A Magical Tradition
November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

 

ZOOLIGHTS (Family-friendly)

ZOOLIGHTS, presented by Olympia Trust Company, is back for its 25th year! Calgary's award winning, magical holiday tradition will be glowing for six weeks of festive family-friendly fun. Enjoy all the magic of ZOOLIGHTS while supporting wildlife conservation - it's a win-win! 

Here's what to expect during ZOOLIGHTS:

DATES:

  • Friday, November 19, 2021 - Sunday, January 2, 2022 (some exclusions apply; see the Exclusions section below for more details)

TIME: 

  • 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 

Please note: November 19, 2021 - January 2, 2022, the last Daily Admission entry to the Calgary Zoo will be at 2:30 p.m. The last Member entry will be at 3:00 p.m. Our Security teams will clear zoo grounds at 4:30 p.m. All Calgary Zoo day admission visitors, including Members, will be asked to depart the Calgary Zoo grounds at this time while our teams prepare for the festive night ahead. Our gates will reopen nightly at 5:00 p.m. when ZOOLIGHTS begins. We look forward to warmly welcoming visitors, young and young at heart, to experience the 25th anniversary of Calgary’s favourite holiday tradition – ZOOLIGHTS, presented by Olympia Trust Company.

PRICING: 

  • General (16+): $21.95
  • Child (3-15): $14.95
  • Under 3: Free

Buy Tickets

Important Booking Information:

  • Please note that ZOOLIGHTS is a separately ticketed event. Day admission tickets cannot be used for entry.
  • All enhanced public safety measures required to enter the zoo grounds during day admission continue to apply during ZOOLIGHTS. Please visit our ZOOLIGHTS FAQ page for more information.
  • ZOOLIGHTS tickets are non-refundable. Please visit our ZOOLIGHTS FAQ page for more information on our cancellation and refund policy.
  • Please be sure to visit our 'Plan Your Magical ZOOLIGHTS Visit' section below for a listing of all the ZOOLIGHTS attractions and activities, including important information like last entry time for the skating rink and last call for alcohol! Checking this list in advance will help you get the most out of your ZOOLIGHTS experience. 

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 and activities including a 25th anniversary Memory Lane, the Nutcracker in the ENMAX Conservatory, an all new “Tunnel of Light”, a tribute to Canada’s wetland, a holiday Zoo Market and a very special “Dinos in the Dark” experience like you have never seen before! Of course, we're bringing back all the classic activities everyone has come to love like the Skating Rink, Firepits, and Rival Axe Throwing.

ZOOLIGHTS comes to life at night with twinkling lights at every turn, including over 200 light figurines, along with interactive and choreographed light displays. The lights are turned on at 5:00 p.m. nightly and run until 9:00 p.m. It takes approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours to experience all that ZOOLIGHTS has to offer - but you are able to stay for as little or as long as you like!

Check out the ZOOLIGHTS Activities list below and be sure to download a Magical Map of the event.


ZOOLIGHTS Sensory Experience

We want everyone to be able to enjoy the magic of ZOOLIGHTS in a way that works best for them. New this year, our sensory sensitive guests can access a Sensory Bag (free rental) with supplies to help improve their ZOOLIGHTS experience. These bags include headphones, fidget spinner, and more. We’ve also added more on park signage ahead of flashing or moving lights and sounds so our sensory sensitive guests are not caught off guard. Be sure to check out our ZOOLIGHTS: Sensory Experience map to help plan your best route in advance. In addition, be sure to download our ZOOLIGHTS 2021: A Teaching Story! 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.  

ZOOLIGHTS MAGICAL MAP - SENSORY EXPERIENCE

ZOOLIGHTS 2021: A Teaching Story


Bulk Tickets for ZOOLIGHTS

Interested in purchasing ticket bundles? We offer discounts on bundles of 50+ tickets. Please contact our Guest Relations team by phone at (403) 232-9300 or via email to [email protected] for pricing and assistance.


