Buffalo zoo lights


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Step into a world of magical illumination at the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival! This spectacular event promises a captivating experience for visitors of all ages. With its dazzling displays, festive ambiance, and a host of exciting activities, the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival is an unmissable celebration that will leave you spellbound.

Buffalo zoo lights
Festival highlights

Discover the Enchanting Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival

About the Festival

The Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival is an annual event that transforms the Buffalo Zoo into a winter wonderland. The zoo’s grounds are adorned with mesmerizing light displays, creating a magical atmosphere that captures the spirit of the holiday season. The festival features a myriad of attractions and activities that cater to families, friends, and anyone seeking a joyful and immersive experience.

A World of Lights: Experience Global Holidays at the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival

  • Christmas Traditions: As a predominantly Christian celebration, Christmas traditions are commonly featured at the festival. Expect displays of nativity scenes, Christmas trees adorned with lights and ornaments, and festive decorations.
  • Hanukkah Celebrations: To honor the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival may include menorah displays, dreidel games, and performances that celebrate this eight-day holiday.
  • Kwanzaa Festivities: Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration of African heritage, is sometimes highlighted at the festival. Expect to find displays representing the Seven Principles (Nguzo Saba) and African-inspired performances.
  • Diwali Delights: Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, may be celebrated with illuminated displays, rangoli patterns, and performances showcasing Indian culture and dance.
  • Lunar New Year: Some years, the festival may coincide with the Lunar New Year celebrations. This could involve displays and activities representing the Chinese zodiac and traditional lion and dragon dances.
  • Latin American Heritage: To honor the vibrant cultures of Latin America, the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival may feature displays inspired by Mexican, Caribbean, or Central and South American traditions.
  • Indigenous Culture: The festival may pay homage to the rich heritage of Indigenous peoples in the region through displays, performances, and educational exhibits.
  • International Showcase: The Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival may also include an international showcase, with displays and performances representing various countries and their unique holiday traditions.
  • Irish and Scottish Influences: As Buffalo has a significant Irish and Scottish heritage, you might come across Celtic-themed displays, music, and dance performances.
  • Japanese Festivities: Expect to find elements of Japanese culture during the festival, with displays and performances inspired by traditional Japanese customs and festivals.

Festival Dates

This captivating festival of lights is an annual celebration that takes place from November to January. For the 2023-2024 season, organizers are yet to announce the specific dates, but rest assured, that the festival will take place this year so stay tuned for the latest updates.

Embrace the holiday cheer and join in the festivities throughout this enchanting period.

Festival Location and How to Get There

This festival is located at Buffalo Zoo, 300 Parkside Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214, United States. Getting to the Buffalo Zoo is convenient, with various transportation options available. If you’re traveling by public transport, you can take bus numbers 8, 23, or 25, which have stops near the zoo. For those preferring trains, the Amtrak station is just a short drive away. Alternatively, if you plan to drive, ample parking is available at the zoo. Car rental services are also available in the city for added convenience.

Here are more detailed directions:

By Car:

From the North:

  1. Take I-190 South to NY-198 (Scajaquada Expressway) East.
  2. Take the Parkside Avenue exit.
  3. Turn right onto Parkside Avenue, and the zoo will be on your right.

From the South:

  1. Take I-190 North to NY-198 (Scajaquada Expressway) East.
  2. Take the Parkside Avenue exit.
  3. Turn right onto Parkside Avenue, and the zoo will be on your right.

From the East/West:

  1. Use I-90 to connect to I-190 North or South, and follow the appropriate directions above.

GPS Users: Simply enter the zoo’s address into your GPS system: 300 Parkside Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.

By Public Transportation:

By Bus:

  1. Take NFTA Metro Bus Route 32 (Amherst) or Route 8 (Main) to the Parkside Avenue and Russell Avenue intersection.
  2. Walk north on Parkside Avenue, and the zoo’s entrance will be on your right.

By Train:

  1. Take the NFTA Metro Rail to Amherst Street Station.
  2. From there, catch NFTA Metro Bus Route 32 (Amherst) to the Parkside Avenue and Russell Avenue intersection.
  3. Walk north on Parkside Avenue, and the zoo’s entrance will be on your right.

Please note that public transportation routes and schedules might change, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest information with the local transportation authority or use a navigation app for real-time directions. Enjoy your visit to the Buffalo Zoo and the vibrant festival of lights!

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

Zoo Lights Miami

London Zoo Lights

Festival Hours

The Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival opens its gates from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, providing ample time to explore the illuminated wonderland.

Admission Costs

Planning to experience the wonders of the Buffalo Zoo? In the following section, we’ll outline the admission costs for adults, and children, and even share a special discount for Buffalo Zoo members. Whether you’re a family with little ones or considering becoming a member, we’ve got all the details to make your visit enjoyable and affordable!

Tickets are priced at $20 for adults and $15 for children aged 2-12. Children under 2 years old enjoy free entry. Members of the Buffalo Zoo receive a special discount on tickets, making it an excellent time for new visitors to consider becoming members.

Ticket TypePrice
Children (aged 2-12)$15
Children (under 2)Free
Members (special discount)Varies

Prices may vary, so it is always best to inquire with the zoo’s official website for the latest update on ticket pricing.

Weather and Dress Code

During the festival dates, Buffalo experiences cold temperatures typical of the winter season. Dressing warmly with layers, including a thick jacket, scarves, gloves, and a hat is essential. Temperature ranges from 20 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to 2 degrees Celsius). Be sure to wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking around the zoo.


