ZOOLIGHTS FAQs

As we continue to navigate the best practices of operating during COVID-19, we understand that you may have questions about the Calgary Zoo's health and safety plan for ZOOLIGHTS.

Below you’ll find answers to important health and safety questions, along with other commonly asked questions.


 

HEALTHY & SAFETY ZOOLIGHTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Visit our ZOOLIGHTS page to plan your visit or purchase timed tickets.

  • What guidelines do you have in place to ensure a safe COVID-friendly ZOOLIGHTS experience at the Calgary Zoo?

    We remain committed to staying aligned with Alberta Health Services' directive to ensure zoo visits and experiences are safe and fun for all. In addition, all visitors to the Calgary Zoo have a shared responsibility to ensure that they are following Alberta Health Services Guidelines while on Calgary Zoo grounds. 

    You are not to enter the Calgary Zoo if:

    • You're ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID -19. These include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, and/or others listed on Alberta Health Services website.

    • You've been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with or has symptoms of COVID-19.

    • You or someone in your household has traveled internationally in the past 14 days.

    You will be asked to follow all Alberta Health Services Guidelines on Calgary Zoo grounds:

    • Practice physical distancing: keep 3 meters between your household and others

    • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds

    • Face coverings are strongly recommended everywhere at the zoo, but mandatory for everyone 2 years and older inside all of our buildings, in accordance with City of Calgary Bylaw 26M2020. Be sure to bring yours with you when you visit, and put them on and remove them safely. Expect to require one to enter: Karsten Discovery Center, ENMAX Conservatory, Grazers, Kitamba (except while enjoying food and beverages at our indoor tables!), Outdoor Skating Rink, Gift Shop locations, indoor washrooms and Lost & Found services. 

  • Are face coverings required on Calgary Zoo grounds?

    Face coverings are strongly recommended everywhere at the zoo, but mandatory for everyone 2 years and older inside all of our buildings, in accordance with City of Calgary Bylaw 26M2020. 

    Expect to require one to enter:

    • Karsten Discovery Center (location of Santa's Cabin)
    • ENMAX Conservatory (location of Enchanted Gardens)
    • Grazers (location of the 'Calm Room' during Sensory Sundays)
    • Kitamba (except while enjoying food and beverages at out indoor tables!)
    • Outdoor Skating Rink (located on the West Lawn)
    • Gift Shop locations
    • Indoor washrooms
    • Lost & Found services

    Be sure to bring yours with you when you visit, and put them on and remove them safely. 

  • What type of face coverings are acceptable in indoor spaces?

    Medical masks, cloth material or face shields that cover the chin, mouth and nose are acceptable.

  • Is the Calgary Zoo still a one-way flow throughout the park?

    We remain committed to staying aligned with Alberta Health Services' directive to ensure zoo visits and experiences are safe and fun for all. 

    As we head into the winter season, the Calgary Zoo has returned to a two-way outdoor flow. In addition to supporting access for snow removal teams and equipment, low season visitor numbers and winter attire also supports safely returning to a two-way flow outdoors. A one-way flow remains in place inside all Calgary Zoo buildings, along with adherence to the City of Calgary Bylaw 26M2020 which requires everyone 2 years and older to wear a mask while inside all of our buildings.   .

    We ask all visitors to continue to practice safe physical distancing, to wash your paws often, and to only congregate in your personal cohort group.

  • What happens if ZOOLIGHTS is cancelled?

    Over the past 20+ years, ZOOLIGHTS has only been cancelled a few times due to extreme weather, including: excessive wind speed, dangerous wind chill, excessive snow or a weather emergency declared by City officials.

    In the event that a night of ZOOLIGHTS is cancelled by the Calgary Zoo, notice of the cancellation will be communicated in the following channels: a media statement, website update, social media announcements, and a member of our guest relations team will be onsite at the gates until 8:00 p.m. to advise anyone who turns up. 

    If the Calgary Zoo cancels a night of ZOOLIGHTS, we will contact ticket holders within 48-hours to provide impacted attendees with an alternate date to attend. If the attendee can’t attend on the assigned alternate date, the Calgary Zoo will endeavor to find an alternative solution including: another date for ZOOLIGHTS, a gift card for alternate use or a refund (if necessary).

  • What if I buy a ticket and discover I'm unable to attend at the date/time I selected due to COVID-19 or other reasons?

    ZOOLIGHTS tickets are limited and non-refundable. In event that you purchase ZOOLIGHTS tickets and have COVID symptoms on the day you plan to attend, we will work with you to find an alternate day to attend (ticket availability permitting).


GENERAL ZOOLIGHTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Visit our ZOOLIGHTS page to plan your visit or purchase timed tickets.

  • Do children under 3 years of age also need a ticket?

    No, children under 3 do not need a timed ticket.

  • Can I purchase tickets to ZOOLIGHTS at the North Gate?

    No. Timed tickets must be purchased online in advance. No tickets will be sold onsite.

    Tickets are available online on a first come first served basis. 

     

  • What if I already have a non-timed ticket for ZOOLIGHTS?

    Complimentary ticket holders or individuals/groups who bought advanced tickets do not require an advance timed ticket. Please follow the signage directions on your arrival at our North Gate and our guest relations team will assist you at the gate.

  • Are you offering any discounts for ZOOLIGHTS admission?

