Sparkling, festive, and magical! For many Calgarians, the holiday season is not complete without a visit to ZOOLIGHTS, presented by Olympia Trust Company. Calgary’s award-winning holiday tradition will be glowing for more than six weeks of festive, family-friendly fun, lighting up the nights between November 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022.

The Calgary Zoo is celebrating 25 years since it first started transforming into an enchanting winter wonderland. This year’s ZOOLIGHTS experience will be bigger, brighter, and more magical than ever, for a memorable 25th anniversary. With millions of twinkling lights at every turn, including over 200 light figurines, along with interactive and choreographed light displays, you’ll discover a holiday extravaganza, all while you support wildlife conservation.

New themed areas and activities will include a 25th anniversary Memory Lane, where you can celebrate the past and make memories for the future in the outdoor gardens. The Nutcracker Experience in the ENMAX Conservatory is a sparkly salute to the classic Nutcracker story. Take your traditional family photos on a wintery sleigh, next to giant nutcrackers, or near a ballerina made entirely of flowers. Treat yourself to a signature gourmet hot chocolate at the Chocolate Bar and experience the Tunnel of Light as the immersive and interactive experience moves with you. For the first time ever, the Prehistoric Park will be a part of ZOOLIGHTS, too! Dinos in the Dark will transport you on a mission, but can you get out before the volcano erupts?! Visit a tribute to Canada’s wetland and enjoy a mulled wine while you support local artisans at the holiday ZOOLIGHTS market (select dates only).

Of course, you can still enjoy all the classic activities everyone has come to love at ZOOLIGHTS. Take a spin around the skating rink, test your arm with Rival Ax Throwing, and warm up by the firepits. Guests ages 12 and under can also test out some Canadian winter activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and until December 23, 2021, be sure to stop by Santa’s cabin to visit with the big man himself, too.

ZOOLIGHTS (Family Fun Calgary)

New this year is a sensory sensitive experience, where everyone will be able to enjoy the magic of ZOOLIGHTS in a way that works best for them. Sensory-sensitive guests can access a Sensory Bag (free rental) with supplies to help improve their ZOOLIGHTS experience. These bags include headphones, a fidget spinner, and more. The zoo has added more park signage ahead of flashing or moving lights and sounds so that sensory-sensitive guests are not caught off guard. Visitors can download a ZOOLIGHTS: Sensory Experience map to help plan their best route in advance so they can get the most out of their ZOOLIGHTS experience.

ZOOLIGHTS comes to life nightly from 5 to 9 pm. It takes approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours to experience all that ZOOLIGHTS has to offer – but you are able to stay for as little or as long as you like. Tickets are $21.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids 3 – 15 (infants under 2 get in free). Tickets are available at the gate, but you can save time and money by purchasing in advance online! Parking is $12, and the entrance is only through the North Gate.

Zoo Year’s Eve

Celebrate the last night of the year with the best and brightest backdrop in the city – ZOOLIGHTS! December 31, 2021, is a separately ticketed event and you can enjoy all the fun of ZOOLIGHTS with extra special entertainment including numerous countdowns – so your little ones don’t have to stay up too late to partake in the fun! It’s a festive way to help you and your loved ones ring in the new year in a safe (and “zoonique” way!) while supporting the Calgary Zoo’s  wildlife conservation  initiatives.

All the best of winter is at the Calgary Zoo this holiday: a visit with Santa, playing in the snow, and hot chocolate by the fire! Whether you are creating a new holiday tradition or continuing a favourite one, your whole family will love the festive spectacle of ZOOLIGHTS, presented by Olympia Trust Company, at the Calgary Zoo. Everything that’s magical about Christmas has come together in one place!


When: November 19, 2021 – January 2, 2022 (Some exclusions apply, plus November 23 (adults-only) and December 31, 2021, are separately ticketed events.)
Time: 5 – 9 pm (no admission after 8:30 pm)
Where: Calgary Zoo
Address: 210 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary, AB