November 13, 2020

What’s New at the Zoo?

From Zoo Lights to Zoo Babies, Here are 5 Compelling Reasons to Visit Denver Zoo This Winter


Denver Zoo is an endless source of new experiences that help you connect with our animals and each other. Some are small and furry; others are epic and groundbreaking. But they all prove one thing: no two visits to Denver Zoo are exactly alike. That is especially true as we round out 2020 with a bevy of new animals and events that guarantee you’ll see or learn something new on your next trip. Here are five new things happening at Denver Zoo right now:


With 3,000+ animals representing more than 400 fascinating species—PLUS a variety of exciting changes across our 80-acre campus—there’s always something new happening at Denver Zoo. This summer is no exception! Here are six hot-off-the-press developments sure to make your next visit a memory-maker. 

1. Zoo Lights are BACK


It's official: Zoo Lights has been making magic, memories, and even marriages for 30 amazing years! Presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, this illuminating annual event transforms Denver Zoo into Colorado's WILDEST winter wonderland. Don't miss this year's historic celebration, with more than a million lights sparkling over 80 acres—plus a host of special measures to keep your family safe and healthy.

2. New Faces

Cue the oohs and aahs—there’s an adorable crop of NEW zoo babies to see, plus a bunch of other new animals at Denver Zoo 

Jack (lesser kudu): 



Jack joins the many offspring of Joe that have joined us over the past two years, including siblings and half siblings Winifred, Eleanor, Crumpet and Lawnald. Fun fact: lesser kudu will cache their young, so in the wild, they leave their young in high grass while the herd goes off to graze nearby. You can see that here with young Jack!

Betty (lesser kudu):


Betty is a full sister to Agnes—born last year—and daughter to parents Echo and Soomi. Known as giraffe gazelle, gerenuk are famous for their long thin necks and ability to stand on their hind legs to get the tasty leaves up in the trees.

Hagrid and Sprout  (Bactrian camels)

Sprout (L) and Hagrid (R)

Please join us in welcoming two three-month-old camel babiesHagrid and Sprout! Hagrid, the male, is outgoing and playful; Sprout, the girl, is sweet and shybut holds her ground when she needs to! Look out for these two fuzzy friends next time you visit!


3. On-Campus Treats



From funnel cakes and beer-battered cheese curds to special seasonal cocktails, we’re thrilled to offer lots of festive holiday fare for Zoo Lights—all compliant with government-mandated COVID-19 food and beverage safety procedures. Avoid the hangries by planning ahead! Visit to browse our menus prior to your visit!

3. Nature Here + Everywhere 


In-Person Play

Seeking some fun, safe stuff for kids? Make an educational escape into the great outdoors with a private learning experience on Denver Zoo’s Zofnass Barclay Family Nature Play TrailFamilies and small groups can reserve the trail for a safe and socially distanced session of learning and adventure.  

Back-to-school is looking a little different this year, with new virtual learning practices in place across the state. If you’re looking for truly engaging nature activities for kids, why not bring Denver Zoo’s educational resources to your community, either in-person or virtually? Denver Zoo’s education team can help! Visit our Virtual Classroom or contact for more information on ways to learn with Denver Zoo. 

4. Up-Close Looks 

We took our time to bring back our Animal Encounters in a new, safe and exclusive wayOur new Up-Close Look” experiences allow you to "buy out” a session for up to six people from your social distancing bubble to enjoy an exciting and intimate experience that keeps everyone, including our animals, safe. Choose between a giraffe feeding, a selection of Animal Ambassadors, like our porcupine, llamas, parrots, or sloth—and now, for the first time, a camel encounter with Sprout and HagridSign up today! 

5. Gifts that Give Back


If there was ever a time to choose holiday gifts with REAL intention, this is it—and we're here to help! Denver Zoo is excited to partner with a variety of local heroes on co-branded merch from Meier Skis, Great Divide Brewing Co., Coda Coffee and more that are giving a portion of proceeds back to Denver Zoo! We’ve also added new items to our Online Shop, and there’s someone on EVERY holiday list who would love to adopt the snuggly plush version of their favorite animal. Need more ideas? Check out our Holiday Gift Guide!


We can't wait to see your face—well, your EYES, at least—on campus again. For complete information on our new safety measures and anything else you might be wondering about your next visit, click here

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be among the first to find out about the latest news and stories from around the Zoo!


Be among the first to hear the latest animal updates, important stories and details about all the fun happening around Denver Zoo.


  • November 9, 2020

    Special Orders

    Dietary Changes Can Majorly Impact an Animal’s Quality of Life—and Even Save It   Many of the species we…

  • October 26, 2020

    Debunking the Bat’s Bad Rap

    WHY THIS ENDURING SYMBOL OF SPOOKY SEASON   IS WORTHY OF ADMIRATION RATHER THAN FEAR Considering everything 2020 has thrown at us thus far, Halloween shouldn’t seem all that…

  • October 16, 2020

    Life in the Slow Lane

    AN UPDATE ON SLOTHS AT DENVER ZOO  If you’ve seen Kristen Bell’s famous sloth meltdown, you already know there are folks who have VERY…