Exclusions

The following dates are excluded from regular ZOOLIGHTS admission:

  • November 23: Adults Only Night (18+) - this evening requires a separate admission ticket*.
  • November 28: Private event
  • November 30: Private event
  • December 3: Private event
  • December 25: the Calgary Zoo is closed
  • December 31: Zoo Year's Eve (Family-friendly) - this evening requires a separate admission ticket*. Tickets on sale soon.

*Please note that regular ZOOLIGHTS admission tickets, zoo passes or complimentary tickets will not be accepted for admission on these nights.


Member Mondays - Members Only

Every Monday from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Child, Inspire, and Engage members are invited to enjoy exclusive access to visit with Santa in Santa’s Cabin located inside Karsten Discovery Centre).

Please note:

  • Inspire Members have unlimited free access to ZOOLIGHTS.
  • Engage and Child Members receive a one-time 50% of discount on ZOOLIGHTS admission 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 Activities

Check out the ZOOLIGHTS Activities list below and be sure to download a Magical Map of the event:

Download Magical Map

  • 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 at our 25th Anniversary Photo Op. Be sure to download a copy of the Magical Map (coming soon!) or take a photo of it as you exit the tunnel so you can plan your best magical experience. November 19 - January 2 Penguin Plaza & Zoo Bridge
    Santa's Cabin Be sure to stop by Santa's Cabin for a 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 19 through December 23. *Please note that Members will have exclusive access to Santa's Cabin on Monday's from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. during Member Mondays. General access will start at 6:00 p.m. on these dates.

    Please note: Visits with Santa will be physically distanced. 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.
    November 19 - December 23 only Karsten Discovery Centre (inside)
    Dinos in the Dark Go back to the age of the dinosaurs to fix the timeline and save life as we know it! This brand NEW light experience will take you into the Prehistoric Park - a ZOOLIGHTS first! November 19 - January 2 Prehistoric Park
    The Chocolate Bar NEW this year! Treat yourself to one of our signature gourmet hot chocolate creations! Available in adult or child varieties. November 19 - January 2 Plan Your Visit (between Penguin Plunge and Zoo Bridge)
    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 19 - January 2 Destination Africa
    Memory Lane  Celebrate memories of the past and make memories for the future in the outdoor gardens. A 25th Anniversary photo collage will remind you of the history of ZOOLIGHTS. 

    Explore the NEW interactive and immersive Tunnel of Light and get those photos for the gram at our all NEW holiday photo ops.
    November 19 - January 2 Dorothy Harvie Gardens
    The Nutcracker Experience Step into the ENMAX Conservatory and be transported into the Nutcracker suite! This year's experience is a sparkly and beautiful salute to the classic Nutcracker story. Take your traditional family photos on a wintery sleigh, next to giant nutcrackers or a ballerian made entirely of flowers! November 19 - January 2 ENMAX Conservatory
    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 like 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 19 - January 2 Asia Lawn
    Wild Lights Head down to Exploration Asia and take a stroll through Wild Lights! A new themed section which pays homage to some of the Canadian species that the Wilder Institute and the Calgary Zoo are working together to secure a flourishing future for.  November 19 - January 2 Exploration Asia
    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.

    The Skating Rink closes at 9:00 p.m.; last entry to skate is at 8:45 p.m.
    November 19 - January 2 Asia Lawn & 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.

    Rival Axe Throwing closes at 9:00 p.m.; last entry to the queue is at 8:45 p.m.
    Every Thursday - Sunday Grazers Lawn
    Fire Pits Take a minute to warm up beside one of our six fire pits located around the zoo! 
     
    November 19 - January 2 Throughout the zoo grounds
    ZOOLIGHTS  Market Grab a mulled wine and support local artisans at the all new ZOOLIGHTS Market. All vendors are either sustainable, recycled or celebrating nature. ZOOLIGHTS Holiday Market runs Dec 6-8 only. Select nights only Beside Kitamba Café
    Food & Beverage Services Feeling snacky? Make a pit stop to any of our indoor or outdoor concession stands located throughout the zoo grounds.

