A Magical Tradition
November 20, 2020 - January 3, 2021
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
ZOOLIGHTS, presented by Olympia Trust Company, is back for its 24th year! Calgary's award winning, magical holiday tradition will be glowing for six weeks of festive family-friendly fun. We're committed to helping you enjoy the magic of ZOOLIGHTS in a safe and physically distanced way while supporting wildlife conservation.
November 20, 2020 - January 3, 2021 (some exclusions apply; see the Exclusions section below for more details)
Please note that every Sunday between 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (excluding Nov 29), the ZOOLIGHTS experience will be altered to meet the needs of our sensory sensitive guests. See the ZOOLIGHTS Activities: Special Nights at ZOOLIGHTS section below for more information on Sensory Sundays.
- 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
First entry at 5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.; last entry at 8:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Entries are staggered in 30 min intervals to ensure safe physical distancing throughout your ZOOLIGHTS experience.
- General (16+) $19.95
- Child (3-15) $14.95
Timed tickets are required and must be purchased online in advance. Tickets will not be sold onsite. Tickets are available in limited quantities each night - first come, first served! Don't delay, get your tickets while you can!
Please note that ZOOLIGHTS tickets are limited and non-refundable. Please visit our ZOOLIGHTS FAQ page for more information on our cancellation and refund policy.
Experience the MAGIC of ZOOLIGHTS
We're brightening your ZOOLIGHTS experience with bigger, brighter, and more magical themes to make this year even more memorable! This year's ZOOLIGHTS will feature exciting new themed areas including Polar Wonderland, Journey to Wechiau, Enchanted Gardens in ENMAX, and more! Of course, we're bringing back the classic activities we have all come to love like the Skating Rink, Firepits, Rival Axe Throwing, Lovers' Lane, and a (physically-distanced) visit with Santa in his cabin!
Two million twinkling lights bring ZOOLIGHTS to life including over 200 light figurines along with interactive and choreographed light displays. The lights are turned on at 5:00 p.m. nightly running to 9:00 p.m. It takes 90 minutes to 2 hours to experience all ZOOLIGHTS has to offer - but you are able to stay for as little or as long as you like!
New this year, we're expanding our Sensory Sunday experience. Every Sunday between 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (excluding Nov 29), the ZOOLIGHTS experience will be altered to meet the needs of our sensory sensitive guests. This means that on Sunday's there will be no music playing on park (except for the Journey to Wechiau themed area located in Destination Africa), strobe lights will be turned off, etc. Please see the ZOOLIGHTS Activities: Special Nights at ZOOLIGHTS section below for more information on Sensory Sundays.
Additional resource: Be sure to download our ZOOLIGHTS 2020: A Teaching Story; a useful resource to help prepare our sensory sensitive guests in advance so they can get the most out of their ZOOLIGHTS experience.
The following dates are excluded from regular ZOOLIGHTS admission:
- November 24 - Adults Night Out (18+) - this evening requires a separate admission ticket*
- December 25 - the Calgary Zoo is closed
- December 31 - Zoo Year's Eve (family friendly) - this evening requires a separate admission ticket*
Please see the ZOOLIGHTS Activities - Special Nights at ZOOLIGHTS section below for more information.
*Please note that regular ZOOLIGHTS admission tickets, zoo passes or complimentary tickets will not be accepted on these dates. Tickets for these evenings will be on sale soon. Stay tuned!
Check out the ZOOLIGHTS Activities list below and be sure to download a Magical Map of the event:
Plan Your Magical ZOOLIGHTS Visit!
Plan Your Magical ZOOLIGHTS Visit
All activities are included with the price of admission.
