin a new tradition during your ZooLights visit: a ride on the Conservation Carousel! Hop on to your choice of 58 animal figurines, as the carousel highlights the Zoo's incredible research and success stories. It is one of the few carousels in the world powered by solar energy, thanks to a generous donation by Pepco Energy Services. The carousel is a new spin on conservation. $3 per ride.

ZOO TUBING ON LION/TIGER HILL

Sponsored by GEICO
It doesn’t have to be a white holiday season to enjoy your favorite snow games. Lion/Tiger Hill will be a winter wonderland complete with two 150’ long “snow tubing” tracks! Be sure to take the plunge down this magical snowless track. $3 per ride.

NATIONAL ZOO CHOO-CHOO

Take a merry tour through the Zoo on the National Zoo Choo-Choo. This trackless train whisks guests all around the Kids' Farm exhibit that features gorgeous views of the Zoo's holiday light displays. $3 per ride

Entertainment

GIN-GRR-BREAD CONTEST

Sponsored by Washingtonian Magazine
Let your imagination run wild this winter while you design and build a habitat in a ZooLights Wonderland. Contestants may win a prize of a keeper-led tour! After the contest is over, head to the Visitor's Center Auditorium to enjoy the amazing creations that highlight these exciting cubs. Details coming soon!

PANDA CLAWS

Watch out for Panda Claws, the official ZooLights ambassador, from 5:30-8:30 PM each night. Free photo ops!

Amenities

Food and Drink

Warm up your night with hot chocolate, coffee, eggnog, and mulled cider. Indulge in roasted nuts, kettle corn, pastries, holiday cookies, and gingerbread. Parents get into the holiday spirit with a specialty spiked hot chocolate, a glass of wine, or a cold beer. And everyone will enjoy dinner at the Zoo's restaurants, which will be serving their complete menu plus seasonal specials. Concessions located in the Visitor Center and throughout the park.

Shopping

Make holiday shopping an eco-friendly affair at the Zoo's gift shops located throughout the park. Find a Zoo-themed present for everyone on your holiday list! Children will love our toys and books; while adults will appreciate that their gift supports the National Zoo’s mission. Don’t forget, FONZ memberships and Adopt a Species packages make great gifts too! Browse the online store.

Strollers and More

Strollers, electric scooters, and wheelchairs are available at the Panda Plaza and Lion/Tiger Information Booths. Limited numbers are available; first come, first served.

Transportation and Parking

Shuttles

Every Saturday night enjoy a complimentary shuttle ride from the Woodley Park metro station to the Zoo, generously provided by Big Bus Tours. Look for the red double decker buses that will be running every 20 minutes. Parking is limited and rates are $11 for FONZ members and $22 for non-members.

Sponsor this Event

Companies interested in sponsoring the event will receive benefits ranging from logo ID on all event materials to onsite signage and tickets. For more information, contact Jackie Vinick at 202.633.3026 or by email or Pam Bucklinger by email.

Corporate Holiday Parties at ZooLights

Planning your company's holiday party? Large or small, formal or casual, ZooLights provides a magical party setting surrounded by exotic animals. Find out more.