Point Defiance’s ZooLights a magical way to celebrate the holiday season

All photos by Cheryl Landes

Updated November 29, 2018

More than 700,000 energy-efficient lights bring the holiday spirit alive at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma.

Walk under a giant octopus when you enter the zoo.


Stroll pathways lined with twinkling trees and shrubs.

Cheer for the Seahawks at the 12th Man tree.


See sea creatures all aglow in an underwater landscape. Then stop at three open aquariums to watch real sharks, jellyfish, seahorses, an octopus, and more.


You’ll also see 3D sea creatures.


Greet a python.


Pet goats, ride the antique carousel, and ride a camel. Look for these lights to find the camel rides.


Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is located at 5400 N Pearl Street, on the northern tip of Point Defiance Park (view directions). Parking is free.


ZooLights is open the day after Thanksgiving through January 6, 5-9 p.m., except Christmas Eve. Admission is $10 per person online or at Fred Meyer stores, or $12 at the gate (buy tickets online). Or choose a combo pass, which covers daytime entry to the zoo and allows you to stay after closing for ZooLights. Combo pass prices are $25 adults 13-64, $24 seniors 65 and older, $21 youth ages 5-12, $17 tots ages 3-4, and free ages 2 and younger.

On Military Nights, active duty members of the military, honorably discharged veterans, and dependents receive discounts. Admission is $9 per person at the gate with military ID or proof of service. There’s a 10% discount on meals, snacks, beverages, and items at the gift shop.

Military Nights are scheduled on these Monday and Wednesday nights:

  • November 26 and 28
  • December 3, 5, 10, 12, 17, and 19

Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Campfire members wearing their pins and their guests receive discounted admission of $9 per person at the gate on Scout Night, Sunday, December 4, along with 10% off purchases at the gift shop.

Ticket discounts for Military Nights and Scout Night are not available online.

For more information, visit the ZooLights page or call (253) 404-3800.

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