Holidays at the Zoo at the Greenville Zoo in Greenville, SC has thousands of lights, holiday music, and lots of surprises that are pretty much guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face this Christmas season.
Only in it’s second year, Holidays at the Zoo at the Greenville Zoo is already a must-see in Greenville for families and anyone looking to experience a bit of Christmas magic this holiday season. I tried it out and absolutely loved it for its amazing lights, relaxed and festive atmosphere, and great Christmas music.
About Holidays at the Zoo
This is only the second year for the big light display at the Greenville Zoo so if you haven’t heard about it yet, let us introduce you to this awesome show of Christmas lights.
The lights are strewn throughout the entire zoo, right from the entrance gate all along the paved paths. There are two huge light tunnels which are fantastic. One of them, the one nearest the farm animals and sponsored by the Little Gym, is synchronized to music. I’ll be the first to tell you that yes, I was a hundred percent dancing through this tunnel to the music. It was so much fun and my kids thought it was hilarious. I don’t know why they didn’t join me.
I did get to talk to the guy who is responsible for the programming of the lights and a lot of the setup. He confirmed my suspicion that this display was no easy job to create. I really think the Greenville Zoo did a fantastic job with this display.
Santa and (Some) Sleeping Animals
The lights continue on throughout the zoo once you enter and stroll past the reptile house, which is open if you’d like to stop in to see the creepy crawlers, and up to the concession area where you can buy hot chocolate or popcorn and browse the zoo shop. They have really cute stuffed animals, ornaments, and other gifts.
Santa’s workshop is near there as well where guests are invited to take photos. Santa will be at the Zoo on December 22, 2022. Keep on strolling through the zoo, past the birds (you may see a huge owl like we did!), and around the small play area, which is closed for this special event. But don’t worry because once you round that curve, you’ll see a huge Holidays at the Zoo sign that you can use for pictures and then you get to walk through the big musical light tunnel – my favorite. Tag us in videos where you dance. Please.
We went at 6 pm and most of the animals were already sleeping so you probably won’t see many if you go in the evening. If you go during an earlier slot, you should be able to see the animals. One of our readers said she went a little before 5 pm and got to see the animals and then when it got dark, went through again, without exiting the zoo as your ticket does not include readmission, to see all the lights lit up.
The experience is such fun and absolutely worth it. It’s obvious how much work and effort the Zoo went through to make this an incredible experience for their guests.
I definitely recommend getting a cup of hot chocolate while you’re at Holidays at the Zoo. I love hot chocolate and it’s even tastier on a chilly winter night.
You can also purchase tokens at the concession stand for milk and cookies, which you can eat while sitting at a little fire on some couches or pretty white wicker chairs that are very cozy and picturesque. There’s also a mechanical reindeer and really, who doesn’t love that?
Best Ages for Holidays at the Zoo
My kids are 8 and 11 years old and they loved this light display. I loved it as an adult. The tunnels and lights and music were my favorite and made me feel like a kid again. It was fantastic.
The Greenville Zoo is stroller-friendly and I saw lots of families making use of them while walking throughout the light display so if your kids are smaller, this is a great option to see some holiday lights and have that fun, family experience together.
I’ve always thought that the Greenville Zoo is such a manageable adventure for families with smaller kids and this event is no different. We spent about 45 minutes, maybe a little longer, going through the whole zoo, stopping to take photos and videos, and just to soak it all in. This is such a perfect excursion because it’s local so you aren’t driving far and also because it will easily capture the attention of kids at any age.
Tips on Enjoying Holidays at the Zoo
Here are a few tips to make your experience even more enjoyable at the Greenville Zoo during Holidays at the Zoo:
- The Zoo is pretty much all outdoors so definitely plan your wardrobe accordingly. Be sure to have hats, gloves, scarves, and a warm jacket, especially when you go at night.
- I’d recommend going around sunset or later so you can get the whole light show experience.
- Bathrooms are conveniently located near the concession and shop area right in the middle of the Zoo. It’s always good to know where the bathrooms are!
- The play areas inside the Zoo are closed during Holidays at the Zoo so just plan for that, especially if you know your kids love to play there.
- If you have a stroller, you’re welcome to use it. There’s plenty of space to use strollers at the Zoo during this event.
- Pets are not allowed on Zoo grounds so leave your furry friend home when visiting the light show.
- Your tickets are one time entry only so you can’t leave and then come back later.
Holidays at the Zoo Dates & Tickets
Tickets to Holidays at the Zoo are $10/adult members and $8/child members; $12/adult non-members and $10/child non-members (online prices). If you choose to purchase tickets at the gate, the cost is $14/adults and $12/kids for non-members. The Zoo is encouraging guests to purchase tickets online to ensure your spot. Plus, it’s cheaper that way!
Holidays at the Zoo is happening at the Greenville Zoo:
- December 15-23, 2022 from 3-8 pm
- December 26-30, 2022 from 3-8 pm
The tickets are timed and the last time slot is 7:45 pm but as long as you are in line by 8 pm, you’ll get in.
Want more holiday lights? Check out our big Holiday Lights List for the best displays in our area!
150 Cleveland Park Drive, Greenville