When the animals tuck in for the evening, San Antonio Zoo transforms into a wild, winter wonderland filled with a jaw-dropping array of twinkling lights. Bigger and brighter than before, Whataburger Zoo Lights is a must-see for families that is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit! Guests can see life-sized animals from the savanna, including a 15-foot tall illuminated giraffe in Starry Safari. While sipping hot cocoa, guests can stroll under a unique display of lights, roast s’mores, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus, and visit Santa. Then, dance to our Latin-inspired Lakeside Light Show! Featuring pixel technology combined with a custom soundtrack that is composed of Latin Music, this high-energy show will get guests dancing to their favorite Christmas tunes!
Watch this awe-inspiring, exclusive light show at Zootennial Plaza. This is not your traditional light show. Utilizing Pixel technology and a custom soundtrack composed of Dubstep, EDM, and hip-hop, the result is an exciting light show that feels like the ultimate dance party.
ADVISORY: This show consists of loud music and continuous flashing lights. Please be aware if you have photo or sensory sensitivity.
Stop by and view these life-size reindeer beautifully lit to capture the essence and spirit of the season.
As you enter the zoo, take a family photo in front of our iconic Lion’s Pride statue complete with festive Christmas lights and large ornaments with some zoo-nique décor!
Zoo Lights Spectacular
Begin your Zoo Lights adventure by taking a whimsical walk through an array of fun lights and patterns! Spot the playful illuminated gibbons flowing you along the pathway and play a tune or two on our interactive keyboard with your twinkle toes!
This is Santa’s favorite place to be – there’s so much to do, hear and see! No visit would be complete without a stop at Santa’s very own workshop! Families can have their photo taken with Santa and don’t forget to share your Christmas wish list with him too. Plus, did you wish for hippopotamus for Christmas? Stop by to see Timothy and Uma in Africa Live! too.
FAO Schwarz Tony Parker Animal Collection
New! See our newest holiday habitat filled with large, luxurious plush animals from FAO Schwarz generously donated by Tony Parker and Family. Visit the wild herd in Beastro Restaurant to snap a photo of these larger-than-life stuffed animals.
Enjoy life-sized animals from the savanna, including a 15-foot tall illuminated giraffe in the all-new Starry Safari. This area is located on the Great Lawn and within steps from delicious s’mores! Grab a s’more & more while taking in the sights of the illuminated Savanna!
Camel Holiday Trek
Take an unforgettable journey to experience this unique animal adventure. Stroll among twinkling light displays that have transformed Kronkosky’s Tiny Tot Nature Spot.
Covered with twinkling blue lights and a few giant snowmen, Polar Point will make you feel like you’re in the Arctic. How do you measure up to a real polar bear? Check out our interactive height check while learning about these magnificent animals who just so happen to LOVE the cold weather.
Kiddie Park Connection
NEW to the zoo and NEW to Zoo Lights is the addition of Kiddie Park! Now guests can enjoy one of San Antonio’s most treasured landmarks at night Friday – Sunday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is the perfect way for children and adults to experience a nostalgic rides and have some old-fashioned fun.
Fa La La Flamingo
Deck the halls with smiles and laughter while in Fa La La Flamingo! These lights will have you tickled pink as you walk under illuminated flying flamingos.
Lights of Africa
Take a journey through this area that is decorated with red and yellow lights along Big Cat Valley.
Games & Activities
Visit with Santa, ride the train and experience activities such as camel rides and snow globe photos.
*Additional fees may apply.
Experience this unique animal adventure and take a journey along twinkling lights while on a camel. Get up-to these majestic animals like never before with experts on hand to guide you around a track while riding a trained camel. Camel rides are available daily and located in Kronkosky’s Tiny Tot Nature Spot.
Hop inside a larger than life snow globe for a one-of-a-kind Christmas picture with the entire family. This could make for a fun Holiday Greeting card!
All aboard the Holiday Express train ride! Embark on an unforgettable journey through Brackenridge Park that includes a special gift from Santa. Tickets can be purchased at the Train Depot.
Pick A Present
For all the good little girls and boys, Santa left a few presents to take home and place under your Christmas tree. Stop by and pick a present! Winner every time!
Come tell Santa what you would like for Christmas and take a photo with him.
Cookies with Mrs. Claus
Every night you will be able to decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus in her diner.
Get into the holiday spirit and roast marshallows by the fire or enjoy some of your favorite Christmastime treats like hot cocoa and cookies!
*Additional fees may apply.
S’mores & More
Get into the holiday spirit and roast marshmallows by the fire. Gather around to Zoo Lights campfire and savor the irresistible goodness of a s’mores treat. Hot cocoa is also available at these stations to accompany these tasty snacks.
*Additional fees may apply.
Long Necks Bar and Grill
Relax, enjoy, take in the fabulous view from an African-inspired open-air cafe, while feasting on American classic flavor with a Southwest twist.
Spacious and trendy, Beastro Restaurant offers a great view of the zoo’s impressive carousel and lake as well as delicious burgers and pizza. Dessert options are also available.
Join us for the special, holiday dining experience only during Whataburger Zoo Lights. Guests can join Cowboy for dinner at Riverview Restaurant on Saturdays and Sundays from 6 to 7 p.m. and enjoy premium dining options along with a complimentary cake decorating with Mrs. Claus. Book Your reservation now!
Adults: $19.99 | Children: $14.99
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of admission for Whataburger Zoo Lights?
- Standard admission is $19.99 an adult and $16.99 a child
Additional costs such as Santa, camels, and s’mores?
- Yes, there are some elements of Whataburger Zoo Lights that are an additional cost such as a photo with Santa, camel rides are $8 and s’mores are $5.
Dates and Hours of events?
- Monday: Friday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Sunday: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where should you park?
- We have multiple areas to park such as our new Parking Garage or the parking lot by the Train Depot.
What is new this year?
- We have expanded lights in some of our areas and have Kiddie Park open at night for the first time.
Will the animals be out in the evening during Whataburger Zoo Lights?
- The animals tuck in for the evening when San Antonio Zoo transforms into a wild, winter wonderland.