Hattiesburg Zoo Lights


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As Christmas approaches, a transformation takes center stage at the heart of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Welcome to Hattiesburg Zoo Lights, also known as Lights of the Wild, a wonderful celebration of twinkling lights and colorful lanterns, illuminating the zoo with the magic and festivity of the holiday spirit. 

Hattiesburg Zoo Lights
Festival highlights

About the Festival

Hattiesburg Zoo Lights is a breathtaking event that transforms the Hattiesburg Zoo into a paradise of light, magic, and excitement. Experience Christmas like never before with dazzling exhibitions of lights and lanterns, animal shapes and holiday decorations, and make wonderful memories together with family and loved ones.

Hattiesburg Zoo Lights Festival Dates

Hattiesburg Zoo Lights Festival illuminates the zoo into a dazzling paradise, filling children and kids at heart with joy and excitement. The festival takes place on varying dates each year, but it usually takes place in December.

With the zoo radiated by vibrant lights of varying colors and life-sized animal displays, the Hattiesburg Zoo Lights will be your gateway to fantastical experiences you will never forget.

Apart from the light shows, Hattiesburg Zoo has other great things to offer. Treat yourself to the Claus Family Chocolate Station or Peppermint’s Pop Corn as you indulge your senses with captivating sights of animal-shaped patterns and other exciting decorations. Enjoy listening to stories by Mrs. Claus in the Asbury Discovery Center or take photos with none other than Santa in the Africa Pavilion. All of these and other great things happen at the Hattiesburg Zoo Lights.

For this year’s zoo lights dates, stay tuned or visit the zoo’s official website or social media channels.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

Hattiesburg Zoo is located at 107 S 17th Ave, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA. The zoo is accessible by car and public transportation.

Distance between Hattiesburg Zoo and the Hattiesburg-Laurel Regional Airport is approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) by road. The driving time can vary depending on traffic conditions, but usually, it takes around 25 minutes to travel between the zoo and the airport.

Getting to Hattiesburg Zoo through Public Transportation

For those opting for public transportation, here’s a detailed guide on how to get to Hattiesburg Zoo Lights.

From Airport to Hattiesburg Zoo:

  • As you exit the terminal, head to the designated transportation area.
  • Locate the nearest bus stop served by the Hub City Transit System. You can do this by inquiring with the airport staff or using a navigation app.
  • Catch the appropriate bus route that will take you closest to Hattiesburg Zoo.
  • Alight at the bus stop nearest to your destination. Also, use a navigation app to guide you to Hattiesburg Zoo, which should be a walking distance from the bus stop.

For information on bus fares and other details, visit this website: https://www.hattiesburgms.com/hct/

You can also opt for a ride-sharing option at the airport. Here’s a detailed guide:

  • Use ride-sharing apps like Uber or Lyft.
  • Enter the address of Hattiesburg Zoo as your destination in the app of your choice.
  • Follow the app’s instructions to find your driver at the designated pick-up area.
  • The ride-sharing driver will drop you off at the Hattiesburg Zoo entrance.

From Downtown Hattiesburg to the Hattiesburg Zoo:

  • Start from any location in downtown Hattiesburg.
  • Locate the appropriate bus that will take you to the nearest stop from Hattiesburg Zoo.
  • Use a navigation app to ensure that you get the right direction to the zoo.

Getting to Hattiesburg Zoo through Cars

Using a car to get to the zoo lights is advantageous as it can take you directly to your destination. As always, use a map, a navigation app, or a GPS device to help you find the appropriate routes to the zoo.

You can always opt for ride-sharing services if you don’t have a car. You can also rent a car from some of these car-rental services available in the area:

  • Avis Car Rental – Avis is available in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas. Their website is: www.avis.com
  • Budget Car Rental – They are also available in Hattiesburg for your convenience. Their website is: www.budget.com

Before renting a car, make sure to compare rates, as well as special offers and discounts. Also, booking a car in advance is highly recommended as it can help you secure your preferred vehicle.

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

Hogle Zoo Lights

Stone Zoo Lights

London Zoo Lights

Lights Of The Wild At Hattiesburg Zoo Hours

The festival gate is open from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM, welcoming families and friends into a dazzling world of twinkling flora and fauna. As the stars appear in the sky, immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of a collection of lanterns and breathtaking sights.

Cost to Visit the Festival

Embrace the magic of Hattiesburg Zoo Lights with a ticket price of $18 per person. If you have kids younger than 2, you get the privilege of a free entrance for the little ones, making this event a family-friendly affair.

Take note, however, that these prices may change. For up-to-date pricing information, visit the Hattiesburg Zoo’s official website.

Weather and What to Wear

Hattiesburg’s weather during the festival dates can be cold, with a temperature of around 10 degrees Celsius. You can dress warmly to enjoy the zoo lights amidst Hattiesburg’s mild winter during the festival season. You can do this by wearing light jackets over cozy sweaters, as well as wearing gloves and a scarf to add that extra warmth, making you comfortable in exploring the magical sights of the zoo.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

After enjoying the captivating world of Hattiesburg Zoo Lights, you can find the following comfortable places to stay:

Hotel Indigo Hattiesburg

Hotel Indigo Hattiesburg is a chic and modern hotel with a taste of Southern traditions. It is a perfect place to stay after an unforgettable experience at the Zoo Lights Festival. Apart from free parking, the hotel also offers high-speed internet service, allowing you to tell your festival stories to loved ones and friends anywhere in the world.