Activity what When Where Polar Wonderland A celebration of the poles - North & South! As you exit the tunnel, you'll step into a winter wonderland of Christmas, candy and snow! Take a festive photo with your family & friends on a traditional sleigh surrounded by twinkling trees. Be sure to download a copy of the Magical Map or take a photo of it as you exit the tunnel so you can plan your best magical experience. November 20 - January 3 Penguin Plaza, Karsten Discovery Centre (outside), & Zoo Bridge Santa's Cabin Be sure to stop by Santa's Cabin for a free visit with Santa Claus! Join the queue outside the Karsten Discovery Centre nightly from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. starting November 20 through to December 23.
Please note: Santa will be wearing a face mask and masks are required to be worn by all visitors while inside Santa's cabin - including during any photos you wish to take. We appreciate your understanding and thank you in advance for your cooperation. In addition, on Nov 23rd and Nov 30th, Members have exclusive access to Santa from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please see the 'Special Nights at ZOOLIGHTS' section below for more information.
November 20 - December 23 only Karsten Discovery Center (inside) Journey to Wechiau Experience the sights and sounds of Africa as we share the beautiful story of our community conservation partnership with the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary in Ghana, West Africa. Be sure to stop by the action station to try your hand at beating the drums to the sound of the heart of Africa. November 20 - January 3 Destination Africa Enchanted Gardens Step into the ENMAX Conservatory and be transported into our Enchanted Gardens! This year's experience will be bigger, brighter and even more magical with themed displays like Dragon Alley and School of Magic! November 20 - January 3 ENMAX Conservatory Lovers' Lane Enjoy a stroll through the tunnel of love in Lovers' Lane. This stunning light show is always worthy of a photo opp! November 20 - January 3 Dorothy Harvie Gardens Oh Canada! Enjoy a tribute to some of the things that make Canada truly magical! Guests ages 12 and under can test out some Canadian winter activities that mimic snowshoeing and cross country skiing! Sample a bit of the great outdoors while learning about some of the incredible species that call Canada home. November 20 - January 3 West Lawn Skating Rink Presented by the Calgary Hitmen, enjoy a free outdoor skate with friends and family! There are free skate rentals available, courtesy of KidSport Calgary.
Feeling chilly? Grab a hot chocolate and a festive treat from the Snack Shack near the skating rink. It will have you feeling toasty from the inside out in no time!
Please note: face masks are required to be worn by all visitors while skating on our outdoor skating rink. We appreciate your understanding and thank you in advance for your cooperation.
November 20 - January 3 West Lawn BBQ Tent Rival Axe Throwing Take your best whack at this truly Canadian experience presented by Rival Axe Throwing! Guests ages 8 and above can take up to 3 free swings. Please note that waivers are required to be signed in advance. Every Thursday - Sunday Beside Kitamba Cafe Fire Pits Take a minute to warm up beside one of our six fire pits located around the zoo! November 20 - January 3 Throughout the zoo grounds Food & Beverage Services Feeling snacky? Make a pit stop to any of our concession services located throughout the zoo grounds.
- Kitamba Cafe - 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - full menu plus mini donuts, adult beverages and more!
- Tusk and Grill - 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - hot food menu, snacks plus adult beverages and more!
- Tribal Treats - 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - popcorn, hot dogs, snacks, plus adult beverages and more!
- Snack Shack (Skating rink) - 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - hot chocolate and festive snacks!
- North Gift Shop - 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - hot chocolate and festive snacks!
Adult Beverages - available at Kitamba Cafe, Tusk and Grill, and Tribal Treats:
- ZOOLIGHTS Special Mulled Wine (NEW this year and made in house!!)
- Bailey's and Hot Chocolate
- Spiced Rum and Eggnog
- House wine (red and white)
November 20 - January 3 Throughout the zoo grounds Retail Services Looking for the perfect gift for the animal lover on your list? We've got you covered. Be sure to visit our retail locations while you're here!
- The North Gift Shop - 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.- located at the north entrance beside Penguin Plunge
- Panda Market - 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - located in Eurasia beside the snow leopard habitat
Be sure to check out our special ZOOLIGHTS package which includes a unique light up item that is only available in the package! Limited quantities, available for purchase at both retail locations, while supplies last.
