September 2020 – Phoenix Zoo Zoolights

ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo

By Adianna Bermudez

It’s time to celebrate the holidays with light shows that bring glittering delight to all. There are multiple opportunities to visit light displays that feature music, 3D spectacles and snowfall.

World of Illumination

The largest animated light show in the world will host “Rockin’ Christmas” in Glendale and “Arctic Adventure” in Tempe.

“Our team feels a responsibility as a preeminent light display in Arizona to end 2020 on the brightest note,” says Simon Kreisberger, co-owner of World of Illumination.

“Rockin’ Christmas” will feature a 500-foot-long tunnel made of millions of RGB LED lights in the Westgate Entertainment District.

“Arctic Adventure,” at the Tempe Diablo Stadium, is a polar bear-themed display featuring a 36-foot-tall animated snowman named Sunny.

Both shows will have additional Christmas characters and simulated snowfall.

“Our mission has been to do this for the community and give them the special escape that they really need,” Kreisberger says.

Visitors will remain in their cars at World of Illumination, ensuring everyone’s safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Registration is required to help control traffic and reduce wait times. All tickets can be bought online at

Tickets are $29 per car on weeknights. On weekends and holidays, it’s $39 per car. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Arizona Foundation. Customers have the option to donate all of their purchase at checkout.

“We have always used our huge platform to do the community’s work,” Kreisberger says.

“Rockin’ Christmas” opens November 6, while “Arctic Adventure” opens November 10. Both shows end January 3 and are open every day, including holidays, from 6 to 10 p.m.

ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo

Arizona families can create fun memories at the Phoenix Zoo’s dazzling light show. Animal sculptures and millions of Christmas lights will showcase the beauty and wonder of the animal kingdom.

This year, visitors have the option to walk or drive to view the light display.

ZooLights Walk Thru will run November 7 to January 31 on select nights. Members’ tickets cost $16. General tickets cost $20.

Cruise Zoo Lights, the drive-thru option, opens November 12 and runs through January 28 on select nights. Members’ tickets per car cost $60. General tickets per car cost $75.

Both experiences are open from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Check the ZooLights calendar at for specific dates.

Visitors who choose the walk-thru experience can visit Santa and his elves for a photo at the Leapin’ Lagoon. A three-story Christmas tree will stand tall and pretty at the Crossroads Café. Visitors can munch on kettle corn and sip hot cocoa while they shop at pop-up zoo shops and the Desert Marketplace gift shop.

Both experiences will feature newly added exhibits. The Outer Tropics Trail hosts the Polar Paradise, and the Wildlife Lantern Safari features 66 animals, including polar bears and kangaroos.

Drivers must prepurchase food and photos but can purchase souvenirs at the Stop, Shop and Support Cruise Gift Shop at the end of the drive-thru.

Holiday Lights at Salt River Fields

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is excited to debut their Holiday Lights display on November 23. The display is 1.2 miles of nearly 5 million lights that make up six tunnels and 20 vignettes.

Visitors can expect to see twinkling displays of traditional Christmas themes, such as ornaments, snowmen and candy canes, but also unique displays involving butterflies and optical illusions. This drive-thru holiday light show was designed over the course of two years by Steve Driscoll.

On December 10, the lights will blink white and blue to celebrate the first day of Hanukkah.

Synchronized holiday music will play on FM radio.

Visitors have the option to purchase carriage rides, which include Fast Passes.

It is highly encouraged that visitors purchase tickets online to reduce wait times. Tickets will be sold at the door based on availability.

Online general tickets for weekdays are $35.99 and for weekends are $45.99. At-the-door general tickets during weekdays are $40 and on weekends are $50.

Special pricing for Fast Pass, VIP, limo/bus and holiday tickets can be found at

Holiday Lights will be open from 5:45 to 10 p.m. daily, including holidays, until New Year’s Eve.

Lights at the Farm

Mesa’s Vertuccio Farms is hosting Lights at the Farm, Arizona’s largest walk-thru synchronized light show.

From November 14 to January 3, visitors will experience tunnels of dazzling lights that feature over 2 million LEDs that are powered by over 12,000 computer channels that keep the lights in sync to music.

The show features ceramic elves, Arizona-themed displays, reindeer with personal nametags, and a 10-foot-tall snowman.

Families can skate under the stars on the 4,000-square-foot skating rink made of synthetic panels.

Lights at the Farm was created out of a love for Christmas. It is sure to bring joy to everyone who visits.

Lights at the Farm will be open from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $11 online and $13 at the gate. Military personnel, medical professionals and seniors will receive a discount.