Date(s) - 11/29/2018
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Indianapolis Zoo


Enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights and the magical nighttime experience that is Christmas at the Zoo!

Dating back to 1967, the Indianapolis Zoo was the first zoo in the nation to hold a holiday lights event. Now in its 50th year, Christmas at the Zoo is a beloved holiday tradition!

Stay warm sipping on hot beverages or enjoying one of the campfires! Several animals will also stay up late to enjoy cooler nights, including brown bears, tigers and more! Plus, stop by the indoor animal exhibits, including Oceans, Deserts and the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center. The Hilbert Conservatory in the White River Gardens will also be open early in the day from noon-5pm.

The zoo is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

Experience the whimsical scenes of Santa’s Village!

  • Santa’s Study: Free visits with Santa through Dec. 23 with photo packages available for purchase. Please be in line by 9pm to visit Santa.
  • Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen: Free visits with Mrs. Claus through Dec. 23 and cookie-decorating available for purchase.
  • Santa’s Barn: See Santa’s sleigh and a few of his reindeer!
  • The Snowflakery: Wind through the mirror maze that is full of wintery twists and turns!
  • Peppermint Twist Beverage Hut: Warm up with a hot beverage or sweet treat!
  • Season’s Giftings: Stop in for wildly fun gifts for everyone on your list.
  • Mistletoe Kisses Gazebo: A picturesque place to find one of 10 hidden mistletoes.
  • Penguin Encounter: Get up close to these winter-ready birds from 6-8pm (animal and weather dependent).
  • Holiday Card Photo Opportunity: Larger than life holiday card for a larger than life family photo moment!
  • Find the Mistletoes! Look out for the 10 hidden throughout the Zoo and submit your answers to try to win an Animal Art Adventure inside the main Gift Shop.

Holiday Lights Galore! All lights on display are 100 percent LED energy-efficient! Check out featured displays like Christmas Tree Joy along the main path and We Three Trees located in Flights of Fancy.

Delicious treats all around! Visit Santa’s Sweet Shop or find Zoo fare at Café on the Commons. On a chilly night, a “Cup of Cheer” is a sweet deal with free refills all night long at any food service location!

Festive Choir Performances: Enjoy holiday tunes near the Arena presented by DairyPure and TruMoo. View the schedule here.

Enjoy a ride or two! Ride the Carousel or White River Junction Train during Christmas at the Zoo. Don’t forget that ticket packages are valid for a full year, so save on a few for now and a few for next year!

Complete your holiday shopping! Find gifts that support the Zoo with animal-themed holiday decorations and unique gifts. Fun ideas include an Indianapolis Zoo membership, Dolphin In-Water or an Animal Art Adventure. Or, support the work of conservation heroes with the help of the Champions for Our Planet: Indianapolis Prize Guide to Animal Conservation Giving.

USA Today’s 10 Best Zoo Lights: Christmas at the Zoo has been ranked in the top five of USA Today’s 10 Best Zoo Lights for the past three years! Plan your visit now and see why we are consistently ranked among the nation’s best.

Plan your night out! Purchase tickets in advance online or at Donatos and Teachers Credit Union locations. Receive $1 off admission for up to four guests when you donate a new hat, scarf or gloves for the Mitten Tree that supports local St. Mary’s Child Center.

Christmas at the Zoo

We do our best to provide the most relevant and timely information to our readers, but please confirm dates, times, and availability before attending an event. Events are posted on IWK from information found on, but not limited to, attraction sites, government city sites; as well as submissions from individual attractions, press releases and PR firms. All events are subject to change without notice and Indy with Kids cannot be held responsible.