FAQs

Wild Lights is a long-standing family tradition at the Detroit Zoo, and we want to do what we can to ensure an enjoyable experience for all. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions that will help you prepare for your trip!

  • Accessibility

    The Detroit Zoological Society is committed to accommodating individuals with diverse backgrounds and learning abilities. We have a strong desire to be autism- and special needs-friendly, and we hope all families have an enjoyable experience! For a full list of accessibility information, visit this page.

     

  • Animals

    The pathway allows you to see the Edward Mardigian Sr. River Otter Habitat and the Jane and Frank Warchol Beaver Habitat. All other animal habitats and buildings will be closed for the evening.

  • Arrival details
    • Detroit Zoo address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067
    • Event entrance: Please enter at the main admission gates at the front of the Zoo.
    • Event tickets: Tickets must be presented electronically or printed. Activate your e-tickets prior to your arrival to ensure the ticket barcode appears on your mobile device.

  • Dates and times

    November:

    • 24-25 (5 – 10:30 p.m.)
    • 26 (5 – 9 p.m.)

     

    December:

    • 1-2, 8-9, 15-23, 29-30 (5 – 10:30 p.m.)
    • 3, 10, 13-14, 26-28, 31 (5 – 9 p.m.)

     

    January:

    • 2-7 (5 – 9 p.m.)

     

    Zoo hours during Wild Lights remain 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Zoo will close at 4 p.m. and reopens for Wild Lights at 5 p.m.

  • Food and beverage

    Buddy’s Pizza, The Winter Grille, Boardwalk Station and Table 28 will be open during Wild Lights. Additional food and drink options will be available along the trail, including a limited number of alcoholic beverages.

    Guests are not permitted to bring their own alcoholic beverages on Zoo property.

  • Parking

    Event parking is $8 per vehicle for all ticket holders, including members. Parking passes will be validated at the main admissions gate; please do not leave your parking pass in the car. To avoid long lines, please purchase your parking pass in advance here.

  • Pricing

    Cost varies subject to date and time. Tickets sold in advance (either online or on site at Customer Care during daytime Detroit Zoo hours) will range as follows:

    Coming Soon!
     

    The best way to guarantee your Wild Lights experience, at the best price, is to purchase your advance tickets today. Both members and non-members must purchase tickets to Wild Lights.

    How do I know I’m getting the best price for my tickets?
    Demand for tickets typically increases as the visit day approaches. Customers who buy their tickets early will have access to the lowest rates.

    How often do dynamic ticket prices change?
    Dynamic prices are subject to change daily. Timing for price adjustments is not predetermined and will depend entirely on how many tickets have been purchased in each time slot and date.

    How do I know what the prices are?
    The best price available for any given day and timeslot will be posted on the website as you follow the prompts to purchase tickets.

    What happens if prices lower after I buy my tickets?
    Prices will only increase leading up to the chosen date. There may be times when prices remain the same; however, they will not decrease. As with all our tickets, all sales are final.

    What happens if I can’t make the day or time for which I purchased tickets?
    While all sales are final, you can choose to pay a “change fee” per ticket at the gate on another night of the event. Change fees vary.

  • Refunds and cancellations
    • Weather: Wild Lights is held in rain, snow or shine. Please come dressed for the weather!
    • All ticket sales are final. Guests who attempt to attend Wild Lights on a different date will be charged a change fee per ticket. Capacity is limited, and entry to the event outside of your originally reserved date is not guaranteed.
    • What if I am late for my ticketed time? Wild Lights guests are always welcome to enter any time after their ticketed time, just not prior to the ticketed time. Please do your best to arrive on time or your entry may be delayed.

  • Safety

    We all have a shared responsibility to keep guests, volunteers, staff and the animals who live here safe. Guests who do not comply with the Detroit Zoo’s policies may be escorted from the Zoo. To review our safety guidelines and Zoo updates, click here.

    The Wild Lights experience

    How long does it take to see the whole event?
    The Wild Lights trail illuminates the front half of the Detroit Zoo. The loop takes around an hour to complete.

    Do you have Wild Lights souvenirs?
    Yes! The Detroit Zoo gift shops will be open during all Wild Lights operating hours and will offer a variety of souvenir and holiday gift options. Additional gift stands and carts may be available, weather permitting.

