MORE DETAILS FOR BRIGHT NIGHTS 2022 WILL BE ADDED AS THE EVENT GETS CLOSER

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, a scavenger hunt, 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

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 2021?

Bright Nights 2021 will run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 26th through December 19th.

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 2021?

Tickets for Bright Nights 2021 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, participate in a scavenger hunt, pick up a make-your-own holiday craft kit, 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. 

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!