Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union

​​5-9pm • Wednesday-Sunday, Nov. 28-Jan. 4, plus Dec. 22 & 23, 29 & 30, 2014

Closed Christmas Eve & Day; New Year's Eve & Day

Surround yourself with the magic and beauty of the holiday season as the Indianapolis Zoo hosts its 47th year of Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Cre​dit Union, with an extra weekend of fun added this year! The Zoo is open from noon to 9pm, with event activities starting at 5pm. Come out early to grab a great parking spot, see some animals and watch as the lights come on to transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland.

Dating back to 1967, 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 a favorite for many guests. At every twist and turn you're sure to enjoy the sparkling twinkle of 100 percent LED light displays that will adorn Zoo grounds, making Christmas at the Zoo a great place to create holiday memories!

A visit to Christmas at the Zoo is unlike any other time of the year as we bring together the best of the holiday season with a "wild" twist! As the sun sets over the White River State Park, enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights, creating a magical nighttime experience. You'll find yourself eager to celebrate everything the holidays should be … plus animals! Several of the Zoo's hardiest will stay up late to enjoy the cooler nights, including seals and sea lions, polar bear, walrus, tigers, red panda, brown bears and more! You and your loved ones can grab some hot cocoa and enjoy the lights as you go between the Oceans building, indoor to the Dolphin Dome, grab some treats at Café on the Commons and stay warm at two campfires.

Stop By to See Santa in White River Gardens

  • Santa's Workshop presented by Chick-fil-A features free visits with Santa through Dec. 23 (great photo packages available*)

  • Cookie decorating*, with help from Mrs. Claus through Dec. 23, in Mrs. Claus' Kitchen

  • Letters to Santa

  • Santa's Tropical Paradise

Holiday Lights

Carolers (before Christmas)

  • Performances by local school choirs (at Café on the Commons). Check out the lineup here.

  • Traditional carolers singing around the back campfire. TIP: Come ready to request your favorite holiday songs!

Find the Mistletoe

  • ​​Be on the lookout for up to 10 mistletoes and register inside the Gift Shop to win one of two Dolphin In-Water Adventures.

  • TIP: Not all mistletoes need to be found in order to register.

Delicious Christmas Treats

  • Santa's Sweet Shop near Encounters offers gourmet goodies

  • Santa's First Stop on the main path near the Entry Plaza

  • Mrs. Claus' Kitchen in White River Gardens

  • Zoo fare served at Café on the Commons

  • TIP: On a chilly night, a "Cup of Cheer" can be worth its weight in gold. Get free refills on hot beverages all night long at any food service location!​

Memorable Holiday Photo Ops*

  • Front Gate as you enter

  • Santa photos in White River Gardens

  • Sleigh in Oceans

  • TIP: Think you're too old for a photo with Santa? The sleigh in Oceans is a great photo op for adults and groups!


Great Gifts*

Christmas at the Zoo admission:

  • Christmas at the Zoo is included with regular admission and free for Zoo members!

  • Discounted tickets are available at participating:

    • Donatos locations

    • Teachers Credit Union locations

  • Save on admission by purchasing advance tickets online or bring a new hat, scarf or glove donation for the Mitten Donation Tree that supports our local St. Mary's Child Center.​​​

*Requires additional charge. ​