OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS presented by OG&E, provides both a drive-thru and expanded walk-thru experience with more than 70 themed light sculptures, interactive displays as well as new activities like an opening night fun run, a sensory-friendly night and Dinner with Santa.
It’s going to be a bright holiday season with the return of the Oklahoma City Zoo’s annual OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS presented by OG&E. OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS is a festive celebration of lights and holiday fun with a wild touch. Revelers of all ages will enjoy the opportunity to discover larger-than-life illuminated lanterns highlighting wildlife of the world, prehistoric animals and seasonal scenes while on a driving tour through the OKC Zoo. The estimated drive time to complete the OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS tour is 20-30 minutes. Supporting OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS sponsors include Devon and MidFirst Bank.
OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS begins Saturday, November 12, and runs nightly through New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1, 2023 with drive-thru and walk-thru experiences from 5:30 to 11 p.m. with the last check-in at 10 p.m. OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS will be open on holiday nights including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
After the driving tour, guests park and re-enter the Zoo for an additional walking experience that begins in the entry plaza with a musical light presentation designed by Miranda Family Lights of Edmond, Oklahoma, featured on The Great Christmas Light Fight broadcast on the ABC television network in 2019. The walking tour continues through the Zoo’s Children’s Zoo along the Lakeside pathway where guests will enjoy interactive light displays and picture-perfect photo ops. Savor the evening with sweet treats such as s’mores and cookies and tasty beverages available for purchase in the Safari Café and Canopy Restaurant. Then pop in the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop to check out a wide selection of one-of-a-kind toys and gift ideas including the event’s exclusive souvenir Glow Packages featuring light-up wristbands, necklaces, sabers and various zoovenirs. Both small packages, $49.99 each, and large packages, $89.99 each, are available to purchase online in advance with event tickets at www.okczoo.org/safari-lights.
OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS EVENT ACTIVITIES
Add a little extra spark to your OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS nights with these new and returning special activities:
- Dinner with Santa Series
Make plans to have Dinner with Santa while taking in views of SAFARI LIGHTS. This new, festive dinner event occurs Saturdays and Sundays December 2 through 17, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and includes a delicious holiday buffet, activities such as ornament making and cookie decorating for little ones and admission to the OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS walk-thru and driving experiences for up to 4 people, and, of course, meeting Santa! Participants will have the opportunity to take and purchase Santa photos at this event for an additional fee. Advance reservations are required and can be made at www.okczoo.org.
- Dashing Through the Zoo Fun Run Presented by Bob Moore Subaru
The OKC Zoo and Bob Moore Subaru invite you to light up the night at our Dashing Through the Zoo Fun Run on Thursday, November 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. We are offering running enthusiasts a chance to help launch OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS with a fun run through the park to experience dozens of beautifully lit lanterns in a brand-new way. The designated course takes runners on the drive-thru experience pathway through the Zoo before SAFARI LIGHTS opens to the public! Once finished, walk-thru portion of OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS. Choose from two Fun Run packages including the following:
- Option #1 ($40/person): Admission to SAFARI LIGHTS walk-thru, fun run registration, a commemorative T-shirt and one s’mores kit and hot chocolate.
- Option #2 ($30/person): Admission to SAFARI LIGHTS walk-thru, fun run registration and a commemorative T-shirt.
Tickets are non-refundable. Online reservations are required for participation in this event. No walk-up tickets will be sold. Register at Our Events (okczoo.org).
- Sensory-Friendly OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS Night
The OKC Zoo is hosting a Sensory-Friendly Night for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS on Monday, November 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. with last entry at 9 p.m. This evening is designed for guests with sensory sensitivities and their families. Guests can expect a smaller crowd, limited flashing lights, quieter music and designated quiet area inside the Zoo’s Canopy Restaurant.
- OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS Lounge Private Event Space
Let the OKC Zoo be the spot for your work, family or group holiday get together and book the Zoo’s OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS Lounge! This themed space located in the Zoo’s Tree House is ideal for with OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS providing the most “lit” setting in OKC! Catering options available. Contact email@example.com to inquire about pricing and availability.
