Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights


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Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights is a rain or shine event that both locals and tourists love to join. This family-oriented light festival transforms the Bronx Zoo into a magical place.

During the evenings, the festival of lights venue comes to life with architectural lighting, blinking Christmas lights, colored arches and tunnels, animated sculptures, holiday décor, animal lanterns, fairy lights, and immersive light displays.

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights
Festival highlights

Bronx Zoo Lights

This light exhibition not only showcases rope lights, meteor shower lights, net lights, icicle lights, LED curtain lights, and twinkle light trees but also lets you celebrate the wildlife. This holiday and wildlife celebration is complete with classic holiday music, seasonal treats, and festive entertainment.

The Forest of Color offers over 20 larger-than-life lanterns that represent butterflies, turtles, sunbirds, snails, frogs, toads, and more. The entertainment never ends at Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights. You can meet and take a photo with costumed wildlife characters or join ice carving demonstrations and competitions, stilt walkers, holiday trains, and wildlife theater.

Hundreds of lanterns representing plant and animal species around the world will make your night enjoyable and memorable.

The walk-through experience is not only for kids but for all ages. You can bring your friends and family to create new, fun memories.

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights Dates (2023-2024)

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights will not only add light and warmth to your holiday season but also connect you to the wildlife. The festival venue will welcome you with a glowing pathway celebrating animals in lights. The holiday music and mesmerizing twinkle lights set the holiday mood.

You still have a lot of time to prepare for joining Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights. Here are the festival dates:

  • November 17,18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 2023
  • December 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 2023
  • January 5, 6, 7, 2024

Whether you want to visit the Christmas light show on weekdays or weekends, you will experience a unique and heartwarming holiday celebration.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There 

Lights, lanterns, holiday treats, musical revelry, entertainment, and more await you at Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights. This festival of lights is set in Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10460, USA. 

Here are several ways to get to Bronx Zoo:

  • Express Bus from Manhattan 

You can take the BxM11 express bus. It makes stops along Madison Ave between 26th street and 99th street. Then, it travels directly to the zoo’s entrance (Gate B). The bus ride fare is $6.75 for each direction.

  • Local Buses

If you are from the Bronx, you must take the Bx19 or Bx9 buses to Southern Blvd and 183rd Street, the location of the zoo’s pedestrian entrance (Gate C). You can also take the Bx22 or Bx12 to Fordham Road and Southern Blvd. To reach 183rd Street, you will walk five blocks on Southern Blvd.

Meanwhile, if you are from Queens, you must take the Q44 to Boston Road and 180th Street. Then, you have to walk north one block to the zoo’s gate entrance (Gate A).

  • Train

If you prefer taking a train, you can take the Harlem line of Metro North to Fordham. Next, you have to take the Bx9 bus eastward to Southern Blvd and 183rd Street.

  • Subway 

You can take the #2 train to Pelham Parkway for an ADA-accessible route. The subway station comes with three elevators leading down to street level. Then, walk west to the zoo’s entrance (Gate B).

  • Car Service 

If you plan to use a car service to reach the festival venue, it is recommended to get dropped off and picked up at the Southern Boulevard Gate Pedestrian entrance located at 185th Street and Southern Blvd.

As with the parking, it is available through the Bronx River Parkway entrance and Southern Blvd entrance. If you bring a car, you have to pay $17 while $20 for a bus.

If you liked Bronx Zoo Lights, you might want to check out these other amazing zoo lights as well:

Oakland Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights Miami

Festival Hours 

With lots of shopping and dining options, various scheduled programs and activities, and hundreds of light displays, your entire Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights experience is never boring. You can spend your entire night exploring the whole venue.

The Christmas light show starts from 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM. So, you have plenty of time checking out all the light displays, animal lanterns, and other activities and attractions. Please note that this event does not include animal exhibits.

How Much It Costs to Visit Bronx Zoo Lights 

Before you get too excited about joining Bronx Zoo Lights, ensure to purchase tickets, and you should reserve them in advance.

Here are the ticket prices:

  • Child (ages 3 to 12) – $26.95
  • Adult (ages 13 and up) – $41.95
  • Senior (ages 65 and up) – $36.95 

Wildlife Conservation Society members with Legacy, Zoos PLUS, or Zoos level will get free Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights access on particular preview days. Check out the following for more details:

  • WCS Members will get 40% off tickets to all event days and 3 preview days.
  • IDNYC and Aquarium Members will get 40% off tickets to all event days.
  • Conservation Support Level Members and Above will get free light festival entry throughout the program.
Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights

Weather and What to Wear 

The festival of lights starts in November, and the weather is very chilly and sometimes rainy. During the day, the average temperatures are in the single-digit C (high 40s F) to low 10s C (50ss F). At night, the temperatures dip into the single digits C (low 30s F). So, make sure to pack the following:

  • Light and heavy skirts 
  • Standard footwear 
  • Dresses 
  • Pants or jeans 
  • Extra socks 
  • Fleece 
  • Light jacket 
  • Long sleeve blouses or shirts 
  • Waterproof footwear 
  • Rain pants 

