Christmas at the Zoo
presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union
5-9pm ‚ÄĘ Wednesday-Sunday ‚ÄĘ Nov. 23-Dec. 30
Surround yourself with the beauty and magic of the holiday season as we host the 44th year of Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union. Dating back to 1968, the Indianapolis Zoo was the first zoo in the United States to hold a holiday lights event, and since then, Christmas at the Zoo has become known for its spectacular holiday lights and displays. This year will be no exception! Join us to make memories too big to fit in a box while you visit animals that love cooler weather, walk the Zoo grounds covered in lights and enjoy holiday cheer. The Zoo opens at noon each Wednesday through Sunday, with holiday activities from 5-9pm each night.
NEW Location for Santa this year in White River Gardens
‚óŹ Santa's Toy Shop features free visits with Santa (great photo packages available*)
‚óŹ Cookie decorating* with Mrs. Claus in Mrs. Claus' Kitchen
‚óŹ Letters to Santa
‚óŹ Santa's Tropical Paradise located in the Hilbert Conservatory. See why Santa loves the tropics after the busy holiday season. Enjoy a festive scavenger hunt as well.
Energy Efficient Holiday LED Lights sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
‚óŹ We Three Trees presented by Indianapolis Honda Dealers
‚óŹ All-A-Glow Light Show
‚óŹ All-new lights throughout Encounters
‚óŹ Meet reindeer in the Entry Plaza
‚óŹ Holiday-themed Dolphin Shows
‚óŹ Four animal keeper chats
Carolers (before Christmas)
‚óŹ Performances by local school choirs (at Caf√© on the Commons)
‚óŹ Traditional carolers singing around the back campfire. TIP: Come ready to request your favorite holiday songs!
Find the Mistletoe
‚óŹ Be on the lookout for up to 10 mistletoes and register to win one of two Dolphin In-Water Adventures. TIP: Not all mistletoes need to be found in order to register.
Delicious Christmas Treats*
‚óŹ Santa‚Äôs Sweet Shop takes over the Outpost in the middle of the Zoo with oversized gourmet rice crispy treats, freshly baked cinnamon rolls and cookies, as well as homemade fudge and brownies.
‚óŹ Santa‚Äôs First Stop snack stop on the main path near the Entry Plaza.
‚óŹ Whistle Stop snack stop across from the train ride
‚óŹ Mrs. Claus' Kitchen snack stop in White River Gardens
‚óŹ Zoo fare served at Caf√© on the Commons
TIP: The purchase of a "Cup of Cheer" early in your visit can be worth its weight in gold. Get your cup refilled all night long with free hot drinks at any food service location!
Memorable Holiday Photo Ops*
‚óŹ Front Gate as you enter
‚óŹ Santa in Santa‚Äôs Toy Shop at White River Gardens
‚óŹ Sleigh in Oceans
TIP: Think you're too old for a photo with Santa? The sleigh in Oceans can fit grown adults and is great for group photos!
‚óŹ Holiday Train Ride presented by Marathon
‚óŹ The Wizard of Oz 4-D Experience in the 4-D Theater presented by Yellow Pages
TIP: Coming back next year? Ticket packages are valid for a full year, so you can use a few now and save a few for later!
Shop the Indianapolis Zoo Gift Shop for amazing animal-themed holiday decorations and the perfect gifts for everyone on your shopping list. Find apparel, home d√©cor, plush animals, books, games and more!
WISH Tree Program
Once again, the Zoo will be a collection point for the WISH Tree program. Through Dec. 14, you can drop off any new toy at the collection boxes in the gift shops inside the Zoo and White River Gardens. WISH-TV will broadcast live from the Zoo on Friday, Nov. 30, and if you donate that day, you will receive a coupon valid that day for a free train ride! You'll also receive a 15 percent discount at the gift shops on the purchase of toy donations! Donations benefit the Salvation Army.
* Requires additional charge.
Admission & Discounts
Christmas at the Zoo is free for Zoo members and included with regular off-season admission. Receive $1.00 off admission with each donation of a new hat, scarf or gloves to neighboring St. Mary‚Äôs Children Center, which helps young children who are at risk for social, emotional, economic and environmental problems.
Discount tickets for Christmas at the Zoo are available at participating Donatos and Teachers Credit Union locations. TIP: Donatos will also deliver tickets with your pizza order at no extra charge!