All-new Santa’s Village at Christmas at the Zoo

It will be an exciting year at Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Cre​dit Union  with an all-new, enchanted Santa’s Village under the Bicentennial Pavilion. Magical scenes of wonder and light will fill Santa’s Village where you can decorate delectable cookies in Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, visit with Santa in his charming study and see Santa’s reindeer in his barn.  ​



Santa’s Village includes:
  • Santa’s Study presented by Chick-fil-A features free visits with Santa through Dec. 23 (photo packages available*).
    • Visits with Santa are free with photo packages available for those wanting pictures.
    • Please be in line by 9pm to visit with Santa.
  • Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen features free visits with Mrs. Claus through Dec. 23.  A concession is available for those wanting to decorate at cookie.
  • Santa’s Barn is home ot a few of Santa’s reindeer as they prepare for their big night.
  • The Snowflakery mirror maze will be fun to navigate with wintery scene to the left, right, front and back!
  • Peppermint Twist beverage hut will make it easy to warm up or refill a Cup of Cheer (unlimited hot drink cup)
  • Season’s Gifting hut will have fun gifts to give or receive.
  • The Mistletoe Kisses Gazebo offers a picturesque place to find one of 10 hidden mistletoes with a special surprise inside!
  • Across the main path, find the South Pole where a few penguins from Oceans will come out for a visit (weather permitting)
Outdoors, Enjoy:


School Choirs (before Christmas)

  • Performances by local school choirs near the Arena presented by Dairy Pure and TruMoo. Find the choir performance schedule here before you come out​.

Find the Mistletoe

  • ​​Be on the lookout for up to 10 mistletoes and register inside the main Gift Shop to win one of two Animal Art Adventures.
  • TIP: Find at least five mistletoes to enter.

Delicious Christmas Treats

  • Santa’s Sweet Shop near Flights of Fancy offers gourmet goodies
  • Peppermint Twist beverage hut within Santa’s Village (under the Bicentennial Pavilion)
  • Cookie decorating in Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen within Santa’s Village (under the Bicentennial Pavilion)
  • Zoo fare served at Café on the Commons
  • TIP: On a chilly night, a “Cup of Cheer” can be worth its weight in gold. Get free refills on hot beverages all night long at any food service location!​

Memorable Holiday Photo Opportunities*

  • Front Gate as you enter
  • Santa Study within Santa’s Village (under the Bicentennial Pavilion)
  • Sleigh in Santa’s Village (under the Bicentennial Pavilion)


photo courtesy of Jason Wright
Plan Your Night Out 
  • Christmas at the Zoo runs: Nov. 24-26, 29-30; Dec. 1-3, 6-10, 13-23, 26-30
  • The zoo opens at noon, with festivities from 5-9pm. NEW Fridays and Saturdays extended 5-10pm
  • Christmas at the Zoo is included with regular admission and free for Zoo members!
  • Discounted tickets are available at participating Donatos and T​eachers Credit Union locations.
  • Save on admission by purchasing advance tickets online.
  • Receive $1 off admission for up to four people when you bring a new hat, scarf or glove donation for the Mitten Donation Tree that supports our local St. Mary’s Child Center.

And be sure to vote for Christmas at the Zoo in USA Today’s 10 Best Zoo Lights Readers’ Choice Awards. Voting runs through Dec. 4!


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