New! ‘Wild Lights, Wild Dreams’ Lights up the Zoo in December

New for the holiday season, the Milwaukee County Zoo will transform into a brilliantly illuminated world with millions of twinkling lights placed throughout the forests and pathways.

Visitors can enjoy an enchanted evening under the stars.

Milwaukee County Zoo will transform into a brilliantly illuminated world this December.

The NEW Wild Lights, Wild Dreams experience is offered Dec. 1-5, 8-12, 15-23 and 26-31, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; admission gates close at 8:45 p.m. It’s sponsored by WE Energies.

On Thursday, Dec. 9 visitors 21+ enjoy a unique experience with entertainment, special spirits and food offerings to purchase.

Bright colors and shining lights will greet guests walking along a 1-mile path filled with animal-themed light displays and decorations.  The winter wonderland will connect participants to animals and the living earth in an inspiring new way.


The Joyful and the Jolly: Stroll through the Zoo’s very own snow globe, and take in these glowing displays.

Polar Point: You’re invited to step into a polar dream, as a WILD night of LIGHTS starts! 

Flamingle all the Way, sponsored by Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®: Like birds of a feather, flock together with friends and family down Flamingo Way past a flamboyance of lit flamingos. 

Jungle Bells: Enter the world of apes and primates with Jungle Bells! Use your imagination and dream of a faraway place where these agile animals are swinging from the trees around you. 

FantaSEA, sponsored by Mad City Windows and Baths: Dream of unknown places as you swim through this underwater adventure of sea creatures! 

aROARa, sponsored by Meijer: Here you’ll dream of beauty as you walk under the dancing waves of lights of the aurora borealis.

Polar Point: You’re invited to step into a dream, as a WILD night of LIGHTS starts! 

Winter Woodland, sponsored by Meijer: Wander and weave through the evergreen forest and northern woodlands.  

ROARchestration, sponsored by Prairie Farms Dairy: This kaleidoscopic landscape celebrates all the beauty of nature and the living things with which we share the earth. Celebrate with a light show every 10 minutes.  

ButterFLIGHT: As the night sky settles, some of earth’s smallest creatures twinkle in the sky and fireflies and butterflies will light your way. 

Horizon + Starry Safari, sponsored by American Transmission Company: As the sun rises over the horizon, create new dreams for a new day before imagining your very own Starry Safari adventure celebrating the Zoo’s animals! 

Vibrance: The ribbon of colors you’ve experienced along the way come together, and now dream YOUR own vision in this magical immersion of light! 

Tinsel and Trimmings:  Enjoy these yuletide extras!

The North Shore Bank Safari Train will be running, weather dependent, so that guests can enjoy a brisk, winter woodland ride.

The old-fashioned Penzeys Spice Carousel will also be running, weather dependent.

Festive food and drinks will be available for purchase. 

Visitors can get discounted tickets online, or full-price tickets at the gate.

Admission & Parking

Wild Lights Admission: Admission at the gate costs $20 for adults, $18 for children ages 3-12, and children 2 and under are free. Discounted tickets are available online.

Parking: Parking is included in the price of admission.

Additional Information

Wild Lights is an outdoor experience, so grab your boots and mittens and enjoy the winter and (hopefully) snowy conditions!  For their health and safety, animals are not viewable during Wild Lights. 

For visitors’ continued safety, masking and physical distancing is required inside all Zoo buildings.  Masks are not required outside.  Hand-sanitizer stations will be located throughout the park, including entry and exit areas, restrooms and concessions. Sanitizers contain at least 60% alcohol.  We’re reducing the risk for exposure by enhancing our already-stringent cleaning protocols and frequently sanitizing high-touch surfaces.

For visitors’ continued safety, masking and physical distancing is required inside all Zoo buildings. Masks are not required outside.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their holiday lights for recycling to help wildlife! Recycling lights keeps them out of landfills, less space for landfills means more space for wildlife! Drop off working or non-working lights in the U.S. Bank Gathering Place for recycling. Proceeds will support Wisconsin’s Endangered Resources Fund.

Your visit supports the Milwaukee County Zoo – its animals, special exhibits, and conservation programs, as well as its respected place in the community.  The Zoo continues to serve as a cultural asset and resource for all who visit.

For questions about Wild Lights, sponsored by We Energies, please call the Zoo’s Marketing and Communications Department at 414.256.5466.

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