Visit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for its annual holiday lights festival, ZooLights, powered by
Pepco. ZooLights is a free event, and this year half-a-million environmentally friendly LED lights
will illuminate the Zoo for 37 nights—from Nov. 23 through Jan. 1, 2019 from 5 to 9 p.m.
NEW THIS YEAR: GINGERBREAD VILLAGE, REINDEER GAMES FUN ZONE
Guests can look forward to some new eye candy at Gingerbread Village, a magical area of
frosted cookies and lollipops, giant gingerbread people cut-outs and a gingerbread throne
perfect for friend-and-family photos. Visitors also can pause outside the Elephant Community
Center to see a dazzling laser-light show, sponsored by Pepco, or board the Smithsonian’s
National Zoo Choo-Choo, sponsored by Metro by T-Mobile, for a journey around the Kids’ Farm.
At the new Reindeer Games Fun Zone, sponsored by GEICO, try a holiday-themed obstacle
course and twirl on illuminated rides. Each night of ZooLights will also boast a live music or
dance performance in the Great Meadow beneath a light canopy that responds to sound and
Visitors will be able to enjoy special winter treats, sweets, coffee and a selection of seasonal
spirits. The recently completed Conservation Pavilion Patio will feature six fire pits where guests
can roast s’mores or grab luminous cotton candy served on glowing sticks.
DATES TO REMEMBER AT ZOOLIGHTS
In 2018, GRUMP will double in size, featuring more vendors with unique gifts for all
ages, from handmade clothing and accessories to artwork, handcrafted toys and sweet
treats. GRUMP will start at the Zoo’s Connecticut Avenue entrance.
rides/attractions and BOGO popcorn when they present their membership card and
ZooLights does not feature the Zoo’s animals—all indoor animal exhibits will be closed to allow
animals to get a full night’s rest. Visitors will be able to warm up in the Zoo’s Visitor Center,
Panda Plaza Gift Shop, Mane Grill and Great Cats Gift Shop.
Admission to ZooLights is free. A flat-rate parking fee of $15 for Friends of the National Zoo
(FONZ) members and $25 for nonmembers will apply. Proceeds from ZooLights concessions and parking sales will benefit animal care and conservation science at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
ZooLights will not be held Dec. 24, 25 and 31. For more information about the event, go to
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