Zoo Lights returns in 2020: Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event

Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Zoo Lights is returning to the Houston Zoo from Nov. 14 to Jan. 10.

The Houston Zoo is transformed into a winter spectacular and will feature timed tickets to allow for proper social distancing while visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. The event will have increased cleaning and disinfecting to ensure a safe visit for all, according to the zoo.

Here’s what you can do:

  • During Zoo Lights guests can sip their hot chocolate as LED lighting illuminates the ancient oak trees and decorates the paths to light the way.
  • Guests have an opportunity to interact with Candy the Zoo Lights Zebra
  • Get a selfie on a giant ice throne
  • Take a socially-distanced photo with Santa as he prepares for the holidays in his workshop.
  • Stroll through a 125-foot-long, Infinity Tunnel of Light
  • See dragons come to life in the 4-D Enchanted Forest, and experience Winter Wonderland.
  • Additional experiences like making s’mores are also available for purchase.
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Houston Zoo's Zoo Lights (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

During the nightly event, the zoo animals settle down for their long winter’s nap, and the star attraction is the lights. To see the Zoo’s animals, guests are encouraged to visit during regular daytime hours.

TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights is a separately ticketed event, held daily from 5:30 – 10:30 p.m. with the last entry at 9:30 p.m. The zoo closes for the day at 4:00 p.m. and re-opens as TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights at 5:30 p.m. Tickets prices range from $12.90 - $29.95. Zoo members save $3 per ticket when they login to their membership account to buy tickets. For the best price, guests are encouraged to buy early.

As with every zoo visit, guests 10 years and older are required to wear proper face coverings. Tickets must be purchased online prior to attending Zoo Lights.

For more information, go here.

Specialty Nights

Member Preview Nights

Tues. and Wed., Nov. 10, 11

Zoo members can enjoy two, member preview nights and see the lights before anyone else.

Brew Lights

Thurs., Nov. 12

Adults 21 and up are invited to enjoy Zoo Lights without the kids! Stroll through the Zoo with a Saint Arnold brew, hard seltzer, or spiked hot chocolate during this 21+ event. Brew Lights tickets include two drinks. Additional safety measures are in place for this year’s event, and tickets must be purchased online in advance.

TXU Energy presents Zoo Lights: VIP Experience

Sat., Nov. 28, Dec. 19, and Dec. 26

See the animals at the Zoo during the day and get early access to Zoo Lights. VIP ticket holders receive daytime Zoo admission, a complimentary meal at Cypress Circle Café, and exclusive access to Zoo Lights before the public.

Sensory Friendly Night

Mon., Dec. 7

On this Zoo Lights night, guests can expect a smaller crowd, quieter music, limited flashing lights, and designated quiet areas.

Additional Specialty Nights

Military, first responders, and educators are all eligible for a $3 discount off admission. Qualified guests will use a special discount code when purchasing tickets online, and they will need to present their professional ID at the gate.


About the Author:

An Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist, Amanda Cochran is a Houston transplant from New York City who has embraced her new city with both arms -- living and breathing news and all things Texas.