5 simply magical things you can enjoy at ZooLights this season

Nov 22 2017, 3:47 am

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

The weather is getting colder, you’re wearing your favourite toque and scarf, making the most of this magical season. And warming up with a mug of hot chocolate too, naturally.

Calgary Zoo is celebrating the season in full effect and it’s transforming into an illuminated winter wonderland nightly from Friday, November 24, as ZooLights presented by JSS Barristers is returning for the 20th year.

ZooLights is going to have Calgary’s biggest light display with more than 1.5 million lights, including a 16-ft-tall Christmas tree and an ice-skating rink. It only takes roughly 90 minutes to experience the magic of the event, and you can even go and visit Santa while you’re there.

To help you see why you need to visit ZooLights before it ends on January 6, we’ve compiled a list of things you can enjoy during the event.


This season, you’ll get to light up your smile at the ENMAX Conservatory activities and displays happening at ZooLights.

The ENMAX Conservatory will be divided into three sections, highlighting Santa in the Queen’s court, the Mad Hatter’s tea party in the butterfly garden, and down the rabbit hole in the Garden of Life. So it’s your chance to finally see Alice and get a selfie with Santa any time up until 8:30 pm on December 23.

It’s the new mistletoe

Meeting under the mistletoe is so last year. Now you can meet your crush under the bright lights at Calgary Zoo.

It’s the perfect place for a romantic date as you can sip hot chocolate by the fire, see the Mad Hatter in Wonderland, take your picture with Santa, and help support wildlife conservation at the same time. And… everything is included in the price of admission (except hot cocoa and snacks).

Learn more about the animals

While you’re at ZooLights, you’ll have the chance to play games and learn about how the animals migrate, hibernate, and adapt to their surroundings.

You’ll also get to learn about conservation and animal behaviours all while having a sparkling good time. Did we mention that you actually get to build your own hibernation station, too? Get ready to roll up your sleeves!

Go ice-skating

Let’s be real, the holiday season isn’t complete until you’ve gone ice-skating. This year, you’ll be able to do that for free when you purchase a ticket for ZooLights. Skate around while listening to your favourite Christmas songs or serenading your other half.

Instagram opportunities

When you’re surrounded by over one million twinkling lights, more than 200 light figurines, and a variety of interactive and choreographed light displays, you’re going to want to take some photos. And ZooLights provides the perfect backdrop for your Instagram photos. Get ready to share gorgeous photos that will make your followers want to visit immediately.

You can plan your visit to ZooLights now by visiting the Calgary Zoo website.

Calgary Zoo ZooLights 2017

When: Friday, November 24, 2017 to Saturday, January 6, 2018 (closed on Christmas Day)
Time: 6 to 9 pm (gates close at 8:30 pm)
Where: The Calgary Zoo – 1300 Zoo Road NE, Calgary
Tickets: Adults $14.99, kids $11.99 – available online or at the gate

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