Wild Lights 2023


December 1
- December 31


5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (admission gates close at 8:15 p.m.)

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Dec. 1-31; except closed Dec. 4, 5, 11, 12, 24, and 25

During this festive season, the Milwaukee County Zoo will transform into an illuminated destination with hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights — even bigger and brighter than last year! Enjoy an enchanted evening under the stars, with pathways and forested areas specially adorned with twinkling lights and decorative displays.


Buy online and save! ALL tickets include parking (a $15 value)!

Online Admission**
Adult: $18
Child (3-12): $16
Child (2 and under): FREE


General Admission at the Gate**
Adult: $20
Child (3-12): $18
Child (2 and under): FREE
**Zoological Society members receive 20% discount online and at the gate with code jolly and membership ID. Discount must be applied at the time of purchase.


Group Rates
For groups of 20 or more – Call the Group Sales Department at 414-256-5430.
Adult $16
Child (3-12) $14
Child (2 and under) FREE

Wild Lights Wednesdays (Dec. 6, 13, 20 only)
Adult or Child: $12 at the gate and online; no additional discount for Zoological Society members


Wild Lights Drive Thru (Dec. 3, 10, 17, 18, 19 only)
Advance, online tickets only*
Carload: $40
Zoological Society members save 20% online with code jolly and member ID. Discount must be applied at the time of purchase.
*Because of the nature of this experience, entry is only at the purchased time.


Check out details for Cheers! Wild Lights (for 21+) and Zoo Year’s Eve too!


Several of the animal buildings will be open and welcoming guests on select nights. Whether it’s our 120-pound green anaconda, Olive; African elephants, Brittany, Ruth, and Belle; or jaguar Francisco; our animals “shine” on these special nights. These animal buildings are open from 5:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.:

  • Aquatic & Reptile Center: Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23, 29, and 30
  • Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country: Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, and 22
  • Elephant Care Center: Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 23, 29, and 30



Wild Connections Tours — To make your sparkly night an even more memorable experience, “Go Wild” with an up-close encounter to meet a Humboldt penguin or reticulated giraffe! These popular tours are offered for a fee, and advance registration is required.

  • Penguin Pool Party tours offered: Dec. 27, 29, and 31 SOLD OUT
  • Giraffe Jamboree tours offered: Dec. 26, 28, and 30 SOLD OUT



New this year: special “Drive Thru” dates are offered for a different experience — to enjoy Wild Lights from the comfort of your car! Drive Thru dates: Dec. 3, 10, 17, 18, and 19.

The Drive Thru experience travels on a 1-mile route, along Zoo pathways near the illuminated themed areas, as guests enjoy the warmth and comfort of their car. Food and merchandise stops are available for purchases during this approximately 30-minute ride. Timed entry is every 30 minutes; the last car admittance is at 9:00 p.m. Advance, online tickets for the Drive Thru are required, and animals are not viewable during these Drive Thru nights. For more details and FAQs on the Drive Thru experience, click here.