NEW YORK, N.Y. -- New York City’s family-favorite holiday tradition is officially underway at the Bronx Zoo. Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President and Director of Zoos & Aquarium, and Hilary Ayala, Director of Corporate Philanthropy and Employee Engagement at Con Edison, flipped the switch this past Tuesday to light up the park for the holiday season.

“We went yesterday and had a wonderful time! They did an amazing job throughout the zoo. Make sure you look up into the trees, you don’t want to miss anything!” shared a WCS member.

This year’s Holiday Lights transforms 12 acres of the Bronx Zoo into a winter wonderland with hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights. Guests can explore six lantern trails featuring nearly 400 lanterns that represent almost 100 animal and plant species. This includes 64 NEW lanterns this year, with displays showcasing the wildlife of New York’s ocean waters and wetlands.

Bronx Zoo Director Breheny encourages guests to explore the animal lantern safari trails, “where you can see different animals, different biomes from different continents, and learn all about what we do here at the Bronx Zoo and WCS to save these animals and the places where they live.”

Also NEW this year is the Enchanted Sea, celebrating bioluminescent creatures, where kids of all ages can interact with LED swings, interactive floor projections, and ocean-themed interactive light panels. Classic Holiday Lights traditions make their return, including ice-carving demonstrations, illuminated performers, kids’ favorite holiday train, Wildlife Theater, seasonal treats, and more. 

“What really makes Holiday Lights special is that people are used to seeing the zoo during the day and experiencing it in the daytime, but when you come here at night, it's dark,” Breheny observed. “You see everything lit up, all of these magical lights, illuminated creatures, the lanterns. It allows people to experience the zoo in a different way, one that they're not used to.”

Tickets for Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights start at just $26.95. NEW this year: Consider the Holiday Lights Any-Night ticket, which gives families the flexibility to visit during any night of their choice; limited tickets available.  

Full schedule of activities is available at

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights is sponsored by Con Edison.