November 20 - January 3 Throughout the zoo grounds
These are just some of the magical activities we have planned for you!
Special Nights at ZOOLIGHTS
Special Nights at ZOOLIGHTS
Please note that ZOOLIGHTS: Adults Night Out & ZOOLIGHTS: Zoo Years Eve are separately ticketed evenings. Regular ZOOLIGHTS admission tickets, zoo passes, or complimentary tickets are not accepted.
WHEN Every Sunday from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (excluding Sunday, November 29th) WHERE Zoo grounds and Grazers WHAT We're expanding our Sensory Sunday experience this year. Every Sunday between 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (excluding Nov 29), the ZOOLIGHTS experience will be altered to meet the needs of our sensory sensitive guests. This includes a Calm Room in Grazers Restaurant from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. that will feature calming activities and space run by staff. Be sure to download ZOOLIGHTS - A Teaching Story in advance of your visit. It's a useful resource to help prepare our sensory sensitive guests in advance so they can get the most out of their ZOOLIGHTS experience.
What's new this year?
- Sensory Sunday's will run ALL NIGHT instead of just the first hour.
- There will be no music playing on park except for the Journey to Wechiau themed area located in Destination Africa. Themed music and light drumming will still be in effect in this area.
- All strobe lights will be turned off on Sunday's.
- Regular ZOOLIGHTS timed tickets required for admission.
Member Mondays* - Exclusive visit with Ol' Saint Nick
WHEN* Monday, November 23rd and Monday, November 30th from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. WHERE The Calgary Zoo WHAT On Member Mondays*, Child, Inspire and Engage members receive exclusive access to Santa's Cabin from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. to enjoy a visit with jolly ol' Saint Nick! Santa's Cabin is located inside the Karsten Discovery Center.
- Member Mondays* are limited to the dates as specified above.
- Inspire members have unlimited free access to ZOOLIGHTS.
- Engage and all Child members receive a one-time 50% off discount on ZOOLIGHTS tickets. To access the discount, members must log into their membership account. If you are unsure of your membership/account login DO NOT create your own login, please email [email protected] for assistance.
ZOOLIGHTS: Adults Night Out (18+)
WHEN November 24, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. WHERE The Calgary Zoo WHAT Whether you make it a date night or a festive evening out with family & friends, this evening at ZOOLIGHTS is just for adults (18+). Learn more or buy tickets here.
- this evening is intended to be an 'adults only' experience (18+). Guests arriving on this date with children/infants will not be admitted. No refunds will be provided.
- this is a separately ticketed event. Regular ZOOLIGHTS admission tickets, zoo passes or complimentary tickets will not be accepted.
ZOOLIGHTS: Zoo Years Eve (Family Friendly)
WHEN December 31, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. WHERE The Calgary Zoo WHAT Celebrate the last night of year with the best and brightest backdrop in the city - ZOOLIGHTS! You'll be able to enjoy all the fun of ZOOLIGHTS with extra special entertainment added to help you ring in the new year - including numerous countdowns so your little ones don't have to stay up too late to partake in the fun! Learn more here.
- this evening is family friendly and open to everyone!
- this is a separately ticketed event. Regular ZOOLIGHTS admission tickets, zoo passes or complimentary tickets will not be accepted. Tickets for ZOOLIGHTS: Zoo Years Eve will be on sale soon. Stay tuned!
Health & Safety and other FAQs
Check out our FAQs for answers to common questions about the ZOOLIGHTS experience and information on how we are adapting ZOOLIGHTS this year to provide a safe, physically distanced family friendly experience for our visitors to enjoy.
Inspire members have unlimited free access to ZOOLIGHTS. Engage and all Child members receive a one-time 50% off discount on ZOOLIGHTS tickets. To access the discount, members must log into their membership account. If you are unsure of your membership/account login DO NOT create your own login, please email [email protected] for assistance.