The chill in the air has officially arrived. Christmas music is playing everywhere you go. And it’s true what that beloved carol says about there being toys in every store.
Among the myriad of holiday festivities is a tradition beloved by many Chicagoans: The ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo.
From 4:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 8 through 23 and January 1 through 7, lights adorn the zoo grounds for this free holiday celebration.
On select nights, explore the Lincoln Park Zoo Light Maze, which includes a labyrinth of 30,000 twinkling lights. Craft nights are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings, and Monday is family night on Dec. 11, Dec. 18, and Jan. 1. Family nights feature free train and carousel rides and discounted kid’s meals.
Winter attractions include ice carving, live music, a light show, Candy Cane Lane, and crafts. Visit with Santa Claus between stops at various animal activities, including presentations like “Secrets of the Zoo” at 7:30 p.m. daily and “Animals Like Us” at 6:30 p.m. daily.
A tradition built on ice
Ice carving has been a staple at the ZooLights since its first year, 23 years ago. It takes four days to create each 300-pound block of ice, which are transformed by one carver and one assistant each night. Teams work together using everything from power saws and chisels to computer-controlled cutting machines.
Last year, 40,500 pounds of ice, or the equivalent of a full 40-foot trailer truck, were used as part of the ZooLights festivities.
Tickets are also available for purchase toward several other activities, including cookie decorating, the Lionel Train Adventure and a ferris wheel. Tickets are $3 each, $27 for 10, or $51 for 20, and can be purchased at all attractions except cookie decorating.
Food and drink is also available for purchase at many of the zoo’s eateries, including the Safari Cafe, Eadie Levy’s Landmark Cafe and Park Place Cafe.
Or enjoy hot chocolate and s’mores in style amid the lights at the Hot Chocolate Garden and S’Mores Station.
There is also a special event at Cafe Brauer on Sunday, Dec. 10. The Chris White Trio will be doing a tribute to “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” To purchase tickets for that, lpzoo.org/zoolights.
Scio: Welcome Home
At Scio, we believe in the importance of engaging in events like the ZooLights and being part of our community. We support local businesses and enjoy engaging in a variety of events and festivals. We live smarter – together.
For more information, or to schedule a showing, call (312) 427-1855 or visit us online.