Light up your holiday with a wild visit to the Denver Zoo’s annual Zoo Lights celebration, which runs nightly from November 30 to January 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Experience a light safari with 60 illuminated acres of lights and more than 130 animated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in unexpected places.
New experiences for 2018 include:
Santa and Mrs. Claus Workshop Show
This year Mrs. Claus will take the spotlight as she spins a captivating magical tale that brings the holiday season to life, while you get cozy with s’mores or a signature drink like a Mrs. Claus Cookie-Cream Dream.
Festival of Lanterns
An eye-popping kaleidoscope of Asian-themed lanterns and light sculptures will adorn Toyota Elephant Passage’s pagodas, bridges and pathways, and the exhibit’s main plaza will transform into a Vietnamese-inspired Holiday Market, where guests can buy beautiful gifts and yummy holiday treats.
4D Movie Theater
Kids of all ages will love Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4D. Watch with 3D glasses to see if a handful of prehistoric misfits can really save the holiday, while you feel in-theater special effects. This 4D movie experience requires a separate ticket purchase available at the 4D Theater ticket kiosk.
In addition to the wondrous displays, most of the zoo is open including: Pahali Ya Simba, Pachyderms (black rhino, hippo), El Pomar Village Hall (Asian small-clawed otters, fishing cats), Clayton F. Freiheit Elephant House (Asian elephants), Giraffe House (giraffes) and Tropical Discovery (fishes, reptiles, amphibians, howler monkeys).
There are a few ways to save on tickets.
1. Visit during Discount Nights. From December 3 to 6 and December 10 to 13, Zoo Lights is less crowded. Admission is $15 for adults (12 to 64), $10 for children (3 to 11), $13 for seniors (65+) and children under 2 are FREE.
2. As of Dec. 15, there still are stores with tickets, but call to confirm. Get two (2) FREE tickets (that’s worth up to $40) at Ace Hardware with the purchase of an Ace gift card of $30 or more. The bonus offer is available at participating Ace Hardware locations through December 31, while supplies last. Here are all the details. It’s not often the bonus exceeds the cost of a gift card, so this is one of the best deals out there — if you purchase the minimum amount.
3. Buy your tickets online. You get a $2 online discount. That means, if you buy Value Night tickets online, you pay $13 for adults, $8 for children and $11 for senior admission.
4. General Zoo Lights nights will cost you more — $20 for adults, $14 for children and $17 for seniors. But you can still get $2 off per ticket, when you buy online.
5. If you have a Denver Zoo membership (or have been thinking about joining), get a $5 discount on all tickets during peak nights and $3 off during discount nights.