BRONX – The opening of Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo marks the unofficial start to the New York City holiday season. The family-favorite tradition opens to the public on Friday, November 18 and will run on select dates through Jan. 8.
Holiday Lights is a fully outdoor experience. The six lantern trails have been reimagined and more than 70 new lanterns/30 new species have been added for 2022. In all, there are more than 360 wildlife-themed lanterns representing 90 species spread across an expansive area of the zoo. There are six lantern trails that depict scenes from geographic regions and ecosystems: North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, oceans, and the Forest of Color which features larger-than-life representations of some of the lesser known but impressively colorful animals and plants vital to the Earth’s ecosystems.
“Holiday Lights returned to the Bronx Zoo in 2019 and each year we have grown the event significantly” said Jim Breheny, Bronx Zoo Director. “Each year we add more animal lanterns and new experiences. Holiday Lights is now bigger than ever and gives everyone an exciting new way to learn about wildlife while experiencing the spirit of the season.”
The event includes massive light shows, synchronized to seasonal music, on historic Astor Court. Additional trees and features have been added making this the zoo’s biggest light show experience ever. Glowing animal-themed stilt walkers, train rides, Wildlife Theater shows, ice carving demonstrations, and seasonal treats including s’mores and hot chocolate make for a complete Holiday outing for the whole family.
In addition to the dozens of new animal lanterns, expanded light shows, and activities, the zoo has added several special nights to the line-up. December 2-4 will be a Pajama Party Weekend; December 26-30 will feature professional holiday carolers; New Year’s Eve will include a family-friendly new year countdown; and Schiff Hall will be transformed into a one-of-a-kind Illuminated Playground January 6-8.
December 29 will be a special sensory-inclusive night designed for guests who thrive in a sensory-supportive environment. During this special evening, guests can expect the same great Holiday Lights experience with some modifications to make it more sensory friendly.
Holiday Lights will operate on select dates from November 18 to January 8. Tickets for Holiday Lights must be purchased in advance and are date specific. Tickets are now available online. Visit the Know before You Go page for all details.
WCS members receive a 40-percent discount. Members at the Conservation Supporter level will receive free admission to Holiday Lights.
About the Bronx Zoo:
The Bronx Zoo, located on 265 acres of hardwood forest in Bronx, NY, opened on Nov. 8, 1899. It is world-renowned for its leadership in the areas of animal welfare, husbandry, veterinarian care, education, science and conservation. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is the flagship park of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) which manages the world’s largest network of urban wildlife parks including the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and New York Aquarium. Our curators and animal care staff work to save, propagate, and sustain populations of threatened and endangered species. We have educated and inspired more than 400 million visitors at our zoos and aquarium since our opening and host approximately 4 million guests at our parks each year – including about a half-million students annually. The Bronx Zoo is the largest youth employer in the borough of the Bronx, providing opportunity and helping to transform lives in one of the most under-served communities in the nation.
The Bronx Zoo is the subject of THE ZOO, a docu-series aired world-wide on Animal Planet. For more information, visit www.BronxZoo.com.