The hotel is also child-friendly, offering activities your little ones will enjoy. Aside from that, pet lovers will be thrilled to know that the hotel allows pets into the vicinity. Hotel Indigo also has a Fitness Center and a Workout Room for gym enthusiasts. They also offer non-smoking rooms as well as family rooms.

Hampton Inn by Hilton Hattiesburg

Hampton Inn by Hilton Hattiesburg is a modern hotel that provides convenient access to popular establishments and attractions. It is a family-friendly hotel with a free high-speed internet service and parking. Like Hotel Indigo Hattiesburg, this hotel allows pet lovers to take their pets inside.

Aside from Hattiesburg Zoo, the hotel also allows you access to the University of Southern Mississippi.

Courtyard by Marriott Hattiesburg

Courtyard by Marriott is a stylish hotel that offers a wide range of amenities and contemporary rooms. It is also a short drive from Hattiesburg Zoo, making it a perfect place to stay after enjoying the sparkling extravaganza of the zoo lights. They also offer free parking and high-speed internet service.

Fairfield Inn and Suites Hattiesburg

Fairfield Inn and Suites Hattiesburg sits near attractions such as Camp Shelby and the Hattiesburg Zoo. It offers free WiFi and access to streaming platforms like Hulu and Netflix, allowing you to wind up with some movie or your favorite series after immersing yourself in the radiance of the zoo lights.

Red Lion Inn and Suites Hattiesburg

Red Lion Inn and Suites is a budget-friendly choice that offers a range of amenities, including free high-speed internet and an outdoor pool. It stands near popular establishments and attractions like the Camp Shelby Museum, Updown Trampoline Park, and the Hattiesburg Zoo Lights Festival.

What to Eat

Crescent City Grill

Crescent City Grill is a restaurant that offers American, Seafood, Cajun, and Creole Cuisine. The restaurant also serves vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free meals for health and nutrition buffs. For starters, it serves Crabmeat Wontons, Eggplant Fries, and Cajun Popcorn, among others. It also serves Chargrilled Oysters for seafood lovers and salads like Mojo Chicken Salad and Cajun Cobb Salad, among others. Crescent City Grill is a perfect stop after an unforgettable time at the Zoo Light Festival.

Cotton Blues

Cotton Blues is a family restaurant known for its cheesecake recipe. Aside from this, they also offer on-the-go delights like the Fried or Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Blackened Shrimp Tacos, and Cotton Blues Market Burger, among others. They also serve Country Fried Steak, Blackened Redfish, and Fried Pork Chop, among others. 

Cotton Blues is perfect for families and friends.

Strick’s Barbecue

Strick’s Barbecue is a family-owned business perfect for the huge fans of mouthwatering barbecue dishes. The restaurant is famous for its barbecue recipes perfected over the years. Aside from barbecues, they also offer Turkey Breast and Smoked Ham. For desserts, they offer Trisha’s Homemade Cakes and Homemade Banana Puddings. 

Known for its casual atmosphere, Strick’s Barbecue is a perfect place to hang out and dine in after a visit to the Hattiesburg Zoo.

More Things to Do in the Area

Aside from the zoo lights, there are other fun things to do and places to explore in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Updown Trampoline Park

Updown Trampoline Park is a place to bring your whole family and friends in. This place is perfect for children and adults alike as the park offers fun and exciting indoor activities for you and your loved ones to bond over.

African American Military History Museum

Located in the USO Clubhouse, the African American Military History Museum honors Black soldiers who served the country throughout American history. Get inspired by their stories by exploring exhibits and artifacts. Visiting the museum is a fun way to get inspired and enlightened.

Paul B. Johnson State Park

A natural paradise, Paul B. Johnson State Park offers a range of outdoor activities for friends and families. Aside from that, the park is also home to breathtaking sights such as forests and a lake. 

Boating and kayaking are two popular activities to enjoy this place. The park is also perfect for hiking, biking, or simply spending quality time with your loved ones on a picnic under a tree.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Hattiesburg Zoo Lights

Embrace the enchanting world of Hattiesburg Zoo Lights – a festival to create fun and great memories for the years to come. Visit the zoo and spend quality time with friends and families as you indulge your senses with the captivating harmony of nature and lights. 

With nearby accommodations and great places to dine in, the Hattiesburg Zoo Lights will be one of your cherished memories forever.


Q: Is there parking available at Hattiesburg Zoo Lights?

A: Yes, there is a designated parking space near the entrance.

Q: Can I bring food and drinks purchased outside the zoo?

A: It is prohibited to bring food and drinks purchased outside the zoo within the festival grounds. There are, however, food vendors on-site offering a variety of snacks and beverages.

Q: Are there any age restrictions for the festival?

A: Hattiesburg Zoo Lights welcomes all ages, which makes it a family-friendly event.

Q: Is there an ATM available at the festival?

A: Yes, there are ATMs available onsite. Also, most vendors accept debit or credit cards.

Q: Are there accessible facilities for guests with disabilities? 

A: Yes, the festival is committed to accommodating guests with disabilities, providing accessible pathways and other facilities designed to make the guests comfortable.

Q: Can I purchase tickets at the festival entrance?

A: Yes, you can, but it is always best to check the zoo’s official website for more detailed information. Also, it is best to purchase tickets online to secure your preferred date.

Q: Is the festival wheelchair accessible?

A: Yes, Hattiesburg Zoo is wheelchair accessible. The area has ramps and pathways that make wheelchair navigation easy.

Q: Are pets allowed at the festival?

A: No, pets are not allowed at the festival.

Q: Is photography allowed?

A: Yes, taking pictures through your phone is allowed. Professional equipment and tripods, however, are not permitted.

For updated information, visit the zoo’s official website.




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