ZOOLIGHTS FAQs

As we continue to navigate the best practices of operating during COVID-19, we understand that you may have questions about the Wilder Institute/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 tickets.

  • Does the Calgary Zoo require proof of vaccination for entry to ZOOLIGHTS?

    Yes, all enhanced public safety measures required for daily admission to the zoo grounds continue to apply during ZOOLIGHTS.

    Effective November 15, 2021, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo will require all visitors 12 years of age and older to provide proof of one of the following before being permitted entry:

    • Alberta government-issued QR code (either paper or digital) proving COVID-19 double vaccination (with the second dose received two (2) weeks or more prior to date of attendance);
      • Valid identification that matches the vaccine record is required for adults 18 years and over.
      • First Nation, out-of-province and Canadian Armed Forces vaccine records are accepted proofs of vaccination, as is the ArriveCan app and valid international travel identity document.
    • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within the previous 72 hours prior to entrance (either PCR or Rapid Test); or
    • Valid proof of medical exemption.

    Those who are unable to show proof of one of the items listed above will be denied entry. This applies to all visitors, members, donors, and attendees at special events aged 12 years and older including ZOOLIGHTS.

    A friendly reminder that mask wear is required for ages 2+ inside all animal buildings, washrooms, retail and food spaces.

    Please visit our Enhanced Public Safety Measures FAQ for additional information.

  • Are masks required?

    Mask wear is mandatory for all visitors aged 2+ inside all Calgary Zoo buildings (including animal habitats, indoor dining, washrooms, and retail shops) in accordance with the provincial and AHS guidelines, which came into effect on September 4, 2021.

  • 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.

  • 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?

    As with daily admission tickets, ZOOLIGHTS tickets are non-refundable. In event that you purchase ZOOLIGHTS tickets and are unable to attend on the ticket date, we will do our best to 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.

  • Can I purchase or use a day admission ticket for entry to ZOOLIGHTS?

    No, ZOOLIGHTS is a separately ticketed experience. Day admission tickets cannot be used for entry.

  • Can I purchase a day admission ticket and stay for ZOOLIGHTS?

    No, ZOOLIGHTS is a separately ticketed experience.

    From 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.

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

    No, children under 3 do not need a ticket.

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

    Yes, tickets can be purchased online or in person at the North Gate.

    IMPORTANT: Please note that some dates are excluded. If you plan to purchase tickets in person, please be sure to check the 'Exclusions' section on the ZOOLIGHTS page before you head to the zoo in case tickets are not available.

     

  • What if I already have a ticket for ZOOLIGHTS?

    Complimentary ticket holders or individuals/groups who bought advanced tickets can come enjoy ZOOLIGHTS when they choose*. *Some exclusions apply (please visit the 'Exclusions' section on the ZOOLIGHTS page to see a full list of all exclusions). 

  • 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. We apologize for any inconvenience.

  • 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 - up until closing at 9:00 p.m.

  • Can I leave ZOOLIGHTS and come back?

    No. As with daily admission, once you exit the zoo you can not re-enter the same evening without a new ticket.

  • 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
    • The Bamboo-tique - 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - located near Gateway to Asia

ZOOLIGHTS SPECIAL NIGHTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

  • Does the Calgary Zoo require proof of vaccination for entry to ZOOLIGHTS Special Nights?

    Yes, all enhanced public safety measures required for daily admission to the zoo grounds continue to apply during ZOOLIGHTS.

    Effective November 15, 2021, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo will require all visitors 12 years of age and older to provide proof of one of the following before being permitted entry:

    • Alberta government-issued QR code (either paper or digital) proving COVID-19 double vaccination (with the second dose received two (2) weeks or more prior to date of attendance);
      • Valid identification that matches the vaccine record is required for adults 18 years and over.
      • First Nation, out-of-province and Canadian Armed Forces vaccine records are accepted proofs of vaccination, as is the ArriveCan app and valid international travel identity document.
    • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within the previous 72 hours prior to entrance (either PCR or Rapid Test); or
    • Valid proof of medical exemption.

    Those who are unable to show proof of one of the items listed above will be denied entry. This applies to all visitors, members, donors, and attendees at special events aged 12 years and older including ZOOLIGHTS.

    A friendly reminder that mask wear is required for ages 2+ inside all animal buildings, washrooms, retail and food spaces.

    Please visit our Enhanced Public Safety Measures FAQ for additional information.

  • Are masks required?

    Mask wear is mandatory for all visitors aged 2+ inside all Calgary Zoo buildings (including animal habitats, indoor dining, washrooms, and retail shops) in accordance with the provincial and AHS guidelines, which came into effect on September 4, 2021. 

  • What if it rains or snows?

    Dress for the weather!  ZOOLIGHTS is 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 Camel Canteen or The Chocolate Bar and grab a hot chocolate to warm you up from the inside out. ZOOLIGHTS 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.

  • Important Health & Safety Information

    You are not to enter the Calgary Zoo if:

    • You are 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 have 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.


We're committed to helping you enjoy the magic of ZOOLIGHTS for the 25th year! 

Be Kind, Stay Safe, and Happy Holidays!