Topeka Zoo's Inaugural Zoo Lights

Several of us at the zoo have a passion for the holiday season. It is a magical and uplifting time of year to spend with our families and animal friends. Zoo Lights is a holiday phenomenon that has been in communities across the country for decades, bathing zoos in fun and festive displays. In 2015 the Topeka Zoo began earnestly researching this event as way to increase our own holiday cheer and bring visitors to the zoo during a time period that people often forget we are open. After years of putting energy into other exciting projects and endeavors, the decision was made in the fall of 2019 to move forward with our own Zoo Lights event.


In order to pull off an event of this magnitude, it was apparent early in the planning process that we would need quite a bit of assistance. As an enormous community supporter, and supplier of the necessary energy to host an event like this, Evergy was the first partner we thought of. After learning more about what an event like this could do for our community, Evergy embraced this new fundraiser and committed to the event, enabling us to move forward. We are grateful of the support from Evergy and all our other sponsors and volunteers who are making this holiday magic a reality. We have had such great support from those in our community to put this all together. HME, Inc., Schwerdt Design Group, PEC, Washburn Tech, KBS, PKMR Engineers, Torgeson Electric, Evergy, TARC, Ernest-Spencer, Highland Millshop, Conroy Contractors, Inc., JF McGivern Inc, Certus, Schmidtlein Excavating, Bahm Demolition, KS Sand & Concrete, Frontier Self Storage, Zoo Docents and volunteers, Visit Topeka to name a few have generously put time and effort into making this a reality.


Topeka is becoming a holiday destination with the offering of Zoo Lights, TARC’s Winter Wonderland, and the plethora of churches and enthusiasts that provide holiday cheer. Especially after going through a year as challenging as 2020, a new holiday experience like Zoo Lights can be immensely impactful on the well-being of our community. It will encompass about 2/3 of the zoo. While the whole zoo grounds will be open there is no way to miss the festivities. As you and your family enter through the zoo you’re enter through the zoo you’re in awe by the brilliance of color as one lucky guest gets the honor of flipping the switch. As you take off towards candy cane lane you will pass glowing giraffe, brilliant colors, elephant, candy and more. Sweets & Treats is full of fun, with over-sized candy and color, with dancing lights and music transforming lorikeets into a winter surprise. Surf over to an oceanic scene taking you underwater to swim with fish, jellies and more. Travel north to an arctic wonder with brilliant glows of our northern lights just in time to stop in and see the Big Man himself in the holiday village. Shop to your hearts content to fill stockings while sipping cocoa and eating snacks. Make sure to stay tuned for special dates to register for Cookies with Mrs. Claus!

Click here to learn more about Zoo Lights!


Interested in your bell ringers, choir, strings, jazz, dance etc… groups to preform one of the evenings please let us know.
Contact Fawn at