Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium announcement.
TACOMA, Wash.—Get your timed online tickets for the region’s longest-running light show! Zoolights has dazzled the South Sound community for 35 years, and this year will be no exception. The holiday tradition returns to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Nov. 25-Jan. 2 (closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25). The annual event boasts more than 800,000 colorful LED lights and dozens of sparkling 3-D animal light displays.
“We are delighted to offer this well-loved tradition to our community once again,” said Point Defiance Zoo Director Alan Varsik. “It brings us so much joy to see families and friends celebrating the holiday magic with us yearly.”
Zoo guests will see their favorite light displays, with all the classics and some new ones, like adorable swimming sea otters. A sprawling 100-foot pink-and-orange octopus, a giant crab with moving pincers, the bright purple and green Flame Tree, Seahawks 12s Tree, towering Sasquatch, a 23-foot-high Mt. Rainier, two Narrows Bridges, and an 8-foot-long sea turtle will be among the familiar favorites. Whimsical animal scenes include sledding penguins, ice skating puffins, leaping tigers, swooping eagles, a swinging Siamang, and a trio of polar bears.
Plus, guests will have the perfect photo opportunities: walk through two Tunnels of Lights or pose in front of colorful butterfly wings.
“It’s a huge team effort, and we take a lot of pride in creating this magical holiday tradition,” said Facilities Manager Scott Clarke. “We’re excited to welcome our community back to the zoo every winter for this longstanding event.”
Clarke has worked on Zoolights since 1989, as long as the iconic purple and green Flame Tree has been around. Over the years, he has seen generations of Puget Sound families and couples pose in front of the tree for holiday snapshots.
While most of the zoo’s animals will be asleep for the night, guests can see who’s awake in the Asian Forest Sanctuary dayroom and at Kids’ Zone. A tiger? A tapir? Meerkats? Then, take a spin on our vintage Paul Titus Carousel and add even more sparkle to your zoo visit.
Both aquariums will be closed during Zoolights. The Plaza Café will be open for dinner, drinks, and snacks. New this year: a beer garden for guests who are 21 and older with firepits outside the Plaza Café. Plaza Gifts will also be open.
Groovy Goats Zoolights Edition
Groovy goats in holiday coats are also back for Zoolights! For an additional cost, meet our magnificent herd of goats up-close in this one-of-a-kind holiday-themed private animal encounter for up to 5 or 8 people every day at 4 pm just before Zoolights. Meet Snap, Buckle, Marion, and Juniper, among others, as you spend some quality time giving them a good grooming. Pose for a photo with your favorite new friend, and then reward your buddies with a nutritious, delicious and festive treat. It’s the perfect gift for the whole family. Learn more here.
Zoolights Prices- Timed Online Tickets Only
- Mon.-Thurs.: $12 general admission, $6 members
- Fri.-Sun.: $16 general admission, $8 members
- 2 years old and younger are free
- Parking is free
- One day: Time to assemble the Narrows Bridges
- 5 feet: Wingspan of the LED swooping eagles
- Six people: To lift the roaring tiger’s head
- 34 years: Age of the Flame Tree
- 35 years: Years that Zoolights has been around
- 100 feet: The width of the giant Pacific octopus
- 24,000 lights: On the LED octopus
- 30,030 lights: On the Flame Tree
- Over 800,000 lights: Total number for Zoolights 2022
Zoolights is open Nov. 25 through Jan. 2. Hours are 4:30 pm – 10 pm nightly, except for a two-night closure on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25. To purchase tickets for this region’s longest-running and most-loved holiday light extravaganza, click here. Zoolights is presented by BECU.