Wild Lights
Merriment and More


Enjoy the Yuletide extras!

North Shore Bank Safari Train (closed through Dec. 23, due to cold temperatures) – Enjoy a crisp, winter woodland ride.

Penzeys Carousel (closed through Dec. 23, due to cold temperatures) – Ride atop your favorite animal on this old-fashioned favorite.

Mathnasium Sky Safari (closed through Dec. 23, due to cold temperatures) – Experience Wild Lights from above.

Gorilla Trek Virtual Reality Experience – Enjoy a fully-immersive, unprecedented look at one of nature’s most intriguing and endangered animals — mountain gorillas.

Santa at Wild Lights: Dec. 16-23 – Santa is coming to Wild Lights! Stop by the U.S. Bank Gathering Place and take your own photos from 5:30-9 p.m. (Don’t forget to share on Instagram using #WildLightsMKEZoo!)

Wild Lights with the Animals: Dec. 26-31 – Visit the animals in Aquatic & Reptile Center, Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country, and Elephant Care Center from 5:30-8:45 p.m.

Wild Lights Guide – to accommodate guests with sensory sensitivities, a special Wild Lights Guide is available to enjoy this sparkly event.

Wild Lights for Wildlife – Drop off working and non-working lights for recycling to help wildlife! Recycling lights keeps them out of landfills — less space for landfills means more space for wildlife! Proceeds support Wisconsin’s Endangered Resources Fund.

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 tours offered: Dec. 26, 28 and 30.
  • Giraffe tours offered: Dec. 27, 29 and 31.
  • Learn more


Wild Lights is an outdoor experience, so grab your scarf and mittens and enjoy the winter and (hopefully) snow globe conditions.

Come explore while the animals snore! For their health and safety, animals are not viewable during Wild Lights; however, our winter wonderland features plenty of enchantment for all.


Don’t forget to share your photos on Instagram using #WildLightsMKEZoo.