Get your hand warmers ready. Friends of the National Zoo's hoppiest holiday event, BrewLights, is back for another year of craft beer and microbrew tastings during ZooLights, powered by Pepco!
Enjoy beer tastings from dozens of breweries and sample complimentary snacks, all under the beautiful lights of Washington, D.C.'s favorite holiday tradition.
It’s not just beer and lights, though. By purchasing BrewLights tickets, guests show their support for the critical work of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
- Unlimited beer tastings from dozens of breweries serving craft beer and microbrews
- A souvenir light-up cup to take home
- Access to nine exclusive BrewLights areas within ZooLights:
- Clint Fields Plaza
- Conservation Pavilion
- Elephant Community Center
- Gorilla Grove
- Great Cats Circle
- Great Meadow
- Reptile Discovery Center
- Small Mammal House
- Think Tank
- Carolers, DJs and a cappella singers
- S'mores creation station
- The great feeling of knowing your ticket purchase has supported the Zoo's species-saving mission
- Guests will receive a 15% discount on retail items when they present their BrewLights cup or Sober Driver wristband. This offer may not be combined with other promotions and is only valid on the evening of BrewLights.
- Guests may bring their holiday lights to BrewLights for recycling. All holiday lights, working and not-working, will be accepted at the three event registration points.
- BrewLights is an adult event. Guests must be at least 21 years old and present a valid photo ID. No babies or children are allowed.
- Guests without a valid photo ID will not be permitted to enter the event.
- Smoking is not permitted at the Zoo.
- BrewLights will be held rain, snow or shine.
Check back soon for 2020 ticket information.
- 3 Stars Brewing
- 7 Locks Brewing
- ANXO Cider
- Astro Lab Brewing
- Atlas Brew Works
- Barrel Oak Brewery and Winery
- Bold Rock
- Brookeville Beer Farm
- Caboose Brewing Company
- Capitol Cider House
- Denizens Brewing Co.
- Eavesdrop Brewery
- Escutcheon Brewing Company
- Founders Brewing Company
- Granite City National Harbor
- Guinness Open Gate Brewery
- Hellbender Brewing
- Lagunitas Brewing Company
- Manor Hill
- Mobtown Brewing Company
- Narragansett Beer
- Oliver Brewing Co
- Oskar Blues
- Port City Brewing Company
- Right Proper Brewing Company
- Schlafly Beer
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
- Silver Branch Brewing
- Spencer Devon Brewing
- Stone Brewing
- The Board Room Brewing Company
- The Boston Beer Company
- The Bruery
- Troegs Independent Brewing
- Tucked Away Brewing Company
- Two Roads Brewing Co
- Union Craft Brewing
- Winchester Brew Works
We encourage BrewLights guests to drink responsibly and take public transportation to the event.
$15 for FONZ members
$25 for non-members
Members taking advantage of the discounted parking rate must show their member ID and BrewLights ticket.
The Zoo is accessible by Metro Red Line at the Woodley Park-Zoo Station or the Cleveland Park Station. Both stations are a 10-minute walk from the Zoo.
All ZooLights pathways are wheelchair accessible. Please note that the Zoo’s main pathway is located on a hill with a significant decline from top to bottom. A wheelchair-accessible shuttle runs on a continuous loop throughout the event, from the lower entrance of the Zoo to the Panda Plaza Bus Lot/Accessible Drop-off.
Best Time to Visit
ZooLights is busiest on weekends, in the days leading up to the Christmas holiday, and in the week between Christmas and New Years’. ZooLights tends to be less crowded earlier in the season, as well as early in the week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays).
There are three special events occurring within ZooLights, where higher visitation is expected: BrewLights (Dec. 12), FONZ Member Week (Dec. 1-8) and Military Night (Dec. 17).
Parking, Drop-off and Shuttles
Designated accessible parking spaces are located in Parking Lots A, B, D and E on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, see the parking and transportation tab.
Accessible Drop-off and Pick-up Areas
The Zoo’s Panda Plaza Bus Lot (#3 on the map) serves as an accessible drop-off and pick-up area during ZooLights.
From 5-9 p.m., the Zoo operates a wheelchair accessible guest shuttle that runs on a continuous loop from the Panda Plaza Bus Lot/Accessible Drop-off to the lower entrance of the Zoo and back. The shuttle takes 15- 20 minutes to complete the loop and does not stop at Parking Lot C.
Wheelchair and Electronic Vehicle Rental
Wheelchairs and electronic vehicles are available on a first-come, first-served basis during ZooLights hours (5-9 p.m.).
Manual wheelchairs are available inside the Visitor Center and at the Information Stations at Panda Plaza (parking lots A and B) and Lion-Tiger Hill (parking lot D).
Electronic convenience vehicles are available for rent inside the Visitor Center and at the Information Stations at Panda Plaza (parking lots A and B) and Lion-Tiger Hill (parking lot D). Please note: A state-issued driver's license is required to rent and operate an electronic convenience vehicle.
Cost: $25 for members, $30 for non-members
Restrooms are located at the Visitor Center, Panda Plaza, Elephant Outpost and Conservation Pavilion. All restrooms throughout the Zoo are accessible. The Visitor Center’s restrooms, water fountains and Asia Trail gift shop are accessible via wheelchair lift.
Family restrooms are located in the Visitor Center, Elephant Outpost and Conservation Pavilion. All restrooms at the Zoo have automatic flushing mechanisms.
Prepare for your visit by downloading the sensory friendly tip sheet with information on different sensory experiences at ZooLights.
Sensory Friendly Kits
Sensory friendly kits are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests can check out kits at any Information Station. Guests must provide a valid ID, which will be held until the kit is returned. Each kit includes noise-reducing headphones, earplugs, small fidget items, a weighted comfort item and a ZooLights sensory tip sheet.