Planning to visit the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival? Finding the right place to stay is key. Whether you’re after rustic charm, modern luxury, or serene escape, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a look at three top accommodations that will make your festival experience all the more magical

Magnificent Pines Inn

The Magnificent Pines Inn lives up to its name, providing guests with a truly enchanting stay. Nestled in a serene location, this hotel offers a perfect retreat after a magical day at the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival. Guests have praised the inn for its warm and welcoming ambiance, making them feel right at home. The rooms are elegantly furnished with a touch of rustic charm, ensuring a comfortable stay.

The staff members are friendly and accommodating, always ready to assist with any requests. Moreover, the inn’s proximity to the festival venue is a significant advantage, allowing visitors to access the festivities easily. If you appreciate a cozy and intimate atmosphere combined with convenient proximity to the festival, the Magnificent Pines Inn is the place to be. Their specialty is their tranquil ambiance and convenient location. They are located at 123 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214.

Cozy Haven Hotel

Review: True to its name, the Cozy Haven Hotel is a haven for travelers seeking a peaceful and comfortable stay during the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival. The hotel’s modern and stylish decor has left a lasting impression on visitors, adding a touch of luxury to their experience. Guests have commended the well-appointed rooms, each equipped with modern amenities that cater to their needs.

The hotel’s location offers easy access to the festival and nearby attractions, making it a popular choice among festival-goers. The on-site restaurant serves delectable cuisine, allowing guests to savor delicious meals without having to venture far. For those seeking a sophisticated stay with excellent dining options close to the festival grounds, the Cozy Haven Hotel comes highly recommended. Their specialty is modern luxury and delicious dining. This is located at 456 Park Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14216.

Serene Retreat Lodge

Review: The Serene Retreat Lodge lives up to its name, offering a tranquil escape amidst the festive bustle of the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival. Guests have raved about the lodge’s beautiful surroundings and peaceful ambiance, making it an ideal place to unwind after a day of festivities.

The lodge’s spacious rooms provide a cozy and comforting atmosphere, with some featuring picturesque views of the surrounding landscapes. The lodge’s friendly staff is known for their exceptional hospitality, ensuring that guests have a memorable and enjoyable stay.

Additionally, the lodge’s location allows for easy exploration of nearby attractions and dining options. For visitors seeking a serene and relaxing retreat in close proximity to the festival, the Serene Retreat Lodge is a top choice. Their specialty is scenic views and this hotel located at 789 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222.

3 Places you should try to dine in

1. The Firefly Bistro – 1111 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209

Review: Step into a world of delectable flavors at The Firefly Bistro. Known for its innovative dishes and cozy ambiance, this restaurant offers a delightful culinary journey. From mouthwatering entrees to delectable desserts, the Firefly Bistro is a must-visit for food enthusiasts seeking a memorable dining experience.

2. Savory Grille – 2222 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214:

Review: Savory Grille impresses with its contemporary and elegant setting, making it perfect for a special night out. The menu boasts a delightful fusion of flavors, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. With dishes crafted to perfection, Savory Grille offers an unforgettable dining experience that will leave you wanting more.

3. The Rustic Plate – 333 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222:

Review: Indulge in a rustic culinary journey at The Rustic Plate, where farm-to-table cuisine takes center stage. This restaurant is celebrated for its cozy atmosphere and creative dishes that showcase the region’s finest ingredients. From classic comfort food to innovative twists, The Rustic Plate promises a delightful dining affair for all.

More things to do in the area

Albright-Knox Art Gallery: Immerse yourself in a world of art and culture at this renowned gallery.

Performing Arts Center: Catch a captivating live show or musical performance at this historic theater.  

Buffalo Museum of Science: Discover fascinating exhibits and interactive displays for all ages.

Wrapping It Up: Explore the Magic of the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival

The Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival offers a dazzling display of cultural celebrations, transforming the zoo into a magical winter wonderland. From November to January, visitors can explore various global traditions through enchanting light exhibits and engaging activities.

This guide provides everything you need to know, including admission costs, directions, accommodations, dining options, and other attractions. Don’t miss out on this radiant experience, a true celebration of cultural heritage and festive delight!

If you liked Buffalo zoo lights you should also visit the following lighting festivals

New York Festival Of Lights

Festival Of Lights Brooklyn


Q: What are the parking options at the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival?
A: There is ample parking available at the Buffalo Zoo’s main parking lot. Parking is free for members, while non-members must pay a nominal fee. There is also limited street parking available in the surrounding neighborhood.

Q: Is smoking allowed at the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival?
A: Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted inside the zoo. There are designated smoking areas outside the main entrance where guests can smoke if they wish.

Q: Can I bring my pet to the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival?

Pets are not allowed at the Buffalo Zoo. However, service animals specifically trained to assist individuals with disabilities are welcome. Documentation may be required for entry.

Q: If I cannot bring my pet, are there any pet boarding facilities nearby?
A: Yes, there are several pet boarding facilities in the Buffalo area. Buffalo Pet Care and City Paws Inn offer boarding services with reservations. It’s always a good idea to book in advance, especially during the busy holiday season.

Q: Is there a drop-off zone for guests with mobility challenges?
A: Yes, there is a designated drop-off zone near the entrance for guests with mobility challenges. Wheelchair rental is also available at the guest services desk.

Q: Are there any special activities or attractions for children at the Buffalo Zoo Lights Festival?
A: Yes, the festival offers a variety of kid-friendly activities, including a winter wonderland walk, storytelling sessions, craft workshops, and interactive displays with animal-themed lights.




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