Christmas at the Zoo, Nov. 27 to Jan. 3
By Carla Knapp
The warm glow of twinkling lights will fill the night sky as the Indianapolis Zoo brings together the best of the holiday season with a wild twist for its 47th year of Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union.
This festive tradition began back in 1967 when the Indianapolis Zoo became the first zoo in the United States to hold a holiday lights event. Now, more than 100,000 guests each year come to make new Christmastime memories.
This year, visitors can experience the magic of this beloved event from 5-9pm Wednesdays through Sundays from Nov. 27-Jan. 3, plus Dec. 21, 22, 28 and 29. The Zoo is closed on Christmas Eve and Day, New Year’s Eve and Day.
The Zoo opens daily at noon, and guests are encouraged to come early to find parking and visit with their favorite cold-weather critters, like tigers, polar bear, sea lions, walrus, brown bears and more.
The Zoo’s many indoor exhibits offer a perfect place for guests to go when cheeks get rosy, while special animal keeper chats throughout the day will help put everyone in the Christmas spirit. Guests also have a chance to win an Animal Art Adventure by finding the mistletoe hidden around grounds.
As the sun sets, the Zoo will transform into a winter wonderland filled with colorful, 100-percent LED lights and displays, including We Three Trees presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers and the All-A-Glow Light Show presented by United Healthcare.
As visitors stroll through the Zoo, they can sip on a cup of hot cocoa, sample delicious holiday treats, listen to local choirs on the Holiday Harmony Stage presented by WTHR and enjoy traditional carolers singing by the fireside.
Additional activities await in White River Gardens at Santa’s Workshop presented by Chick-fil-A, where the little ones will love decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus, writing letters to Santa and meeting Kriss Kringle himself through Dec. 23.
The wintertime crafts and activities continue even after Santa heads back to the North Pole, and visitors can enjoy Santa’s Tropical Paradise inside the Hilbert Conservatory throughout the holiday season.
Christmas at the Zoo is free for Zoo members and included with regular admission for other visitors. Discount tickets are available at participating Donatos and Teachers Credit Union locations.
Guests can receive $1 off admission at the gate with the donation of a new hat, scarf or gloves to benefit St. Mary’s Child Center. Visithttp://www.IndianapolisZoo.com/ for advance tickets and more information, or call 317-630-2001.