ZooLights at the National Zoo: Experience a DC Holiday Tradition
Take in the sights of the holiday season at ZooLights, an annual tradition now in its 12th year at the National Zoo. As you stroll through the zoo after hours, you’ll see more than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights, used to create animals and decorate the trees. The event also features nightly performances from choral groups and bands, as well as laser light shows, a holiday market, and festive food options, including holiday cookies and eggnog.
ZooLights is perfect if you have children or are entertaining out-of-town kids in your family. Children can ride on a snow tubing slide, take a train ride around the zoo, and try a holiday-themed obstacle course, among many other activities. You may want to warn children ahead of time that animals at the zoo won’t be on display during the event. There’s plenty of activities for adults, too — including mulled wine, other libations, and a large holiday market for gift shopping. If it’s a cold night, there are places to go inside and warm up.
ZooLights runs every evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., starting Nov. 29 until Jan. 1. Admission is free, but there is a cost for some activities. Parking is limited and is $25 per car. The event is often very crowded, so many locals recommend taking the Metro.