Smithsonian’s ZooLights Named One of “The 23 Best Christmas Light Displays” in the Country By U.S. News & World Report

by MCS Staff

The colorful glow of Washington, D.C.’s beloved Smithsonian’s National Zoo holiday tradition, Zoo Lights, returned last weekend 2022 and it has been named one of “The 23 Best Christmas Light Displays” in the country by U.S. News & World Report. While there are many great Christmas/Winter light displays in our area, this was the only one to make it onto the U.S. News list of 23.

Per U.S. News: “ZooLights at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is one of the city’s premier events – and it’s extremely popular among residents and visitors alike. The zoo is decorated to the nines with colorful LED lights and glowing animal lanterns. Visitors can catch live music performances and sample tasty snacks as they walk through the display and admire the lights. The pathways to view the lights are wheelchair-accessible but situated on a hill with a bit of an incline – something for disabled travelers and families with young kids and strollers to keep in mind. The event runs from Nov. 25 to Dec. 30 (note: some weeks it’s only open from Friday to Sunday), from 5 to 9 p.m. Overall, many love checking out ZooLights each year; however, some warn that it can get crowded and note that the animals are not out. Admission to ZooLights is free, but you will need a special entry pass (which is different from a normal zoo pass). There is a parking fee of $30; if you wish to visit by Metro, the nearest stops are Cleveland Park or Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan on the Red Line. For more information, head to the National Zoo website.”

WEEK 1 | Nov. 25, 26, 27 | Friday to Sunday

WEEK 2 | Dec. 2, 3, 4 | Friday to Sunday

WEEK 3 | Dec. 9, 10, 11 | Friday to Sunday

WEEK 4 & 5 | Dec. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 | Friday to Friday

WEEK 6 | Dec. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 | Monday to Friday

New this year: Admission to ZooLights is free, but a special entry pass separate from a daily Zoo pass will be required for all attendees, including Zoo Members. There is a flat-rate parking fee of $30. Daytime parking tickets are not valid for ZooLights parking.

Passes Released on a rolling schedule: ZooLights free entry passes and paid parking passes will be available on a rolling basis two weeks prior to the event night. Additional passes will be released one week out from the event, the day before, and the day of the event. Reserve ZooLights Passes


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