  • Tickets

    Children younger than 2 are admitted free.

    All ticket sales are final. Guests who attempt to attend Wild Lights on a different date will be charged a change fee per ticket. Capacity is limited, and entry to the event outside of your originally reserved date is not guaranteed.

    Advance tickets are recommended. Please arrive at your scheduled time according to your ticket. Wild Lights s a wildly popular event and sells out regularly; guests should expect lines and plan arrival times accordingly. A limited number of Wild Lights general admission tickets will be sold at the gate each night on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Event tickets must be presented electronically or printed. Activate your e-tickets prior to your arrival to ensure the ticket barcode appears on your mobile device. If you are having difficulty locating your online tickets, please be sure to check your junk/spam folder.

  • Ticket Packages

    Your scheduled ticket time is for arrival at the main admission gates of Wild Lights, not the time you need to redeem all experiences provided within your ticket package.

    Visit this page for a full list of details for each ticket package.

    Brilliant Bundle Package

    Package Includes:

    • Zoo and Wild Lights admission beginning at 2 p.m.
    • Access to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition
    • Souvenir cup with hot cocoa

    Redemption Details

    • Present this ticket at the main gate from 2 to 3 p.m. on the date of your visit.
    • The Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition is located inside of the Ford Education Center. No ticket voucher is needed for entry.
    • A voucher for souvenir cup will be presented as you enter the event. You may exchange the voucher at any food location in the Zoo.

     

    Wild Lights Total Experience

    Package Includes:

    • Wild Lights admission
    • Access to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition
    • Exclusive access to the Polar Patio
    • Souvenir cup with hot cocoa
    • FAST PASS admission to the Polar Express 4D Experience

    Redemption Details

    • The Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition is located inside of the Ford Education Center. No ticket voucher is needed for entry.
    • Your admission ticket serves as your entry voucher for Polar Patio. Polar patio is located inside Table 28. Food & beverage service will end at 9 p.m. Cash bar will be available for guests who wish to purchase alcoholic beverages.
    • A voucher for souvenir cup will be provided at the entrance gate. You may exchange the voucher at any food location in the Zoo.
    • Your admission ticket serves as your entry voucher to redeem your Polar Express 4D Experience FAST PASS. Simply enter the FAST PASS line and present ticket. 4D Theater is located inside the Ford Education Center.
    • Please note: Due to popular demand, we recommend visiting the 4D Theater early in your vis it to avoid longer wait times.

     

    Polar Patio

    Package Includes:

    • Wild Lights admission
    • Access to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition
    • Exclusive access to the Polar Patio
    • Souvenir cup with hot cocoa

    Redemption Details

    • The Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition is located inside of the Ford Education Center. No ticket voucher is needed for entry.
    • Your admission ticket serves as your entry voucher for Polar Patio. Polar patio is located inside Table 28. Food & beverage service will end at 9 p.m. Cash bar will be available for guests who wish to purchase alcoholic beverages.
    • A voucher for souvenir cup will be provided at the entrance gate. You may exchange the voucher at any food location in the Zoo.

     

    4D Theater Package

    Package Includes:

    • Wild Lights admission
    • Access to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition
    • Admission to the Polar Express 4D Experience

    Redemption Details

    • The Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition is located inside of the Ford Education Center. No ticket voucher is needed for entry.
    • Your admission ticket serves as your entry voucher to redeem your Polar Express 4D Experience. Simply present ticket at the 4D Theater. 4D Theater is located inside the Ford Education Center.
    • Please note: Due to popular demand, we recommend visiting the 4D Theater early in your vis it to avoid longer wait times.

     

    General admission

    Package Includes:

    • Wild Lights admission
    • Access to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition

    Redemption Details

    • The Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition is located inside of the Ford Education Center. No ticket voucher is needed for entry.

  • Weather

    Wild Lights is held rain, snow or shine. Please come dressed for the weather and for walking outside.

    All ticket sales are final. Guests who attempt to attend Wild Lights on a different date will be charged a change fee per ticket. Capacity is limited, and entry to the event outside of your original reserved date is not guaranteed.