Complete Guide To Calgary ZOOLIGHTS

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Take The Family To Calgary ZOOLIGHTS For A Great Night Out

ZOOLIGHTS begins each year around the start of the Christmas season at the Calgary Zoo, who put up over 2 million lights around the grounds, and it’s spectacular! One of the best annual family events in Calgary. It really transforms the regular Calgary Zoo we all know and love, into a glowing winter sensation complete with fire pits, hot chocolate, ice skating, hot food, snacks, desserts, fun and games for the kids topping off with a visit from Santa Claus. If you haven’t been to ZOOLIGHTS yet, this guide will answer all of your questions.

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Calgary Zoo ZOOLIGHTS peacock

How Much Does ZOOLIGHTS Cost?

Calgary Zoo Inspire members get FREE unlimited access to ZOOLIGHTS!

  • Children under 3: free!
  • Children 3 – 15: $14.95
  • General admission: $19.95
  • North gate parking is $10

Click here to buy tickets online.

Calgary Zoo ZOOLIGHTS Alice In Wonderland

When Are The Calgary ZOOLIGHTS?

For 2019 the Calgary ZOOLIGHTS begin on November 22nd and continue until January 4th 2020, open nightly (except Christmas).

  • Starts: November 22, 2019
  • Ends: January 4, 2020
  • Hours: Nightly from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Closed Christmas

Santa Clause At ZOOLIGHTS

Every year before Christmas, Santa Claus actually makes the time to hang out at the Calgary Zoo during ZOOLIGHTS, up until December 23rd (for obvious reasons). Bring the kiddos, take your own pictures for free. Good times.

  • When: Each night until December 23rd.
  • Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Where: Inside the Atrium of theĀ ENMAX Conservatory

Calgary Zoo ZOOLIGHTS Santa Claus


The best way to get to & from ZOOLIGHTS is by taking public transit (Calgary Transit), hopping aboard a c-train to the Calgary Zoo station. Couldn’t be easier, and you’ll save on the cost of parking, however it is only $10 to park at the Calgary Zoo.

If you’re driving, you’ll see Calgary Zoo signs on both the east and west lanes of Memorial drive.


  • Keep in mind that this event is outdoors for the most part, so make sure you dress appropriately for the weather! And, actually, if it’s colder, there will be fewer people there.
  • Calgary ZOOLIGHTS is completely wheelchair accessible!
  • When you buy hot chocolate, cookies or other snacks, you’re helping support the conservation programs at the Calgary Zoo (so thanks!).
  • They have those spkarly light up rad mugs for hot chocolate. Kids love them.
  • You won’t be able to access the whole zoo. For example the Canadian Wilds is not included in Calgary ZOOLIGHTS, nor is the prehistoric park.
  • You won’t really be able to see any animals, either. Some, yes, but you should go there not expecting to see any. It’s dark and the zoo is set up very specifically to keep people in certain areas.
  • If you plan on coming to the Calgary Zoo with a service dog (Calgary ZOOLIGHTS or not), make sure you pre-register. You won’t be allowed to just bring dogs into the Zoo. See their service animal policy here.
  • If you’re an Inspire Member, you get unlimited free access to the Calgary ZOOLIGHTS!
  • Engage and children membership levels get one time 50% off access to Calgary ZOOLIGHTS.
  • If you’re bringing young kids, bring a wagon in case they get whiney and tired.
  • Buying tickets online is always cheaper than at the gate! Save $3 per ticket.
  • Fire pits are scattered throughout the grounds and maintained by staff, so grab a hot chocolate and cookies and take a seat. It’s wonderful.

Calgary Zoo ZOOLIGHTS Polar Bear


It’s something we look forward to every year, especially kiddo. She loves the hot chocolate and cookies especially. Especially a great place to go to take photos – don’t forget your camera! It’s Plus? Also a good Tinder date night.


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