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HomeNewsSmithsonian's National Zoo Brings Back ZooLights After Pandemic 

Smithsonian’s National Zoo Brings Back ZooLights After Pandemic 


The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is holding its traditional ZooLights this year from November 25 through December 30, following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual event is free to enter, but as opposed to previous editions, visitors are required to obtain a special entry pass, which is different from a daily Zoo pass. Entry passes will become available soon at no cost.

Sponsored by Pepco, ZooLights offers live music performances, various options for holiday shopping, and glowing animal lanterns. 

Food and drinks will be provided by Elevation Burger, Ben & Jerry’s, Dippin Dots, Sbarro’s, Auntie Anne’s, and more. 

The Zoo will be using environmentally friendly LED lights for its decorations.  

There will be a flat-rate parking fee of $30 for all guests.

Pathways and restrooms throughout the Zoo are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs and electronic vehicles can be rented on a first-come, first-served basis during ZooLights hours.

To learn more on access services at the Zoo, you can call (202) 633-2614.

The schedule of this year’s ZooLights is as follows:

  • WEEK 1 | Nov. 25, 26, 27 | Friday to Sunday
  • WEEK 2 | Dec. 2, 3, 4 | Friday to Sunday
  • WEEK 3 | Dec. 9, 10, 11 | Friday to Sunday
  • WEEK 4 & 5 | Dec. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 | Friday to Friday
  • WEEK 6 | Dec. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 | Monday to Friday

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