Media Advisory: ZooLights, Powered by Pepco, Returns to Smithsonian’s National Zoo


ZooLights, the National Zoo’s free annual lights festival, will entertain guests strolling through the park after dark with more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights.


Nov. 25 to Jan. 1, 2017 (except Dec. 24 and 25)
5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

ZooLights, powered by Pepco, at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is wilder than ever and a perfect holiday event for families. Hosted by Friends of the National Zoo, the festival will run over 35 days and features thousands of environmentally friendly LED lights that will illuminate the Zoo’s trees, walkways and buildings. Life-sized animal silhouettes, dancing trees and a laser light show make ZooLights unique among other holiday displays in the Washington, D.C., area. Admission is free. The festival will feature a special Military Night Dec. 2 and two ticketed events, BrewLights Dec. 1, and Date Night Dec. 8.

The Small Mammal House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, and Great Cats will be open every night of ZooLights, offering visitors an opportunity to view the animals at night. Food and beverages, including hot chocolate, coffee, eggnog, mulled cider, s’mores, holiday cookies and more will be available for purchase throughout the park. For more information about ZooLights, visit the Zoo’s website.

NOTE: Due to the Beach Drive Rehabilitation Project, traffic is expected to be heavy near the Zoo, especially during the afternoon rush hour. Parking is limited. Zoo visitors are encouraged to take public transportation and avoid Rock Creek Parkway and use either the Connecticut Ave. N.W. entrance or the Harvard Street N.W. entrance.

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Please note: This advisory was updated on Nov. 11, 2016, to reflect that Kids' Farm will now be closed during ZooLights. 

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