Holiday Lights 2022 (credit: © Bronx Zoo)

Holiday Lights 2022 (credits: © Bronx Zoo)


NEW YORK (Sept. 6, 2023) -- When the sun goes down, the lights will begin to shine as Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights returns. With nearly 400 lanterns representing 100 animal and plant species, this family-friendly tradition, presented by Con Edison, connects visitors with real wildlife and wild places throughout the holiday season.

During the evenings, the park will come to life with holiday cheer as immersive light displays, custom-designed animal lanterns, and animated light shows sparkle across the zoo. The celebration will be complete with seasonal treats, classic holiday music, the Holiday Train, new interactive experiences and other festive entertainment such as a holiday tree with synchronized musical light performances.

Tickets for Holiday Lights can be purchased here.

Members get an exclusive, three-day preview, Nov. 14-16, 2023. Holiday Lights will open to the public Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, and run on select dates through Jan. 7, 2024, from 3-9 p.m.

Guests will see 64 new lantern displays this year representing nine animal species from New York’s ocean waters and wetlands, plus a new interactive experience, Enchanted Sea, celebrating bioluminescent creatures.  

“Holiday Lights marks the return of one of the most exciting traditions in New York City and at the Bronx Zoo,” said Jim Breheny, Bronx Zoo Director. “Our growing collection of animal lanterns and fun experiences creates a memorable way for families of all ages to learn more about wildlife, while experiencing the best of what NYC has to offer during the holiday season.”

This year’s entertainment includes:

  • Lantern Trails: Nearly 400 lanterns representing almost 100 animal and plant species will connect you to the real wildlife and wild place. Making their debut at this year’s Holiday Lights are 64 new lanterns representing nine new animal species!
  • NEW! Enchanted Sea: Get your glow on with LED swings, interactive floor projections, acrylic bubbles, and a jellyfish celebration in lights.
  • Light Show Experiences: Holiday Lights includes enhanced light shows that provide perfect photo ops for friends and family. Included is a holiday tree featuring synchronized musical light performances. And the walk-through Light Tunnel will dazzle you with animal-themed light shows.
  • Holiday Train: The family-favorite kids' ride returns for 2023 at Fountain Circle; $4 ($3 for members).
  • Ice carvings: Join us for nightly demonstrations as expert artists create wildlife art from giant ice blocks at Grizzly Corner.
  • Illuminated performers: Encounter amazing animal-themed illuminated performers perfect for family photo ops and festive fun at Astor Court.
  • Wildlife Theater: Enjoy family-friendly puppet adventures and wildlife trivia at Dancing Crane Pavilion.
  • Seasonal treats: Get your fill of hot cocoa, adult beverages, roasted s’mores, warm churros, pretzels, popcorn, Dippin’ Dots, and gifts to bring home and enjoy. 

WCS members receive a 40 percent discount on tickets. Members at the Conservation Supporter level will receive free admission to Holiday Lights. Tickets are date specific and must be obtained in advance at Changes to activity availability may occur due to unforeseen conditions. Holiday Lights does not include animal exhibits, which close at 4 p.m., and is a rain-or-shine event.

The media preview and opening ceremonies will be on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, at 5:00 p.m., followed by members-only preview nights, Nov. 14-16, 2023. Working media should RSVP in advance and are encouraged to arrive by 4:30 p.m.