Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo

Holiday Lights, Animal Favorites ... and S'Mores

Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo
••• Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo. Photo by Ryan Archer, courtesy St. Louis Zoo

The renowned St. Louis Zoo celebrates the holiday season in style with Wild Lights. USA Today has named Wild Lights one of the top three Christmas zoo lights displays in the nation. This spectacular annual event is a family-friendly way to celebrate the beauty and spirit of the season and is one of the top displays in the St. Louis region.

When to Go

WildLights opens each year after Thanksgiving and closes at the end of December.

In 2017, it will be open from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on certain nights from Nov. 24 to Dec. 30. The last tickets are sold at 8 p.m., and you can buy tickets online or at the door.

What You'll See

During Wild Lights, the zoo is decorated with more than a half million twinkling lights that create a winter wonderland. You can see decorated penguins the Starry Safari and Jungle Bell Rock. Favorite animal exhibits Polar Bear Point, Penguin & Puffin Coast, Sea Lion Sound Tunnel, and the Monsanto Insectarium will also be open.

More Than Lights

When you visit Wild Lights, be sure to save some time to see more than just the lights. There are kid-friendly activities like crafts and storytelling by the fire. You'll see carolers and characters in costume on weekend nights, and the Conservation Carousel will also be open (weather permitting) and offering rides for $3. And for maybe the most fun of all, you can roast s'mores over the zoo's fire pits for an out-of-this-world winter treat.

(You can buy the s'mores right there at the zoo.)

The Lakeside Cafe will be open during Wild Lights, and you can get a warming hot chocolate, snacks, and light meals. And if you want to do a little holiday shopping, the zoo's gift shops will be open for business.  

How to Get There

The St. Louis Zoo is in Forest Park, just north of Interstate 64/U.S.

Highway 40. To get to the south lot, take the Hampton Avenue exit and go north to the first roundabout. Go left at the roundabout onto Wells Drive. The entrance to the south lot is along Wells Drive to the left.