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Experience Dallas Zoo Lights 2022 With These Tips

Tips to Have a Great Experience at Dallas Zoo Lights 2022

Do you have a favorite season?

My favorite season is a close call between fall and winter.

I love wearing hoodies and cold days with bright sunshine. I also love the magic of the end of the year with all the holidays and lights.

If you like lights like me, you might love this idea for an activity to get outside.

Our youngest turned 5 this month (🥹 I'm not crying, you're crying). And he loves the zoo.

He'd been asking to go for a while, but every time we tried to make plans something came up or someone was sick, because germs have been making frequent visits from school to our house! Hope you and your loved ones are doing well, by the way.

So, on his actual birthday and on a school night 😱 I got tickets for the Dallas Zoo for their lights event .

I was skeptical at first, but it was SO worth the late night.

Children walking across bridge with pink, purple, and white lights strung above them
Entering Zoo North on the Flamingo Bridge

It was our first time to visit for the lights experience.

If you don't like zoos, you may not think this is worth the time or money. But if you do like zoos and you like holiday lights, this is a fun night that only takes about 1-2 hours of your time (not including traffic).

We're not affiliates or sponsored or anything. I just like to support the Dallas Zoo because of the awesome people whom I've had the pleasure of working with, so I picked this event rather than the other holiday lights attractions in DFW .

Here are some details that may help you plan a trip.


Open select nights from Nov until Jan 1. Gates open at 5:30pm and close at 10:00pm.

You choose your entrance time from these choices: 5:30pm, 6:30pm, or 7:30pm.

Check the Dallas Zoo Lights Event Calendar to see exact dates and times available.


Costs vary depending on whether you are members or non members.

If you're NOT a member you can get tickets for as low as $14 for youth and seniors and $18 for adults.

Members get more of a discount and can be free depending what level member you are.

If you're not a member, you can put the cost of your tickets towards the cost of a membership. If you plan on going to the zoo 2x in one year, a membership is a great deal!

Parking is $10 unless you are a member, then it's FREE!

ALWAYS check their site for exact costs before you visit.


You are not likely to see many real animals, but you do get to see over 1 million beautiful lights strung up around the zoo and the most amazing silk covered animal lanterns. Those were pretty amazing!

Most of the lights are located in Zoo North. We did go to Zoo South (when you go under the tunnel to see the elephants and giraffes) and there are not many lights passed the tunnel. They do have a small snack food area, but the rest of the zoo is blocked.

The zoo doesn't have printed maps anymore, so be sure to bookmark their zoo map or scan the QR codes when you are entering the gates.

A few volunteers had craft stations set up and we made glow in the dark bracelets. There was holiday music playing and an animated light show at the Amphitheater that we danced to as silly as possible and embarrassed my Mom.

The carousel and mini train are open for rides. The carousel is near the entrance and the mini train rides are in Zoo North.

You can purchase both of those tickets at the information booth when you enter the zoo, near the carousel. If you forget to purchase train tickets at the info booth, you can get them at the train booth.

Carousel rides are $4 per rider and mini train rides are $3 per rider. Costs may be different for members.

Animal lanterns are everywhere in the zoo at night and those were my favorite features!

Tiger silk lantern in Dallas Zoo
These animal lanterns were my favorite feature


There are limited food options in the zoo. They had typical zoo items like pretzels, popcorn, and other fair type foods.

They did have a food truck in Zoo North and the prices were what you would expect at a fair or a typical day at the zoo.

You can also pay to get some holiday treats like hot cocoa in a souvenir cup to your tickets, but it was $20 a person extra and I'm not about that life.

Honestly, you're better off bringing your own food or going somewhere else before or after the zoo to eat. I wanted to go down the street to Peter Piper Pizza because it's my favorite and the only one left in DFW, but sadly I was out voted for something else.

Check the zoo website for what you can and can't bring inside the zoo when it comes to food and personal items.

Overall, we had a great time!

The zoo is such a great place to spend some time outside without requiring too much planning or prep.

Well, it depends on the age of your kids. I do remember the days of having a stroller filled to the brim!

Have you been to the Dallas Zoo Lights experience?

Let us know in the comments or tag us on Instagram @ntkidsoutside

Tips to Have a Great Experience at Dallas Zoo Lights 2022

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