    Hours:
    • 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    Menu:
    • Penguin Café - hot food menu, snacks, plus adult beverages and more!
    • The Chocolate Bar - Gourmet hot chocolate and festive snacks!
    • Kitamba Café - hot food menu, snacks and more!
    • Kitamba Java - coffee, snacks, plus adult beverages and more!
    • Safari Snacks - popcorn, hot dogs, snacks, plus adult beverages and more!
    • Camel Canteen - hot food menu, snacks, plus adult beverages and more!
    • Dinny's Diner - hot food menu, snacks, maple taffy, adult beverages and more!

    Adult beverages - available at Penguin Café, Kitamba Java, Safari Snacks, Camel Canteen, and Dinny's Diner:

    • ZOOLIGHTS Special mulled wine (made in house!)
    • Irish cream and hot chocolate
    • Spiced rum and eggnog
    • Wine (red and white)
    • Beer
    • Craft cocktails

    The last call for alcohol is at 8:30 p.m.

    November 19 - January 2 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.

    Hours/Locations:
    • The North Gift Shop - 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - located at the North entrance beside Penguin Plunge
    • The Bamboo-tique - 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - located in Exploration Asia beside the snow leopard habitat.
    November 19 - January 2 Zoo grounds
    Wildlife Carousel Located at the West end of zoo, the wildlife carousel will be operating nightly during ZOOLIGHTS from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. with the last ride loading at 7:45 p.m. 

    Hours are subject to weather and other conditions and may change without notice. Debit or credit are the preferred methods of payment at this time, however cash is accepted. 
    November 19 - January 2 Exploration Asia

    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: Enchanted Dinner (18+), ZOOLIGHTS: Adults Night out (18+), and ZOOLIGHTS: Zoo Year's Eve (Family-friendly) are separately tickets evenings. Regular ZOOLIGHTS admission tickets, zoo passes or complimentary tickets will not be accepted for admission on these nights.


    ZOOLIGHTS: Enchanted Dinner (18+)

    DATE November 16, 2021 
    TIME 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    DETAILS Enjoy a romantic and unique evening under the lights of the Calgary Zoo. Bring your sweetheart for a magical four course dinner in the ENMAX Conservatory gardens enveloped in holiday sparkle. Seatings at 5:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.

    Please note:
     
    • This evening is intended to be an 'Adults Only' (18+) experience. 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.
       

    Learn more and get tickets here


    ZOOLIGHTS: Adults Night Out (18+)

    DATE November 23, 2021 
    TIME 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    DETAILS Whether you make it a date night or a festive evening out with family & friends, this evening at ZOOLIGHTS is just for adults (18+). Additional details coming soon. Stay tuned.

    Please note:
     
    • This evening is intended to be an 'Adults Only' (18+) experience. 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.
       

    Learn more and get tickets here


    ZOOLIGHTS: Zoo Year's Eve (Family-friendly)

    DATE December 31, 2021 
    TIME 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    DETAILS Celebrate the last night of the 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 activities 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! Additional details coming soon. Stay tuned!

    Please note:
     
    • 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 on sale soon. Stay tuned.

     


Health & Safety and other FAQs

Check out our FAQs for answers to common questions about the ZOOLIGHTS experience.

ZOOLIGHTS FAQS


Members

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 Market

Calling all artisans for our new outdoor market! We are looking for artisans with handmade products who use natural materials, upcycled materials, focus on nature or animal themes or make healthy food kits (sorry no ready to eat items are permitted).

Additional Details:

  • December 6-8
  • Registration fee: $300.00/wk

To apply, please submit a completed application form by email to [email protected] by no later than November 5th, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Successful applicants will be notified by November 9, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. 

Download the ZOOLIGHTS Market Application Form here


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ZOOLIGHTS Sponsors 2021