The Utica Zoo will have something new this holiday season.

Bright Nights at the Utica Zoo is a series of animated and light displays, including the penguin pond, the jolly snow family and farming elves. And, Santa Clause will be at the zoo each night, along with a giant mailbox for kids wanting to send letters to the North Pole, according to zoo officials.

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Bright Nights at the Utica Zoo debuts on Black Friday (November 27) and will run from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m each Thursday through Sunday evening through January 3rd, except for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.

photo courtesy of Utica Zoo
photo courtesy of Utica Zoo

Bright Nights will also include caroling, music and food trucks each night. Also, there will be a night reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas; limited space is available each night and although included in admission, reservations will be required, a release from the zoo read.

You can enjoy all the holiday perks as part of the zoo's regular admission fee:

  • Admission is $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 2-12 and military and seniors over 62 at $6.75
  • · Members get 50% off their first purchase of tickets for those listed on their membership using their member ID number.
  • · Purchases can include multiple dates
  • · Pre-purchase of tickets is suggested and available on our website

Zoo officials remind patrons, for the safety of animals, staff and themselves, to follow appropriate COVID regulations, including mask wearing at all times, social distancing.


Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:



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