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Festive and bright holiday magic returns with Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium this Friday, Nov. 26 and runs through Jan. 2. The South Sound tradition will boast more lights than ever before, with more than 800,000 lights illuminating the zoo at night.

“We are thrilled to continue the longstanding tradition of Zoolights for our community,” said Zoo Director Alan Varsik. “Our staff loves seeing the holiday joy in our guests year after year.”

The classic light displays will return, including the 33-year-old purple and green Flame Tree. It’s been around since the second year of Zoolights and has become a favorite over the past three decades. Other familiar favorites include the Seahawks Tree, Sasquatch, a 23-foot-high Mt. Rainier, two Narrows Bridges and a 100-foot giant pink and orange octopus.

Guests will also enjoy newer displays, like the green and blue hockey sticks — an ode to the Seattle Kraken — and rabbits, tortoises and owls. Plus, not one, but two winding Tunnels of Lights to walk, skip and selfie through! Our new butterfly wings are also sure to be a hit as people pose for pictures in front of the color-changing wings.woman takes selfie with butterfly wings

But, that’s not all. Zoo staff are delighted to bring back the vintage Paul Titus Carousel this year to add even more sparkle and fun to your Zoolights visit ($2/ride for non-members and $1.50/ride for members). Guests can also see who’s awake in the Asian Forest Sanctuary day room and at Kids’ Zone. A tiger? A tapir? Meerkats?

The goats will be awake and waiting for you to feed them their favorite snacks – hay pellets- over in Contact Junction. They love attention, and food- so don’t be shy! Free for everyone with admission to Zoolights.

Enhanced Safety Protocols

We’ve reimagined Zoolights to bring the same magic as always while keeping everyone safe – with timed online tickets and capped attendance each night to ensure social distancing. Point Defiance Zoo is following all public health and safety guidelines in accordance with the state’s COVID-19 mandates:

  • In compliance with the state public events mandate, masks are required outdoors and indoors for all guests ages 5+, regardless of vaccination status, throughout the Zoolights experience.
  • Timed online tickets are required. Tickets are limited to ensure social distancing.


  • Mon.-Thurs.: $12 general admission, $6 members
  • Fri.-Sun.: $15 general admission, $7.50 members
  • 2-years-old & younger are free.
  • Parking is free

The aquariums will be closed during Zoolights. The Plaza Café will be open for dinner, drinks and snacks. The gift shop will also be open.

Zoolights begins Nov. 26 and runs through Jan. 2. Hours are 4:30pm – 10pm. nightly, except for a two-night closure on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. Zoolights is presented by BECU.

For more information, tickets, and a map, click here.