Topeka Zoo launching Zoo Lights with ‘garland cutting’ ceremony Friday afternoon

Local News

TOPEKA – The Topeka Zoo is launching the second annual Zoo Lights event with a “garland-cutting” ceremony Friday afternoon. This year, the zoo doubled the size of the event by expanding lights into Camp Cowabunga and Kay’s Garden.

Zoo Lights was an instant success in its first year. Zoo Director Brendan Wiley said 65,000 people visited the walk-through display last year and they are expecting an even higher turnout this year

“Based on what we’ve seen so far, largely we’re judging on pre-sale of tickets,” Wiley said. “We’re actually anticipating about 75,000 people for year two. It’s quickly becoming a holiday tradition not only for people in Topeka but within a 60-mile radius.”

Along with the new lights, the zoo has also added new attractions including heated, private igloos for rent and new activities in the holiday village for the whole family to enjoy.

“At the holiday village, not only do you find Santa Claus and the same letter writing activities,” Wiley said. “But this year straight from the North Pole we have reindeer.”

In order to control the flow of traffic, zoo staff will only be selling 450 to 500 tickets each half-hour. However, Wiley said guests are allowed to stay as long as they like once they are inside Zoo Lights.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for kids under 12. Members of the Topeka Zoo get a $2 discount. Click here to purchase tickets. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

The Zoo Lights opening ceremony will start at 4:45 p.m. Friday. The event will officially open at 5:00 p.m. and remain open each night until December 26.

  • Sunday – Thursday
    • 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday
    • 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • December 19 – Christmas Eve
    • 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Thanksgiving & Christmas
    • 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm