Throughout the month of December, the National Zoo opens its doors to visitors from 5 to 9 pm each night for ZooLights, a special holiday market and lights display. This one-of-a-kind event is completely free (thanks to Pepco sponsorship), and features more than 500,000 LED lights and dozens of glowing animal lanterns that completely transform the zoo from its daytime atmosphere into a sparkling holiday wonderland. In addition to wandering through the lighted landscape, you’ll also have the chance to climb into one of the popular “zoo tubes” and zip down a long slide next to the lion exhibit. ZooLights also includes brings live musical performances into the zoo, as well as the opportunity to shop for a few gifts at the European-style holiday tent market.
Feeling hungry? Food vendors are selling gingerbread cookies, fresh donuts, handmade candy canes, and soft pretzels. Need to warm up? Try a mug of hot chocolate, spiced cider, or mulled wine.