Bright Nights is the Utica Zoo’s Premiere Holiday event that runs on weekends from the end of November through Christmas featuring all sorts of holiday fun such as caroling, food trucks, hot drinks, Santa, and numerous light displays!

Bright Nights 2021 will run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 26 through December 19. Admission will be $8 for adults and $5 for kids (ages 2-12). Utica Zoo members get 50% off for admission. 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, crafts, Santa Claus, a nightly reading of Twas’ the Night Before Christmas, 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

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)*

2021 Sponsors

Support Packages for 2021

Be part of 2021’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. We aim to make this year even bigger and better than it was back in 2020!

To see our 2021 sponsor levels, take a look HERE.

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