In December, the weather can be very chilly. In some cases, you will experience rainy days. Temperatures are routinely in the single-digit C (low 40s F). Night temperatures are in the single digits below 0 C (low 30s F). Ensure to bring the following clothing:

  • Extra socks 
  • Warm jeans or pants 
  • Mittens or light gloves 
  • Coat or jacket 
  • Fleece 
  • Standard footwear 
  • Waterproof snow boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights lasts until the first week of January, and it can be very chilly. You may also experience rainy days. On average, daytime temperatures are in the single digits C (low 30s F). Night temperatures often dip into single digits below 0 C (low 20s F). Do not forget to pack the following:

  • Heavy jacket 
  • Heavy socks 
  • Sweaters
  • Gloves
  • Warm jeans or pants 
  • Cold weather footwear 
  • Waterproof snow boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
Bronx Zoo Holiday Light

Hotels near by the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights

Bronx, NY offers lots of accommodations near the festival venue, such as:

Sleep Inn

Sleep Inn is located in West Bronx, around 1.1 km from Bronx Zoo. It features clean and comfortable rooms, and the staff is very professional.

Best Western Plus Executive Residency Bronx 

This accommodation is situated in West Bronx, approximately 1.1 km from Bronx Zoo. The breakfast is great, and the rooms are spacious and clean.

Morris Guest House 

Morris Guest House is another accommodation located in West Bronx. It is around 2.4 km from Bronx Zoo. It is also near Yankee Stadium. It features free Wi-Fi access.

Where to Eat 

Make tasty dishes part of your Bronx, NY trip. You can try the following food destinations:

Joe’s Italian Deli

This food spot serves delicious sandwiches, baked lasagna and ziti, aged parmesan, soppressata, etc. Also, do not forget to order the homemade fresh mozzarella, Uncle Frank, and DSNY sandwich.

Artuso Pastry 

This Italian shop is famous for its tri-color cake and classic cannoli. You will also love the creamed stuffed croissants dipped in chocolate with powder sugar called Lobster Tails.

Tra Di Noi 

This family-owned restaurant has been a favorite destination in Arthur Ave for years. It prepares some of the best Calamari Fritti in the state.

More Things to Do in the Area 

While Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights is the highlight of the holiday celebration in Bronx, NY, you can try other activities and destinations with your family.

New York Botanical Garden 

This 250-acre botanical garden is near Fordham University and across the road from Bronx Zoo. It is worth visiting for its stunning Orchid Show, Holiday Train Show, Thain Family Forest, Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, and Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden.

Orchard Beach 

This 1.1-mile-long public beach overlooks the City Island and faces the Long Island. It is crescent-shaped and allows visitors to enjoy playgrounds, BBQ areas, picnic areas, snack bars, and handball, volleyball, and basketball courts.

Bronx Museum of the Arts 

This museum displays contemporary art that reflects the diverse cultures making up the region. It features over 2,000 artwork collections from Latin American, African, and Asian artists. Admission is free and also offers student group visits and educational programs.

Edgar Allan Poe Cottage 

This 19th-century cottage is where Edgar Allan Poe spent his last years of life. The charming cottage is also where his wife and mother-in-law lived. It served as Poe’s inspiration for the poem Annabel Lee. 

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights


1. What are the parking facilities available at the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights?

Answer: The Bronx Zoo has designated parking areas, but given the popularity of the Holiday Lights event, parking can fill up quickly. Attendees are advised to arrive early or consider alternative transportation methods, such as public transit.

2. Are visitors allowed to smoke during the Holiday Lights event?

Answer: Smoking is prohibited within the Bronx Zoo for the comfort and safety of all visitors and animals. Designated smoking areas are available outside the main entrance of the zoo.

3. Can visitors bring their pets to the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights?

Answer: Pets are not allowed inside the Bronx Zoo to ensure the well-being of the zoo animals. Service animals with proper identification are, however, permitted.

4. Will there be food and beverages available during the event?

Answer: Yes! The Bronx Zoo has several dining options available, offering a range of snacks, meals, and beverages to cater to visitors’ tastes.

5. Are there any items that are not permitted inside the zoo during the event?

Answer: For the safety and comfort of all guests and animals, items such as balloons, balls, radios, and scooters are prohibited. Visitors should refer to the zoo’s guidelines for a complete list of prohibited items.

6. Is the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights accessible for visitors with disabilities?

Answer: Absolutely. The Bronx Zoo is committed to being accessible for everyone. Wheelchair-accessible pathways, restrooms, and facilities are available throughout the zoo.

7. What kind of entertainment can visitors expect during the Holiday Lights event?

Answer: The Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights offers a magical display of illuminated animals and lanterns. Additionally, the event features entertainment such as ice carving demonstrations, caroling, and live performances, ensuring a festive experience for attendees of all ages.

8. What happens if the weather is unfavorable?

Answer: The Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights event generally operates rain or shine. In the event of extreme weather, certain activities might be rescheduled or canceled for safety reasons. Attendees are encouraged to check the Bronx Zoo’s official channels for weather-related updates.


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