Today's Hours: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Complete Hours

New for the 2021 Holiday Season

Wild Lights, powered by We Energies

A Brilliantly Illuminated Winter Wonderland at the Zoo!

Dec. 1-5, 8-12, 15-23 and 26-31
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

This December, the Milwaukee County Zoo will transform into an illuminated world with millions of twinkling and sparkling lights placed throughout the forests and pathways, letting visitors enjoy an enchanted evening under the stars. For their health and safety, animals are not viewable during Wild Lights. So, come explore while the animals snore!

The NEW Wild Lights, Wild Dreams experience is offered Dec. 1-5, 8-12, 15-23 and 26-31, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; admission gates close at 8:45 p.m. On Thursday, Dec. 9 visitors 21+ enjoy a unique experience with entertainment, special spirits and food offerings to purchase.

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Bright colors and shining lights will greet guests walking along a 1-mile path filled with animal-themed light displays and decorations. It’s sure to connect participants to animals and the living earth in an inspiring new way!

The Joyful and the Jolly

Stroll through the Zoo’s very own snow globe, and take in these glowing displays:

  • Wild LightsPolar Point: You’re invited to step into our dream, as our WILD night of LIGHTS starts!
  • Flamingle all the Way, sponsored by Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®: Like birds of a feather, flock together with friends and family down Flamingo Way past a flamboyance of lit flamingos.
  • Jungle Bells: Enter the world of apes and primates with Jungle Bells! Use your imagination and dream of a faraway place where these agile animals are swinging from the trees around you.
  • FantaSEA, sponsored by Mad City Windows and Baths: Dream of unknown places as you "swim" through this underwater adventure of sea creatures!
  • aROARa, sponsored by Meijer: Here you’ll dream of beauty as you walk under the dancing waves of lights of the aurora borealis.
  • Winter Woodland, sponsored by Meijer: Wander and weave through the evergreen forest and northern woodlands.
  • ROARchestration, sponsored by Prairie Farms Dairy: This kaleidoscopic landscape celebrates all the beauty of nature and the living things with which we share the earth. Celebrate with a light show every 10 minutes.
  • ButterFLIGHT: As the night sky settles, some of earth’s smallest creatures twinkle in the sky and fireflies and butterflies will light your way.
  • Horizon + Starry Safari, sponsored by American Transmission Company: As the sun rises over the horizon, create new dreams for a new day before imagining your very own Starry Safari adventure celebrating the Zoo’s animals!
  • Vibrance: The ribbon of colors you’ve experienced along the way come together, and now dream YOUR own vision in this magical immersion of light!

Tinsel and Trimmings

Enjoy these yuletide extras:

  • Wild Lights LionFestive food and drinks will be available for purchase.
  • Wild Lights for Wildlife: Bring your holiday lights for recycling to help wildlife! Recycling lights keeps them out of landfills, less space for landfills means more space for wildlife!
  • Drop off working or non-working lights in the U.S. Bank Gathering Place for recycling. Proceeds will support Wisconsin’s Endangered Resources Fund.
  • North Shore Bank Safari Train (weather depending) – Enjoy a crisp, winter woodland ride.
  • Penzeys Carousel (weather depending) – Ride atop your favorite animal on this old-fashioned favorite.

Wild Lights Admission

Tickets are available online beginning Oct. 26, or at the Zoo on the night of your choice. Parking is included.

Admission at the gate*:

Adult: $20
Child (3-12): $18
Child (2 and under): FREE

Zoological Society members with card receive $2 discount.

Online admission* – Buy online and save!

Adult: $18
Child (3-12): $16
Child (2 and under): FREE

Zoological Society members receive $2 discount with code GoWild and member ID.

Buy tickets online

Group rates:

For groups of 20 or more – Call the Group Sales Department at: 414-256-5430.
Adult: $16
Child (3-12): $14
Child (2 and under): FREE

Wild Lights PenguinsWild Lights is an outdoor experience, so grab your boots and mittens and enjoy the winter and (hopefully) snowy conditions! For their health and safety, animals are not viewable during Wild Lights.

Help guests with a sensory issue learn about Wild Lights by clicking here.

For visitors’ continued safety, masking and physical distancing is required inside all Zoo buildings. Masks are not required outside. Hand-sanitizer stations will be located throughout the park, including entry and exit areas, restrooms and concessions. Sanitizers contain at least 60% alcohol. We’re reducing the risk for exposure by enhancing our already-stringent cleaning protocols and frequently sanitizing high-touch surfaces.

Your visit supports the Milwaukee County Zoo – its animals, special exhibits, and conservation programs, as well as its respected place in the community. The Zoo continues to serve as a cultural asset and resource for all who visit.

For questions about Wild Lights, powered by We Energies, please call the Zoo’s Marketing and Communications Department at 414.256.5466.