Christmas at the Zoo: A Lights Celebration to Remember

In a way, Christmas is as much about making memories as it is giving presents. For after all the shopping, gift-giving and holiday celebrations have come and gone, it is the memories that endure. What memories will you make this holiday season?

Here’s a suggestion: Christmas at the Zoo. Now through December 30, 2013 the Indianapolis Zoo will celebrate the 45th annual Christmas at the Zoo.


This holiday lights celebration is truly a must-see event. Starting around 5pm, as the sun sets, the Indianapolis Zoo comes to life with lights and wildlife.


Believe it or not, many of the Zoo’s more robust animals, such as bears, tigers, walruses and others become more active during the winter months, as they enjoy relief from the heat. Because of this, Christmas at the Zoo is the perfect time to catch a glimpse of these amazing animals.


Speaking of which, one attraction you’ll want to see is Holiday Dolphin Show. This 20-minute show, which takes place in the beautifully staged Marsh Dolphin Adventure Theater, offers a captivating look at these intelligent and graceful creatures.


The kids will love Santa’s Workshop. There, they can meet with Santa himself to give him their holiday wish list, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus in her “kitchen,” write letters to Santa when he can’t be there (due to “prior obligations”), and participate in a variety of fun art-and-craft type activities.

“One of the biggest things during the year for Christmas at the Zoo is for guests to come and ride the train. We have lots of different holiday displays that are setup outside of our Plains exhibit. So you bundle up, your hot beverage and you jump on the train for a tour of the lights,” says Carla Knapp, Public Relations Specialist for the Indianapolis Zoo.

In addition to the train, young ones will have a blast on the carrousel, which plays music and goes round and round, two horses abreast.

There will be school groups singing traditional Christmas carols around campfires, in addition to the “Common Stock Carolers,” who come to Christmas at the Zoo year after year to sing carols. They are quite familiar with all of the holiday favorites, and will even take requests.

“Animal Keepers Chats” will take place at designated times, and are an opportunity to better understand certain animals by questions.

Other attractions include “We Three Trees,” an animated light show complete with music, a real-life reindeer which can be found at Entry Plaza, and the 4D Theater, which plays a holiday-themed production.

But of all the things to do and see at this year’s Christmas at the Zoo celebration, perhaps the most important one is the simple fact that you’re there with your friends, family, significant other, or whomever.