    Regular Admission Tickets for ZOOLIGHTS

    Yes, however discount options can not be accessed online in advance. For those who qualify, please bring your discount card with you on the date of your visit and approach a Guest Relations Representative at the North Gate (Alberta Plaza) for assistance with:

    • Military family discount 
    • BOOM members (for up to 4 people)
    • Calgary Recreation Fee Assistance Program/Zooshare

    Please note the following discounts are not applicable towards ZOOLIGHTS admission: AMA discounts, Airmiles vouchers, and Calgary Attractions coupons. In addition, ZOOLIGHTS admission can not be put towards a zoo membership.

     

    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.

  • I am a Calgary Zoo Member. How do I access my membership discount?

    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, please do not create your own login. Instead, please email [email protected] for assistance.

  • Is parking included? Can I park and enter through the West Gate?

    Parking is managed through ParkPlus, by the Calgary Parking Authority and costs $12 per day.

    You must park and enter the zoo grounds through our North Lot (Alberta Plaza) only. The west Gate will remain closed.

    Payment machines are located at the North Lot (Alberta Plaza) and accept credit card or coin. Please note that we do not have the ability to make change as we are not currently accepting cash on the premises. We apologize for any inconvenience.

  • Will I have to wait to get inside the Calgary Zoo?

    The Calgary Zoo will limit any unnecessary contact or crowding by capping ZOOLIGHTS admission nightly. In addition, timed ticketing will ensure that visitors arrive on park in staggered 30 minute intervals. Be sure to download our Magical Map to help guide you along your ZOOLIGHTS experience.

  • Once I enter the Calgary Zoo, am I limited in how long I can stay to enjoy ZOOLIGHTS?

    No. You’re welcome to enjoy ZOOLIGHTS for as long as you like! The time on your ticket controls the time you enter the zoo so that we can ensure a safe traffic flow and experience for everyone.  

  • Can I leave ZOOLIGHTS and come back?

    Due to our time ticketing system, visitors will be required to leave the zoo immediately after visitation to eliminate congestion on the property or in the parking lot. Once you exit the zoo, you can not re-enter the same evening without a new timed ticket.

  • Are food and beverage services available during ZOOLIGHTS?

    Yes, we have several concession services open throughout the zoo grounds so you can always find a hot beverage or a warm snack!

    Hours/Menu:

    • 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 - 5:00 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)
    • Beer

    Please note that cash is not accepted onsite at any of our food or retail service locations at this time. Thank you for understanding!

  • Are the Gift Shops open during ZOOLIGHTS?

    Yes, our gift shops are open. If you are looking for the perfect gift for the animal lover on your list, we've got your 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
    • Panda Market - 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - located near Panda Passage

    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.


ZOOLIGHTS SPECIAL NIGHTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Visit our ZOOLIGHTS Special Nights page to plan your visit or purchase tickets to ZOOLIGHTS: Adults Night Out or ZOOLIGHTS: Zoo Year's Eve.

  • Are masks required?

    Face coverings are strongly recommended everywhere at the zoo, but mandatory for everyone 2 years and older inside all of our buildings, in accordance with City of Calgary Bylaw 26M2020. While you are not required to wear a mask while walking the zoo grounds outdoors, please note that you will be required to wear a mask to enter all Calgary Zoo buildings including but not limited to: ENMAX Conservatory, Kitamba (except while enjoying food and beverages at our indoor tables!), Gift Shop locations, indoor washrooms and Lost & Found services. 

  • What if it rains or snows?

    Dress for the weather! Both ZOOLIGHTS: Adults Night Out and ZOOLIGHTS: Zoo Year's Eve are intended to be enjoyed as an outdoor experience. We will have several firepits through out the zoo grounds for you to stop to warm your hands or you may wish to stop by Kitamba to grab a bite and warm your toes. These special nights will take place rain or snow and tickets are non-refundable.

  • Is parking included? What time should I arrive?

    PARKING is $12.00 and is not included. Engage and Inspire members receive free parking.

    Please park and enter the zoo through our North parking lot and entrance.

    For ZOOLIGHTS: Adults Night Out: Guests are welcome to enter the zoo starting at 5:00 p.m. The last entry for ZOOLIGHTS: Adults Night Out is 7:30 p.m. The evening concludes at 9:00 p.m.

    For ZOOLIGHTS: Zoo Year's Eve: Details coming soon!

  • What else do I need to know?
    • As we warmly welcome you back to the zoo, we're delighted to offer a a safety-minded world wildlife experience! Be sure to follow the important Health & Safety information below, all signage and the pink paw prints (while indoors)! We ask all visitors to practice safe physically distancing, to wash your paws often, and to only congregate in your personal cohort group. 

    • Face coverings are strongly recommended everywhere at the zoo, but mandatory for everyone 2 years and older inside all of our buildings, in accordance with City of Calgary Bylaw 26M2020Face coverings are not required to be worn in outdoor spaces. Calgary Zoo staff and volunteers will be wearing masks at all times.

    • The Calgary Zoo is entirely accessible – if you need to rent a wheelchair or powerchair – please contact Guest Relations at 403-232-9300 at least 24 hours beforehand.

    • We will not be accepting cash on premises.

    • Special Experiences like these are crucial to our financial success. If you enjoy the Calgary Zoo's ZOOLIGHTS: Adults Night Out and ZOOLIGHTS: Zoo Year's Eve, please share your experiences on social media using #ZOOLIGHTSYYC; referrals are warmly welcomed!


We're committed to helping you enjoy the magic of ZOOLIGHTS

this year in a safe and physically distanced way. 

Be Kind, Stay Safe, and Happy Holidays!