Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Christmas at the Zoo
Enjoy making holiday memories with your family!

December 01, 2013

Thousands of twinkling lights, a cup of hot cocoa and a just a touch of snow – it’s the recipe for a wonderful holiday experience. Add in some incredible creatures and you have Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union.

The tradition began in 1967 when then-director Earl Woodard had the idea to decorate the Zoo with lights. That year, the Indianapolis Zoo became the first zoo in the United States to hold a holiday lights event, and since then, families have been coming year after year to make holiday memories at Christmas at the Zoo. Now entering its 45th year, guests can experience the beauty and magic of the Zoo at Christmastime Wednesdays through Sundays from Nov. 29-Dec. 29, plus Dec. 23 and Dec. 30. The Zoo is open noon-9 p.m. and festivities begin at 5 p.m. each evening. The Zoo will be closed on Christmas Day.

Each year, Christmas at the Zoo brings together the best of the holiday season with a “wild” twist! Many of the Zoo’s more robust animals will be out late to enjoy the cooler weather, including the polar bear, tigers, red panda, brown bears, walrus and many others. Holiday-themed dolphin shows and special animal keeper chats will help guests get into the Christmas spirit. When visitors’ cheeks start to get rosy, they can dash inside to enjoy the animals in the Dolphin Dome and Oceans exhibit or the beautiful scenery inside the Hilbert Conservatory in White River Gardens.

As the sun sets, the warm glow of twinkling lights can be seen all over the Zoo, creating a magical nighttime experience. While taking in the lights, guests can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa, sample some delicious holiday treats and enjoy the sounds of carolers singing near the fireside. Plus, lots of family-friendly activities await in White River Gardens inside Santa’s Workshop presented by Chick-fil-A, where the little ones will love decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus, writing letters to Santa and meeting Kris Kringle himself!

Christmas at the Zoo is free for Zoo members and included with regular Zoo admission. Discount tickets are available at participating Donatos and Teachers Credit Union locations and guests can save when they purchase tickets at