Thank you for a wonderful Wild Lights season! We can’t wait to light up the night again in November 2024.

Experience the sights and sounds
of the season at Wild Lights!

Wild Lights, the Detroit Zoo’s annual holiday light show presented by Strategic Staffing Solutions, receives glowing reviews from visitors who have made it a holiday tradition. Guests will enjoy nearly 500 festive displays featuring millions of twinkling LED lights illuminating buildings, trees, sculptures and a walk-through light tunnel!

Fun for all ages

Available dates:
Nov. 24-26, Dec. 1-3, Dec. 8-10,
Dec. 13-23, Dec. 26-31, Jan. 2-7

Select weeknights and Sundays 5 to 9 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays
5 to 10:30 p.m.


This outdoor event is limited to the front half of the Zoo. There will be no access to animal habitats during your Wild Lights experience. All guests ages 2 and older require a ticket for entry. Member discounts do not apply to this event. Wild Lights is hosted in rain, snow or shine.

See what everyone is saying:

  • It’s always a treat to visit the Detroit Zoo, but there’s a little extra magic this time of year!!! Very nice displays, everything was clean and the employees we encountered were very kind and polite!
    – Julie

  • Always love the lights. Definitely a must do every year!
    – Jeffery

  • We were at the zoo for the Christmas Lights Show. Oh my!!! It was breathtaking! We had a great time.
    – Tom

  • The wild lights experience was very nice and a good use of the zoo for after hours. Good event for families looking for holiday cheer or a couple looking for a date night idea. The light attractions mimicking the ocean was so cool that we went through twice because we missed so much the first time.
    – Alex

  • We love the Detroit zoo! It’s always a blast, even during non-sunny days. We regularly visit their Wild Lights show as well. This was our first year experiencing it with our daughter (the past 4 years have just been us as a couple) and it was hands-down my favorite year yet!
    – Searra

  • It was my first time going to see the Detroit Zoo Christmas lights, and I think they were absolutely unbelievable. It was SO beautiful. I can’t wait to go next year.
    – Ben

  • Loved the Zoo lights display. It’s a Christmas tradition.

  • Went for wild lights for the first time. Very cool, there was a lot to see. There were a lot of different food options. I’ve been here countless times for normal zoo visits in the spring/summer and have always had a good time.
    – Katelyn

New and enhanced experiences:

  • ENHANCED wild lights

    Field of Light

    Engage your senses as you watch lights move and change colors to the sounds of holiday music.

  • ENHANCED wild lights

    Underwater Trail

    Dive into an underwater scene that takes you to the depths of the sea. At the trail end, you’ll encounter an interactive wall where you can trigger the ocean to move, sway and glow as you move your body.

  • NEW wild lights

    Environmental Impact II Art Exhibition

    See how art can make a difference for wildlife and wild places when you visit the ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT II art exhibition inside the Ford Education Center. This traveling exhibition features art from 19 artists and highlights humans’ environmental impact. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT II is produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C., David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Curator/Tour Director,

  • ENHANCED wild lights

    Enchanted Trail

    Stroll through a pathway illuminated by trees and animals as you follow a fairy flitting through the forest overhead. Join the fairy on her journey as the lights sparkle and shine around you.


Wild Lights favorites:

  • FAVORITEwild lights

    Toyland and Wishing Tree

    Immerse yourself in this childhood wonderland featuring life-sized toy sculptures of light. Highlights include a 40-foot-long train, which serves as the perfect photo op for family and friends. Don’t forget to make your holiday wish at the wishing tree!

  • FAVORITEwild lights

    THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4D Experience®

    Your guests are invited on an extraordinary adventure to the North Pole this holiday season on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ with the SimEx-Iwerks 4D Version of the Holiday Classic!

    THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

  • FAVORITEwild lights

    Wild Lights Lodge

    Warm up inside this festive oasis filled with holiday décor, live entertainment, bar service, s’mores and more!

  • FAVORITEwild lights

    Seasonal Treats and Eats

    Get your fill of the tastes of the season! Hot cocoa, warm pretzels, kettle corn, Dippin Dots and other festive favorites will be available for purchase. Don’t forget your souvenir hot cocoa cup to keep you warm throughout the event.



Mittens for Detroit

Wild Lights will be a donation site for Mittens for Detroit. If you would like to support the cause, we invite you to bring a pair of new mittens or gloves and help us reach our goal of collecting 5,000 sets!


On select Wild Lights evenings, we’ve invited your favorite characters for a meet and greet near the front of the Zoo. Whether you’re snapping a photo with the coolest princesses in town or meeting the world’s furriest heroes, you will see holiday dreams come true and make memories to last a lifetime. Characters scheduled from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on the below evenings:


Dec. 15: Get ready for a “paw-some” time with your favorite fire and police dogs!

Dec. 17: For real life?! Meet your favorite blue puppy!

Dec. 22: Let it glow with Frozen Princess Ann, Frozen Kristof and Snow Queen

Dec. 26: Let it glow with Frozen Princess Ann and Ollie the Snowman

Dec. 27: Let it glow with Frozen Kristof, Ollie the Snowman and Snow Queen

Dec. 28: For real life?! Meet your favorite blue puppy!

Jan. 2: Get ready for a “paw-some” time with your favorite fire and police dogs!

Jan. 4: For real life?! Meet your favorite blue puppy!

Ticket options

Ticket prices are per person. All guests 2 and older require a ticket for entry.

Package Name General Admission
4D Theater Package
Brilliant Bundle Package
Polar Patio Package
Total Experience Package
Wild Lights admission
Environmental Impact II
Polar Express 4D show
Daytime Zoo admission
Souvenir Cup
Unlimited hot cocoa
Polar Patio Access
Fast Pass
Carousel Ride
1 ride / package
$3 $3 $3 $3
Parking $8 $8 $8 $8 (FREE)
Online cost $17-25 $23-31 $38 $45-55 $75
At the Gate $26 $32 $38 $55 $75

The more the merrier! Groups of 20+ visiting Wild Lights at the same time are eligible for exclusive ticket discounts. To take advantage of your special offer, contact Group Sales Manager Jenise Collins at [email protected] or (248) 336-5841.
The Detroit Zoological Society is committed to providing a secular experience for all visitors throughout the entirety of Wild Lights. We do not promote any particular religious affiliation or experience during any of our events at the Detroit Zoo or Belle Isle Nature Center, including Wild Lights, and our focus is on creating a joyful and inclusive experience for everyone.