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Christmas at the Zoo

Category: Event Calendar

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Open until 10PM Friday-Saturday, Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve & Day

Dating back to 1967, the Indianapolis Zoo was the first zoo in the nation to hold a holiday lights event. Year after year, Christmas at the Zoo continues to grow. For our 55th year, we’re adding beautiful new décor to enhance your holiday experience. And the best part is it’s all included with regular admission!

Under the Bicentennial Pavilion, you’ll discover Santa’s Village featuring:

  • Extra Opportunities to Visit Santa: Meet the Kris Kringle in Santa’s Study warmed by Peterman Brothers from 5pm until close. Or escape to the tropics to see Vacation Santa from 3-9 pm at Flights of Fancy. With the help of his flamingo flock and some holiday magic, the Jolly Old Elf can be in two places at once to greet even more children this year. Visits with Santa continue through Dec. 23. 
  • White River Gardens: The reopening of the White River Gardens brings more lights and sights to this year’s holiday celebration.
  • New Characters: Meet our new festive characters, the Ice Princess and Jack Frost, as they spread holiday fun & cheer at the Zoo.
  • Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen:  Visit with Mrs. Claus and help decorate cookies through Dec. 30.
  • Santa’s Barn: See Santa’s sleigh and a few of his reindeer through Dec. 30.
  • Polar Pathway: Have your camera ready to remember the moment you step inside the glittering tunnel and are surrounded in glowing lights! Look for the one-way entry through the tunnel this year.
  • Storytime with Sprinkles & Holly: Returning for 2023, our holiday characters, Sprinkles and Holly, and their nightly storytelling outside of Cafe on the Commons.
  • Penguin Encounter: Get up close to these winter-ready birds from 6-8pm (animal and weather dependent).
  • Tinsel Tavern: Enjoy holiday-themed cocktails featuring Hotel Tango spirits and wines from Daniel’s Vineyard.
  • Mirror Maze: Laugh your way through the fun twists and turns of the Mirror Maze!