Wild Lights

November 18-19, 24-26; December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 26-31 5:30 to 9 p.m. select weeknights and Sundays • 5:30 pm. to 10 p.m. Fridays and SaturdaysPrices will vary subject to date and time

Purchase Tickets

24 nights beginning November 18, 2017

The Detroit Zoo will light up the night again this holiday season with Wild Lights, a spectacular light display.  For 24 nights, more than five million LED lights will illuminate trees, buildings and more than 230 animal sculptures throughout the front half of the Zoo.  Experience the magic of the Detroit Zoo in winter as you take in the lights and the sights and enjoy holiday entertainment and special activities for guests of all ages. Children younger than 2 are admitted free.

To create the best possible experience for our guests, we have adjusted the pricing for Wild Lights tickets based on hour and day. This will ease congestion during historically high traffic times and encourage ticket sales at times when attendance has been lighter. Tickets sold in advance (either online or on site at Customer Care during daytime Detroit Zoo hours) will range from $10 to $16 throughout the 24-night run of the event. Walk-up tickets sold at the gate for all nights and time slots will be $16. We recommend guests always check the online web store for the best price available as the gates will always have the highest price. Parking is $7 per car.

The Rudolph Package, which includes one untimed admission for Wild Lights and one ticket to the 4-D Theater to see “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D”, is fixed at $18 for any night of the event. The Winter Rink Package, which includes one untimed admission for Wild Lights and one session on the skating rink, is also fixed at $18. Carousel rides and photos with Santa Claus will also be available for purchase. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in the Ford Education Center, showcasing some of the world’s most spectacular photography, is included with admission.

Wild Lights will be held November 18-19, 24-26; December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 26-31.

Please note, the Polk Penguin Conservation Center will not be open for this event.

Vote here to make Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo the best in the U.S.! Cast your vote every day through December 4 on multiple devices and browsers.

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  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


    The Zoo closes at 4 p.m. and reopens for Wild Lights at 5:30 p.m. Wild Lights runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

    How long does it take?

    The loop takes an average of an hour and a half to complete, including the 15-minute version of “Rudolph 4-D” at the Wild Adventure Zone in the Ford Education Center. Guests also enjoying the Carousel, crafts, Photos with Santa and more will have slightly longer visit times. Guests are welcome to walk the trail as many times as they would like.


    Children younger than 2 are admitted free.

    Advance tickets are recommended. Please arrive at your scheduled time according to your ticket. Wild Lights is a wildly popular event; guests should expect traffic and lines and plan arrival times accordingly.

    If you are having difficulty locating your online tickets, please be sure to check your junk/spam folder. If you are unable to print your tickets or have lost them, we can use your smartphone confirmation to look them up in the system.


    Cost will vary subject to date and time; parking is $7 per car.

    Members and non-members must purchase tickets to Wild Lights.

    Membership allows for free admission and parking during daytime hours, Wild Summer Nights concerts and MemberFest. All other ticketed events are additional.

    How do I know I'm getting the best price for my tickets?

    Demand for tickets typically increases as the visit day approaches. Customers who buy their tickets early will have access to the lowest rates.

    How often do dynamic ticket prices change?

    Dynamic prices are subject to change daily. Timing for price adjustments is not predetermined and will depend entirely on how many tickets have been purchased in each time slot and date.

    How do I know what the prices are?

    The best price available for any given day and timeslot will be posted on the website as you follow the prompts to purchase tickets.

    What happens if prices lower after I buy my tickets?

    Prices will only increase leading up to the chosen date. There may be times when prices remain the same; however, they will not decrease. As with all of our tickets, all sales are final.

    What happens if I can’t make the day or time for which I purchased tickets?

    While all sales are final, you can choose to pay a “change fee” of $3 per ticket at the gate on another night of the event.


    $7 per car for Members and non-members.


    The Arctic Cafe is open during Wild Lights. Additional food and drink options are available along the trail. A limited number of alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.


    The pathway allows you to see the Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat, the Jane and Frank Warchol Beaver Habitat, and the Holden Reptile Conservation Center. All other animal habitats and buildings will be closed for the evening.


    Wild Lights is held rain, snow or shine. Please come dressed for the weather and for walking outside.

    Can I purchase tickets for “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D” separately?

    Yes; tickets can be purchased in the Wild Adventure Zone for $5/person (only during Wild Lights).

    Can I purchase tickets for the Winter Rink separately?

    Yes; tickets can be purchased in the Events Pavilion for $3 per person (without skate rental) or $7 per person (including skate rental).

    How long is a skating session at the Winter Rink?

    Each session is about 25 minutes.

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