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Lincoln Park ZooLights tickets go on sale

Lincoln Park Zoo's annual ZooLights returns for 2023 Nov. 17


One of Chicago's most iconic holiday traditions returns next month, with ticket sales soon underway.

Lincoln Park Zoo's popular ZooLights Christmas and holiday lights event will return Friday, Nov. 17, officials said, with shimmering variety of LED light displays, all powered by renewable energy, attractions and a new garden-themed light show will be unveiled on the zoo’s South Lawn for guests to enjoy. 

“ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Invesco QQQ is back with more to enjoy and experience than ever before,” Director of Marketing & Events Gretchen Kirchmer said in a press release. “We hope to inspire a new nostalgia for generations of families and friends to come, as they watch Lincoln Park Zoo transform into a shimmering winter wonderland in the heart of Chicago!”

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday, the Zoo said.

What to know about Lincoln Park ZooLights for 2023

Ticket prices vary on the day you choose to go. General admission ZooLights tickets are $7 on most days except for Fridays, Saturdays and holidays like Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve where tickets are $10. Admission to see the ZooLights is free on Mondays. Purchase tickets on the zoo's website.

Ticket sales from the holiday event directly contribute to the Lincoln Park Zoo’s animal care, global conservation efforts and innovative learning programs. They also help fund the zoo to sustainably function for free public access all year. 

Beyond light extensive displays, visitors can see costumed characters roaming the grounds and watch traditional Victorian carolers on select nights. The Pepper Family Wildlife Center will also be transformed into the North Pole and host visits from Santa, according to a press release.

ZooLights will also feature a Light Maze, Ferris Wheel, live ice carvers and a light tunnel on the Main Mall. Other rides include the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel and Lionel Train Adventure kiddie train. 

Guests can purchase food and drinks at Edie Levy’s Landmark Café or visit the "Snowy’s Sprits & S’more" holiday pop-up bar for festive cocktails, hot drinks and s’mores.

ComEd and Invesco QQQ have organized a lineup of special events this holiday season. The Lincoln Park Zoo is set to host its annual Sensory-Friendly Night at Zoolights on Wednesday, Dec. 6 where most lights will remain static and music will be played at a reduced volume. Tickets are $7 per person on this night. 

ZooLights has a variety of shows scheduled on Sunday, Dec. 10 for The Chris White Trio Tribute to A Charlie Brown Christmas, where jazz performers will play holiday classics. Showtimes and ticket prices can be viewed here.

Guests over 21 can enjoy the “Adults Night Out: Holidaze” event on Thursday, Dec. 14. Ticket sales include a Santa greeting, unlimited access to various rides and a DJ party on Main Mall.  

On New Year’s Eve, ZooLights will host a special countdown every hour to be family-friendly for those hoping to go to bed earlier. 

ZooLights is open from 4:30 to 9 p.m. on Sundays to Thursdays and 4:30 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 22), and New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31).

The seasonal event will officially open to the public on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 and will close  after Jan. 7, 2024. ZooLights will not be open Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

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