- Photo Opportunities with Santa
Santa Claus will be making special visits to the OKC Zoo every Thursday through Sunday starting Saturday, November 12 and continuing to Sunday, December 11, and daily from Thursday, December 15 to Sunday, December 25. Get a photo memory with Santa in the Canopy East room for an additional cost.
The OKC Zoo is now hiring part-time brand ambassadors, 16 and older, for evening shifts to help bring OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS to life. Those interested in this festive seasonal opportunity to earn holiday money can apply online at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/okczoo/. The Zoo is also in search of volunteers to assist with OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS in various capacities. This is an ideal opportunity for group volunteers and individuals. Learn more at www.okczoo.org/volunteer.
Online reservations are required for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS and can be made at www.okczoo.org/safari-lights. Drive-up purchases will not be accepted. Tickets are limited to ensure optimal guest experience. Admission for the drive-thru experience is $65/vehicle and includes up to 4 walk-thru admission tickets. Admission for the walk-thru only is $15/guest ages 3 and older.
OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS FAQ
- What are the dates/times for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS? Saturday, November 12 through Sunday, January 1, 2023, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. nightly with the last check in at 10 p.m.
- How do I get tickets for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS? Advance tickets are required for all guests including members and can be purchased at www.okczoo.org/safari-lights. Admission for OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS includes access for one car (unlimited number of guests in the car that you can safely accommodate in your vehicle with seatbelts or car seats) plus, up to four wristbands allowing guests age 3+ access for the Zoo’s walk-thru experience. All guests ages two and younger are free for the walk-thru portion. Guests can easily purchase additional walk-thru wristbands at the Zoo’s entry for $15/person.
- Are reservations required? Yes, tickets to OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS drive-thru must be purchased in advance. All attendees, including ZOOfriends members, are required to purchase advance tickets. Popular dates will to sell out quickly, so guests are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets early. Guests without access to the internet, can call or visit the Zoo’s Guest Services office during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for assistance.
- For guests only wanting to attend the walk-thru experience, advance reservations are strongly encouraged. OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS has a limited capacity and may sell out.
- How many people can I get in with one drive-thru admission? Drive-thru admission – $65/vehicle and covers one vehicle. You can bring as many family or friends as you have room to safely accommodate in your vehicle with seatbelts or car seats. If you’re planning to meet and consolidate cars, please do so before arriving at the Zoo.
- Included in the drive-thru admission is up to 4 wristbands for the walk-thru experience. Walk- thru experience wristbands will be distributed at the drive-thru check-in location.
- Will we see animals as part of OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS? Most of the Zoo’s animals will be off public view for the night.
- Can I bring my own food and drink? Yes, you may bring your own food and drink to enjoy in your vehicle or on Zoo grounds. Glass containers or alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
- Select food and beverage items will also be available at Safari Café and the Canopy.
· What if I have photosensitive epilepsy or other photo sensitivities? OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS utilizes strobe lighting and other intense lighting in the entry plaza. It will not be safe for those with photosensitive epilepsy and other conditions with sensitivity to light to experience this area.
o The Zoo is hosting a sensory-friendly night on Monday, November 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. with last entry at 9 p.m. This evening is designed for guests with sensory sensitivities and their families. Guests can expect a smaller crowd, limited flashing lights, quieter music and designated quiet area inside the Zoo’s Canopy Restaurant.
ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS is produced by Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden and Tianyu Culture.
Make OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS a must on your holiday season to do list! OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS will be open every night from November 12 through January 1, including both Thanksgiving and Christmas nights. For those interested in discovering the OKC Zoo during daytime hours, the Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry at 4 p.m. The Zoo will be closed to the public during the daytime on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Tuesdays and Wednesdays between December 6 and February 8, 2023. Purchase advance Zoo admission tickets at okczoo.org/tickets and avoid the entry lines. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular daytime admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.
Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at ZOOfriends.org and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.