Details About and Date For Bright Nights 2023 Will Be Announced Soon!

Bright Nights 2022, presented by Baird Private Wealth Management, will run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 25 through December 18. Utica Zoo members receive 50% off for admission. Admission for not-yet members is $8 for adults and $5 for kids (ages 2-12). Become a member TODAY by CLICKING HERE

The doors for the event will open at 5pm each of the nights that it runs and the last tickets of the day will be sold at 7pm. 

At the event, there will be holiday music, a craft booklet, Santa Claus, a nightly reading of Twas’ the Night Before Christmas at 6PM, food trucks, hot beverages, and a series of stationary and “moving” holiday light displays such as: 

  • Bright Nights Entrance: Bright white lights archway and Snowmen to welcome you to Bright Nights!
  • Gumdrop Candy Land Cottage
  • Farming Elves
  • Caroler’s Performance Stage/lighted Caroler’s
  • Penguin Pond
  • Peaceful Deer
  • Mr & Mrs. Claus at the North Pole
  • Construction Elves
  • Jolly Snow Family

Bright Nights Admission Rates - Members Price
Child 1 & Under Free
Child 2 to 12 $2.50
Adult 13 to 61 $4.00
Senior 62+, Military, College w/ID $3.50
Bright Nights Admission Rates - Not-Yet Members Price
Child 1 & Under Free
Child 2 to 12 $5.00
Adult 13 to 61 $8.00
Senior 62+, Military, College w/ID $7.00
*for groups of 10 or more, ask our ticket window about our discounted "group rate"*

Want to bring a letter to Santa? Download our letter template by clicking the link below and then put it in Santa's mailbox when you get here!

*PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS EVENT WILL NOT FEATURE THE MAJORITY OF OUR ANIMALS. DUE TO THE TIME OF DAY AND THE COLDER WEATHER, THE MAJORITY OF OUR ANIMALS WILL BE IN THEIR BACKHOLDINGS WHILE THE EVENT IS GOING ON. THE FOCUS OF BRIGHT NIGHTS IS THE LIGHT DISPLAYS AND HOLIDAY FESTIVITES. IF YOU WANT TO SEE OUR ANIMALS, PLEASE COME TO THE ZOO DURING THE DAY (BEFORE 4PM)*

Bright Nights FAQ

What are the dates for Bright Nights 2022?

Bright Nights 2022 will run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 25th through December 18th.

What time is Bright Nights?

Bright Nights starts at 5PM. The last tickets will be sold at 7PM.

How much are tickets for Bright Nights?

Tickets for Bright Nights 2022 are $8 for adults (ages 13+) and $5 for kids (ages 2-12). Members get 50% off their tickets.

What is there to do at Bright Nights?

At Bright Nights, you will be able to walk through the zoo to see 15 different holiday light displays, pick up a make-your-own holiday craft booklet, listen to holiday music, meet Santa Claus and write him a letter, listen to a reading of “Twas’ the Night Before Christmas” at 6PM, learn about some animals through biofacts, and other holiday themed activities. 

Is this event outside?

This event is primarily outside, so dress appropriately. There will be multiple “fireside warming stations” and heaters around the zoo. The only building opening is our gift shop. Please wear masks and practice social distancing while inside the gift shop. 

Is the whole zoo open?

For safety reasons, only about half of our zoo will be open for this event. Areas such as African Ridge and North Trek Hiking Trail will be closed.

Will I see animals?

While most of our animals do have the option to be in their exhibits, due to the time of day and weather many may decide to stay in their heated homes which aren’t viewable to the public. Additionally, since the whole zoo isn’t open for this event, some animal exhibits will be unavailable. Bright Nights – as an event – primarily focuses on the light displays and holiday festivities.   

What are the light displays?

Around the zoo, there are 15 different holiday light scenes on display. Some featured are “Santa’s Workshop,” “Happy Penguins,” and the “Tunnel of Lights.”

Will there be food?

Each night that Bright Nights runs will feature at least 1 food truck. 

2022 Sponsors

Support Packages for 2022

Be part of 2022’s Bright Nights at the Utica Zoo by supporting the efforts of the Utica Zoo staff and Bright Nights Committee in creating this family-friendly program. Your business, organization, or family can have their name in front of our community members as a supporter of a quality of life asset taking place at the Utica Zoo. 

To see our 2022 sponsor levels, take a look HERE.

Contact a.heath@uticazoo.org for more details or to secure your support spot today!