It’s time to glow with rosy cheeks.
If you’ve only ever visited us during the day in warmer weather, you’re missing out. This evening event is an extra special combination of the dark cloak of winter lit up with the brightest of lights, which makes the magic of our zoo come alive. You won’t want to miss out on these wintertime gems—they’re sure to become a yearly tradition.
We’re all kids anyway.
With over 15 fun activities to take part in this year at ZOOLIGHTS, you can feel as young as you like. You’ll want to visit all four of our activity areas to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Click on the areas below for more information on activities.
Come Experience Hibernation: Grazers Lawn
Vancouver Island Marmot: The Den Experience
Think sleeping through the winter would be nice and easy? You might not have considered how much work it is preparing for such a long nap. Join us for an interactive learning experience that will help you learn more about the Vancouver Island Marmot’s hibernation.
Build Your Own: Hibernation Station
Get ready to roll up your sleeves and make your own snuggling place. With a little guidance from our friendly volunteers, you and your kids can build a variety of different animal hibernation habitats with building blocks. It’s cold and getting cozy in your very own customized den will be awesome.
Let’s Migrate: West Lawn
Whooping Crane: Migration Maze
Help the Whooping Crane get to its winter home by weaving your way through a maze of hay. Our straw-bale maze will have you giggling with delight as you find your way from one end to the other.
Map Migration Routes
Come play with our new giant Lite-Brite! You’ll get to create migration routes that help animals get from point A to point B. You’re welcome to simply play with this larger-than-life retro toy, but we’ll encourage a bit of learning while you’re at it.
The Long-ish Journey
See how long a migration journey you can achieve using our interactive game of tiered platforms and buckets. Understanding the effort migration takes is sure to make your commute feel shorter.
Skate Your Heart Out
Getting active is a great way to adapt to the cold weather. The skating rink is presented by the Calgary Hitmen. Free skate rentals are available for all ages, from KidSport Calgary—with a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights. Looking for a treat after skating? Stop by the Sugar Shack located by the rink, open 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Looking to spend New Year's Eve at the zoo? A DJ will be at the skating rink to help you and your family celebrate!
The Calgary Hitmen Farley the Fox will be visiting at the skating rink during ZOOLIGHTS. Come say hello!
|December 7||7 p.m. - 8 p.m.|
|December 15||7 p.m. - 8 p.m.|
|December 22||7 p.m. - 8 p.m.|
|December 29||7 p.m. - 8 p.m.|
|January 6||7 p.m. - 8 p.m.|
Looking for a great gift or just looking for a night out with your family? Take advantage of the ZOOLIGHTS Hitmen family pack! This package includes 2 adult and 2 child Hitmen tickets and 2 adult and 2 child ZOOLIGHTS tickets! Click here to purchase your tickets. Available for a limited time and may only be purchased through Calgary Hitmen.
Adaptation: ENMAX Lawn
How Animals Adapt
In order to adapt to the winter weather, certain animals have to grow extra fur or feathers. Learn what it feels like to be these animals with a dress-up activity, then take your photo and share it on social media. Animals are not the only ones who have to adapt to winter—you can help Build a Buddy Snowman adapt by dressing him up too.
Bear-ing the Weight of Adaptation
Carrying a backpack can feel like a heavy load, especially when it’s filled up with things for a long hike. Adaptation can be a little bit like that since some animals have to lug a lot around with them all winter long in order to survive. You can get an idea what that might feel like by walking around wearing body weights to mimic your survival load. Plus, once suited up you’ll get to tackle an obstacle course designed to help you understand what our furry friends go through during winter.
Adaptation is Puzzling
What could be more fun than a giant puzzle? Maybe four giant puzzles that show us what animal adaptation looks like? One side of each puzzle shows an animal’s winter colouring while the other side shows its summer colours. Gather your group together and see who can puzzle the fastest!
Wonderland: ENMAX Conservatory INSIDE
Visit with Santa
Let us be your selfie stick. Get your picture with Santa in the mystical world of Wonderland with everyone in the shot. Santa will be with us through December 23. Last entry to the queue is at 8:30 p.m. nightly.
Story Time: Saturdays & Sundays ONLY
Have a seat and listen to a story. Get carried away to a different place—it’s a relaxing and warm way to enjoy the evening.
Queen of Hearts Activity Centre
Thursday through Saturday guests can come into the ENMAX Conservatory DOW classroom to create a themed craft. Wander on down and see what we have in store for you—we’ll be switching it up.
Sugar Plum Fairies dancing in the Garden of Life on December 20 and 22.
You’re going down the rabbit hole with Alice and friends so you never know who you might find. We’re sure the Mad Hatter will be around every Thursday night, and he’s sure to be found in good company! Come find out for yourself.
New Year's Eve Specials in the ENMAX Conservatory
- Visit the Mat Hatter and his tea party in the Butterfly Garden.
- Face painting.
- Special New Year's Eve craft in the DOW Classroom.
- Classic Ballet performances by La Point Dance Studio in the atrium throughout the evening.
Bonus: Weekend Activities
We have brought the escape room to you! Located by the playground in Destination Africa every Saturday and Sunday.
LED Spinning Artists
Find these glowing artists roaming the grounds every Friday, and a special visit on December 24 and December 31.