Phoenix Zoo Lights – An Annual Tradition in Phoenix, Arizona

Last year we were in Phoenix on Christmas and Gene and I went to the Phoenix Zoo Zoo Lights with my best friend’s sister and brother’s families. It was something I had never done even here in Colorado so I was so excited to experience it with my extended family.

Phoenix Zoo Lights - Tree

For those who may not know about zoo lights or what the Phoenix Zoo Zoo Lights is all about, I am going to share a quick bit of information before continuing with our visit.  Zoo Lights is when a zoo is decorated with millions of twinkling lights, dazzling animal sculptures and in the case of the Phoenix Zoo, two Music-in-Motion Light Shows on their main lake. It is and was so magical and such a wonderful experience.

Phoenix Zoo Lights - Tunnel

It all starts before you actually even enter the zoo. Once we had our tickets scanned and were allowed to enter, we all had to walk through a huge tunnel of lights. I couldn’t even tell you how many rows of multi-colored lights there were, but it was a great way to begin our visit.

Phoenix Zoo Lights - Cactus

The next thing that really caught my eye was all the lights on the trees. They were absolutely gorgeous, and each area was so unique and colorful. They even had a bunch of the cacti colorfully decorated. Everywhere you looked there were sparkling, twinkling, and dancing lights.

Phoenix Zoo Lights - Flamingos

Another fun thing to see was all the brightly lit animal sculptures. When we were there in 2021 some of the newer animals included an elephant, hawksbill sea turtle, Amur leopard, Bornean orangutan, wolf, and Bali mynah.   However, I was happy just to see some of the Flamingos real and sculptures, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, lions, monkeys, ducks, and so many others that I can’t remember. All I know is we had a great time checking them out.

Phoenix Zoo Lights - Group Pic

Somewhere in the middle of our visit, we stopped to get some pictures and grab a drink and a small snack. It was fun just sitting around the lake and taking in all the lights. It was so breathtaking to just sit a few and take it all in for a few minutes.  Apparently, Santa and his elves were there earlier in the season for photo ops, but they went back to the North Pole a few days earlier (I guess they had to get ready for Christmas, lol). I have never been to the Cinncinati Zoo Lights, but I think they would have been quite similar.

Phoenix Zoo Lights - Java

We did a bunch more walking around and didn’t really see many real animals that night as they were probably already beaded down for the night and out of the visitor’s view, plus it was dark besides the lights. We did learn from someone that the Phoenix Zoo Lights have been a 30-year holiday tradition and that many people do this every year sometime throughout the season.

Phoenix Zoo Lights - Rose

I am so glad that we were able to be part of that group last year and hope to be able to do it, or the Denver Zoo Lights sometime again soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share what the experience was like in 2021, and share some information. Of course, the dates and such will be different for 2022-2023 but I have updated information from their website. Hope you enjoyed seeing a few pictures from our night exploring the zoo and seeing these amazing lights.

Phoenix Zoo Lights - Us

Phoenix Zoo Lights Visitor Information


455 N. Galvin Parkway




November 23, 2021– January 15, 2022 (SELECT NIGHTS ONLY)


5:30-10:30 P.M.


PURCHASE ONLINE | $30 General, $25 Member
PURCHASE AT GATE | $35 General, $30 Member
Children ages 2 and under are free

Walk-Thru tickets are $20 per person or $16 for Zoo members. Children 2 and younger are free

Drive-Thru prices are $75 per vehicle or $60 for a Phoenix Zoo member vehicle.

Other Things to Note:

ZooLights Walk-Thru tickets must be purchased in advance. Here is a link to purchase tickets.

Rydables are NOT available to rent during ZooLights.

Zoo Lights Walk-Thru tickets are valid for use on any Zoo Lights Walk-Thru night during the 2022-2023 ZooLights season.

Zoo Lights Walk-Thru tickets are not valid on January 3, 4, 10 & 11.

Zoo Lights Walk-Thru tickets are non-replaceable and non-refundable.



From Highway 202 take the Priest Drive exit, which becomes Galvin Parkway. Head north, and turn right at the first light after Van Buren.

Public Transportation

There is no Valley Metro Rail station within a reasonable walking distance from the Phoenix Zoo. However, you can take light rail to the Washington/Priest Station; from there, transfer to the north-bound Bus 56 to the Phoenix Zoo stop. A one-day pass for local bus and light rail transport is $4




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2 thoughts on “Phoenix Zoo Lights – An Annual Tradition in Phoenix, Arizona

  1. Samantha, how fun that you are featuring Phoenix today! I live in Phoenix, about 15 minutes from the Zoo. It is so interesting to read your impressions of ZooLights. I believe I went the very first year! It was much more interesting than I had imagined, and I understand more features are added every year. Maybe I will round up some friends and get over there this year!

  2. Hi Samantha.
    I love the pictures. I have seen similar events in Ottawa, not at the zoo, with ice sculptures in the winter, and with flowers in the summer.
    I find the ads between every paragraph are a turn-off. Blog on!

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