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It's a Baby Animal Zoolights

Holiday lights display returns with tapir calf, baby tamandua, red wolf pups and more.

For immediate release: Sept. 17, 2019

TACOMA, Wash. – It’s been a big year for baby animals at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – and now they’re coming to Zoolights! An LED tapir mom and calf, tamandua pup, beaver kit and eight red wolf pups will join the annual holiday lights display, brightening the Zoo and delighting guests with over 700,000 lights.

Alongside the baby animals and old favorites like the Narrows Bridges, Mt. Rainier and the 100-foot octopus will be some new spaces filled with dazzling lights.

Zoolights begins Nov. 29 and runs through Jan. 5. Hours are 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. nightly, except for a one-night closure on Dec. 24. Zoolights is open on both the Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 holidays.

Tickets go on sale Nov. 1 at for this longest-running and most-loved holiday lights extravaganza in the region. Discounted tickets are just $11 per person when purchased online or at Puget Sound-area Fred Meyer stores. Regular general admission is $13 at the gate.

The new Pacific Seas Aquarium will not be open during Zoolights hours, but guests who want to see it and enjoy Zoolights during the same visit can buy a Day/Night Combo Pass at the zoo’s front gate. The passes, ranging from $20 to $28 depending on age, are a great deal. They allow for a daylong visit to the zoo plus Zoolights after dark. (NOTE: The Zoo is closed during the day Tue-Wed through Dec. 23.)

From their first steps inside, Zoo guests will be immersed in a sea of lights. Local landmarks like the towering 23-foot-high Mt. Rainier and two Narrows Bridges, a sprawling 100-foot pink-and-orange octopus, a giant crab with moving pincers and an 8-foot-long sea turtle will be among the familiar favorites, along with whimsical animal scenes like sledding penguins, ice skating puffins, a walrus family and a trio of polar bears.

Sasquatch – a big hit last year – will once again stalk the Red Wolf Woods, followed by eight red wolf pups.

But it’s not only ocean creatures and baby animals that are spread in lights throughout the Zoo. Guests can:

  • Spot leaping leopards, hopping frogs and swinging siamangs.
  • Laugh at a tiger cub chasing a butterfly.
  • Take a selfie with the blue-and-green 12th Man Seahawks tree, or the brilliant purple Flame Tree.
  • See who’s awake in the Asian Forest Sanctuary dayroom – a tiger? A tapir?
  • Bask in the steamy warmth of the South Pacific Aquarium, home to sharks and tropical fish.
  • Grab a hot cocoa, beer, wine or other treats at the Plaza Café or stations around the Zoo.
  • Feed a goat or meet a mob of meerkats.
  • Take a spin on the vintage carousel, with animal rides from tiger to slug.

Zoolights is presented by Fred Meyer.

For more information, tips and a map, go to



Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the Northwest’s only combined zoo and aquarium, practices and promotes responsible stewardship of the world’s resources. A member of the Metro Parks Tacoma family, the zoo creates a legacy of sustainability for future generations through education, conservation, research and recreational opportunities; it also embodies Metro Parks’ mission of creating healthy opportunities to play, learn and grow. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA). The Zoo Society, a 501(c)(3) organization, is an instrumental partner in the conservation, animal-welfare and education initiatives.


Media Contact

Whitney DalBalcon, 253-404-3637; 253-278-6343 or