Holiday outing: ZooLights at the Oakland Zoo - 510 Families

Holiday outing: ZooLights at the Oakland Zoo

One festive alternative to driving around aimlessly in search of Christmas lights on houses is to hit the jackpot of holiday lights at the Oakland Zoo starting December 6, 2019.

Christmas lights on the Gondola Oakland ZooLights
Holiday lights on the Gondola Oakland ZooLights

Celebrate the holidays at Oakland Zoo amidst a million glowing lights! Every evening from December 6 to January 5 (except for the 24th and 25th), the Oakland Zoo is open from 5:30pm until 9 pm so that families may enjoy the animal-themed light show. Soar over the Oakland hills in the festively-lit gondolas and see the Bay Area skyline like never before. Warm up with hot cocoa and homemade s’mores, available at the hilltop Landing Cafe boasting scenic views for miles (but don't tell my kids, they haven't noticed yet)!

Enjoy swirling snow falls over a dazzling Winter Wonderland attraction featuring Santa in his decked-out workshop for the ultimate holiday experience.

Christmas lights in the field set to music Oakland ZooLights
Holiday lights in the field set to music Oakland ZooLights

Oakland ZooLights Christmas lights like a scene from the Lorax

See the musical laser light shows and stroll through twinkling holiday lights, animal structures and a candy cane lane-themed Adventure Landing with other rides your kids will beg for. Hop on the illuminated Outback Express Train.

My children love seeing Santa Claus, running around the zoo in the dark, yelling, and riding the Outback Express train through the lit up night. And we've seen wallabies hopping around by moonlight!

It is can be chilly, so be sure to bundle up.

ZooLights is a separate event and is not included in regular Zoo membership.

Adults: $12
Children (2-14) and Seniors (65-79): $11
Children under 2 and Adults over 76: FREE
Rides (even the train) still cost $$ but parking and gondola are free.
Members: Save $1 per ticket or pre-register for Free Member nights, Dec. 9-12.
Website will be linked here when posted in 2020.

Meet Santa Claus every night between December 6-23, 6pm-9pm. See the Oakland ZooLights webpage for Santa's schedule.

Oakland ZooLights Christmas lights main entrance | Photo: Oakland Zoo
Oakland ZooLights main entrance is so pretty | Photo: Oakland Zoo
Oakland Zoo train lit up for ZooLights
Outback Express Train lit up for ZooLights

Related: Free and cheap holiday light displays around the East Bay this season!

[Photo Credit: all pictures were provided by the Oakland Zoo]

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