Free ZooLights in Chicago!

Come on out with friends and family and check out the celebration of ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo! This one-of-a-kind, festive holiday experience offers a free, merry, family-oriented celebration of joy right in the heart of the city.   Normally, tickets are just $5 to get into the Zoo, but every Monday starting November 21st through January 1st, you and your little elves can make your way into Lincoln Park Zoo for absolutely FREETickets to Free Admission Mondays will be released the Tuesday prior at 11 a.m. each week.

Here are the dates that you can hop on your sleigh and get in for free:

  • November 21, 28 and December 5, 12, 19, 26

Read More: Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago ZooLights Free Admission |

Visit the wild residents, walk through beautiful lightshows, and experience a night like never before.

A Chicago holiday tradition that helps keep Lincoln Park Zoo free and open 365 days a year, ZooLights illuminates the zoo with more than 2.5 million lights and hundreds of dynamic displays. This FREE event on Mondays  transforms Lincoln Park Zoo into a twinkling winter wonderland from Nov 19 to Jan 1 complete with visits from Santa (through Dec. 23), ice sculptors (weekends), carolers (weekdays), festive activities and sweet treats of all kinds. ZooLights runs from 4:30 pm to 10:00 p.m.

Ticketing Information

Tickets to ZooLights are $5 nightly from Tuesday through Sunday. Tickets are free each Monday. All dates require a ticket accompanied by a timed reservation.  Tickets to Free Admission Mondays will be released the Tuesday prior at 11 a.m. each week. Click on FREE MONDAYS here to get your free tickets.  You’ll have the best chance for FREE MONDAY tickets if you go to the website on Tuesday at 11am

All guests, including children and infants, must have a ticket to enter, including free nights.

ZooLights runs 4:30–10 p.m. nightly from November 19 through January 1, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Several dates are also reserved for special events. Special events may impact ZooLights hours. Free or $5 ZooLights dates are:

  • November 19-23, 25-30
  • December 2–14, 16–23, 26–31
  • January 1



That includes ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo!




ZooLights features hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities, all under the glow of 2.5 million lights. Ice sculpture carving, strolling carolers and Santa are regular fixtures of the event.

Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St.

When: FREE MONDAY Nov. 29 through Jan 1

Cost: Free on Mondays


Lincoln Park Zoo Lights



  • Photos with Santa (through December 23)
  • Hundreds of themed displays with 3D and LED lights all across zoo grounds
  • Live ice carving (Fridays and Saturdays only)
  • Roaming Christmas carolers (Sundays only, before Dec. 25)
  • A holiday pop-up bar at Snowy’s Spirits & S’more
  • Warm spiced wine, frosty beers, and festive drink specials
  • Delicious holiday snacks
  • Joyful gift shopping
  • Exciting ticketed attractions


Free Nights

November 21, 28 and December 5, 12, 19, 26

$5 Admission Nights

November 19-20, 22-23, 25-27, 29-30, December 2-4, 6-10, 13, 16-18, 20-23, 27-31, January 1

Members-Only Nights

Members: password is the first three digits of your member number.

Friday, November 18

Wednesday, December 14

Sensory Friendly Night

Tuesday, November 29

Special Events

BrewLights Presented by Louis Glunz Beer, Inc.
Thursday, December 1 (Zoolights Closed)
Learn More

The Chris White Trio Tribute to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Sunday, December 11, Two Shows: 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (Zoolights Open)
Buy Tickets

Adults Night Out: Holidaze!
Thursday, December, 15 from 6:30–10 p.m. (Zoolights Closed)
Learn More | Buy Tickets

Zoo Year’s Eve
Saturday, December 31, from 9 p.m.–12:30 a.m. (Zoolights Open)
Learn More | Buy Tickets


Ticketed Attractions

Tickets for ZooLights attractions cost $4 for one ticket, $36 for 10 tickets, and $69 for 20 tickets. Tickets will be available to add to your Eventbrite ticket in advance. They will also be available at on-grounds ticket counters.

AT&T Endangered Species Carousel
Round and round you go! Hop aboard your favorite carousel animal: lion, seal, ostrich, and more! 1 ticket per person

Lionel Train Adventure
This short, family-friendly train ride near the West Gate entrance is perfect for little ones! 1 ticket per person

Ferris Wheel
The crowd-favorite Ferris wheel is back in 2022! Glide above the lights and take in zoo, park and skyline views on this classic ride. Get your 3D Holospex® Glasses at this attraction. 2 tickets per person

Light Maze Presented by Invesco QQQ
Twist and turn through this year’s dazzling Light Maze, a safe, beautifully-lit path sure to rouse holiday spirits. Get your 3D Holospex® Glasses at this attraction. 1 ticket per person

S’mores at Snowy’s
Get toasty by a wood burning fire pit. 2 tickets per person

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