Join us for a family holiday festival at the Bronx Zoo.
During the evenings, the park comes to life with holiday cheer as immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns and animated light shows sparkle across the zoo. This year, you’ll experience NEW lantern displays showcasing the wildlife of New York’s ocean waters and wetlands, plus a new interactive experience celebrating bioluminescent creatures. Changes to activity availability may occur due to unforeseen conditions. This program does not include animal exhibits. All animal exhibits close at 4:00pm. Holiday Lights is a rain or shine event.
A Celebration in Lights
We’re celebrating the wildlife we love with animal lantern trails, holiday decor, animated sculptures, holiday train, and much more.
Nearly 400 lanterns representing almost 100 animal and plant species will connect you to the real wildlife and wild places that WCS staff works to protect through our field programs around the world, and at our zoos and aquarium in New York. 64 new lanterns representing 9 new animal species will make their debut at this year’s Holiday Lights!
Explore our 6 lantern trails
Forest of Color
A glowing pathway celebrating Africa’s animals in lights! Your favorites, including giraffes, lions, lemurs, ostriches, African forest elephants, hippos, Aldabra tortoises, Aldabra white-throated rails, Aldabra sacred ibises, and many others will be there.
Encounter the glittering snow leopard, Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, Malayan tapirs, tree kangaroos, cassowary, fruit bats, and many other favorites.
Forest of Color
The brightly colored, larger-than-life animal and plant lanterns that fill the Forest of Color represent the beauty and diversity of nature, showing that our planet is home to tiny animals who display some of the brightest colors on earth, and sharing ideas on how we can help to protect them.
Discover the illuminated jaguar, orinoco crocodile, scarlet macaws, Andean cocks-of-the-rock, giant anteater, Andean bears, white-lipped peccaries, brown-throated sloth, and two-toed sloth, and other favorites.
Experience North American animal lanterns, including polar bears, caribou, gray wolves, bison, Pacific walrus, wolverine, grizzly bears, moose, trumpeter swans, golden eagles, and prairie dogs. Plus, NEW this year, encounter animals native to New York’s wetlands: North American beavers, raccoon, great egret, common snapping turtle, and red fox.
An undersea journey in lights including penguins, sea turtles, larger-than-life black seadevil, anglerfish, vampire squid, Atolla jellies, deep-sea nudibranch and many others, including a nurse shark with a body that you can walk through! Plus, NEW this year you’ll find animals from the Bronx River and the New York Seascape, including alewife, American eels, and Atlantic sturgeon.
Enjoy Immersive Experiences
Get your glow on in Schiff Family Great Hall with LED swings, interactive floor projections, ocean-themed interactive light panels that create patterns that mimic ocean life, and a jellyfish celebration in lights.
Light Show Experiences
Holiday Lights includes enhanced light shows that provide perfect photo ops for friends and family. On Astor Court, a towering holiday tree features synchronized musical light performances. And the walk-through Light Tunnel will dazzle you with animal-themed light shows.
More Holiday Lights Fun
The family-favorite kids’ ride returns for 2023! Fountain Circle; $4 ($3 Members)
Ice Carving Demonstrations
Join us for nightly ice carving demonstrations as expert artists create wildlife art from giant ice blocks! Grizzly Corner
Encounter amazing animal-themed illuminated performers – perfect for family photo ops and festive fun. Astor Court
Enjoy family-friendly puppet adventures and wildlife trivia. Dancing Crane Pavilion
Get your fill of hot cocoa, roasted s’mores, warm churros, pretzels, popcorn, Dippin Dots, and gifts to bring home and enjoy. Throughout the Zoo
Holiday Lights is a must-see part of our family’s holiday season.
— Paula, Holiday Lights Attendee
A beloved tradition returns! Plan your visit today.