Wild Lights 2023 - Enchanting Extras

Merriment and More

Enjoy these festive extras — and don’t forget to share your photos on Instagram using #WildLightsMKEZoo.


  • New this year! A 28-foot Pixel Pine Tree on display in the front entrance mall! This special Pixel Pine is a very merry musical tree adorned with Wild Lights animals.
  • Also new, we’re bursting with excitement to feature a colossal 12-foot LiteZilla Light Wall! It’s not an ordinary canvas, but rather, a massive, glowing masterpiece just waiting for your creative spark. Grab a handful of colorful acrylic LitePins and let your imagination run wild to create pictures, patterns, and designs (maybe even a favorite Zoo animal!) on the enormous backlit panel. LiteZilla will rekindle the joy of bringing ideas to life — in vibrant, glowing color!
  • Meet Jolly ‘ole St. Nick himself and receive a FREE gift when Santa visits Wild Lights: Dec. 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, and 23.
  • Get into the holiday spirit with live entertainment in the U.S. Bank Gathering Place.
  • Festive food and drinks are available for purchase.
  • North Shore Bank Safari Train (operates until 8:15 p.m. — weather-dependent) – Enjoy a crisp, winter woodland ride.
  • Penzeys Carousel (operates until 8:30 p.m. — weather-dependent) – Ride atop your favorite animal on this old-fashioned fan favorite.
  • Sky Safari (operates until 8:15 p.m. — weather-dependent) – Experience Wild Lights from above!
  • Please note that stroller rental units should be returned by 9 p.m.
  • To accommodate guests with sensory sensitivities, a special Wild Lights Guide will be available to join in 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 Pool Party tours offered: Dec. 27, 29, and 31 SOLD OUT
    • Giraffe Jamboree tours offered: Dec. 26, 28, and 30 SOLD OUT

Entertainment Lineup

  • Friday, Dec. 1 – Tracy Hannemann Duo (piano and vocal duo)
  • Saturday, Dec. 2 – Ben Dameron Duo (jazzy holiday guitars)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 6 – Caribbean Eclipse Steel Drums
  • Friday, Dec. 8 – Caribbean Eclipse Steel Drums
  • Saturday, Dec. 9 – Ellen Winters Duo (piano & vocal duo)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13 – David Adler Duo (piano & vocal duo)
  • Friday, Dec. 15 – Dicken’s Victoria Carolers
  • Saturday, Dec. 16 – Dicken’s Victoria Carolers
  • Wednesday, Dec. 20 – Cordes De Lion (string pop)
  • Thursday, Dec. 21 – Ben Dameron Duo (jazzy holiday guitars)
  • Friday, Dec. 22 – Dicken’s Victoria Carolers
  • Saturday, Dec. 23 – Dicken’s Victoria Carolers
  • Tuesday, Dec. 26 – Ben Dameron Duo (jazzy holiday guitars)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 27 – Cordes De Lion (string pop)
  • Thursday, Dec. 28 – Cordes De Lion (string pop)
  • Friday, Dec. 29 – Caribbean Eclipse Steel Drums
  • Saturday, Dec. 30 – Mrs. Fun Duo (jazzy holiday music)
  • Sunday, Dec. 31 – Caribbean Eclipse Steel Drums