NewsOmaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium


SNEAK PEAK: Zoolightful, an all-new holiday celebration, comes to Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Posted at 7:10 PM, Nov 16, 2023
  • Zoolightful runs from Nov. 17 – Dec. 30 (6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday – Wednesday) (6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Thursday – Saturday) 
  • Large lights display, holiday activities for visitors and families of all ages 
  • To buy tickets and check out all the Zoolighful attractions, click here. 


‘Tis the season for a night full of fun at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium!

I’m Zach Williamson with 3 News Now – paying a visit to the zoo I grew up going to.

There’s so much planned for the all-new holiday tradition, Zoolightful. Let’s check it out.

“We have tons of all-new experiences to really ring in the holiday season,” said Communications Manager Jacey Kallsen.

She’s not kidding!

The massive light display in Holiday Way will be the main attraction, but there’s plenty of activities for people of all ages. Yes, that includes alcoholic beverages for those 21 and up, similar to Late Nights at the Zoo.

Now, just a few weeks ago, the zoo still had Ghouls and Glow up and running.

After seeing the high attendance and interest in the Halloween-themed event, they decided to get to work, and do so quickly, to set up the inaugural Zoolightful

“It was mostly public interest. The public said, ‘Hey, the holidays are so huge in Omaha, we love the holidays, why don’t we bring it to the zoo,’” said Kallsen. “We thought to ourselves, well, that’s a great idea.”

The Aquarium, Kingdom of the Nights, and Wildlife Kingdom will be the three locations open for guests to enjoy the animals during Zoolightful hours.

Kallsen walked me through a couple more attractions to look out for.

“I really think our private igloos are going to be a wonderful experience,” she shared. “And they’re all themed differently so if you rent it for the night you get to pick your theme, which is fun.”

In the Polar Plaza: “The ice slide is a 120-foot-long snow tubing hill. It’s truly ice — we have coolers that are going to be cooling the slide so that it stays cold, and the ice stays frozen.”

Zoolightful runs from Nov. 17 through Dec. 30.

To buy tickets, see the schedule, or to just learn more about Zoolightful – head to