Denver Zoo Map
December 28, 2016


Zoo Year’s Eve party includes magic show, dancing and timely countdown

Put your party hats on and get ready to kick off 2017 at Denver Zoo! On Saturday, December 31, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., Zoo Lights guests can celebrate Zoo Year’s Eve at the Zoo’s Conoco Zoo Gardens. The event is fun for the entire family and includes a dance party, magic show, face painting, meet and greets with snow princesses and a special New Year’s Eve countdown at 9 p.m. so kids can enjoy the holiday, but still get home for bed at a decent time. Activities are included with admission to Zoo Lights, Presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores.

Guests of this popular holiday tradition will experience a light safari with 60 brilliantly-illuminated acres of lights, featuring more than 150 animated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they're least expected. This event promises a time like no other in Colorado. Festivities include live animal demonstrations, carolers, ice carvers, delicious holiday treats at warming stations throughout the Zoo. The event will continue to run nightly, through January 1, from 5:30-9 p.m., weather permitting.

This year, the event will even incorporate the Zoo’s traveling exhibit, “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea,” presented by CH2M, which features 15 giant sculptures of marine life around the park made almost entirely from trash collected from beaches. Each of them will be lit for night-viewing and, for many guests, it will be a last chance to see them before the exhibit ends on January 16, 2017.

Admission to Zoo Lights, without a discount, is $17 for adults (12-64), $12 for children (3-11), $14 for senior citizens (65+). Children 2 and under are admitted free. Members get a $2 discount on all tickets. Denver Zoo is also offering an online discount to help guests avoid long lines. The Zoo will also run a shuttle for the remainder of the event, from the 40th and Colorado light rail station, to encourage guests to take alternative transportation. For more information on Zoo Lights, please call Denver Zoo at 720-337-1400 or visit

Zoo Lights is also supported by premier sponsors Bank of America, Ace Hardware and Denver7.

Zoo Lights Special Events lineup:

  • BUNK WITH THE BEASTS DEC. 31                

Our regular Bunk with the Beasts program lights up with holiday cheer. Ring in the new year at the “Zoo Year’s Eve Kids-Only” Bunk on December 31. Explore how wild animals adapt to winter habitats, enjoy Zoo Lights, and then, just like our animal residents, sleep overnight at the zoo! Sign up at or contact Denver Zoo at or 720-337-1400.


    Get up close and even touch animals from around the world inside Benson Predator Ridge on every night throughout Zoo Lights!

  • WILD ICE DEC. 29 - JAN. 1

    Visit a special ice carving garden, filled with animal sculptures created by Santa's helpers with power tools, with a special focus this year on sea creatures.

  • CELEBRATE KWANZAA DEC. 26-30          

    Denver Zoo will celebrate this African cultural holiday with music, entertainment and activities.


    Join us on December 31, 2016 for Zoo Year's Eve during our Zoo Lights celebration. The evening features fun activities for the entire family and an early New Year's Eve countdown at 9 p.m. so your little ones can enjoy the holiday and still get home for bed early.

Zoo Lights is the largest lighting event in the Rocky Mountain Region and the largest annual event hosted by Denver Zoo. It takes Zoo staff members three months to set up the 60 acres of lights and displays and almost the same amount of time and manpower to dismantle them.