If you’re in New York City, the Bronx Zoo is a great place to visit for Christmas. It’s a beautiful spot to go with your family or group and has plenty of festive decorations and activities to make it a fun and memorable day.
How to get there: The zoo is easy to get to on public transportation, but you may need to use a park-and-ride or bus to get there from some locations (especially Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens). Parking is also available for $20 per car near the Southern Boulevard Gate.
When to go: The holiday lights festival at the Bronx Zoo is open nightly from November 19 through January 9 from 4:30 PM to 10 PM. Tickets can be purchased online and must be purchased in advance of your visit. Some dates and times do sell out, so be sure to plan ahead!
What to see: Throughout the event, there are many different types of animals and displays. Some of the highlights include:
The animals’ habitats come to life with colorful lights. You’ll find them at the polar bear exhibit, African savannah, and Oceans Lantern Trail. Some of the animals are lit up with LED lights, but others are illuminated by traditional strings. There are more than 3 1/2 million lights in all!
Food and drink: There are plenty of places to grab a bite at the zoo during the holiday light festival, including the Dancing Crane Cafe. Several satellite restaurants will also be open, and the Holiday Bar will feature spiked hot chocolate and other savory snacks.
Santa’s Workshop and Reindeer Rides: Children can meet with Santa in his workshop or take a ride on a Christmas reindeer ride. This is a fun way to get into the holiday spirit and a great chance to have photos taken with the big guy himself!
Other fun activities: There are a number of festive kids’ crafts and games you can do in the Zoo’s gift shop, and all zoo animals will receive a Christmas “gift” and treats hidden inside their trees. It’s a great way to spend time with your kids and let them know just how much they mean to you this holiday season!
What to do when you’re there: After you’ve seen the holiday lights at the Bronx Zoo, you can check out some other local attractions that are also hosting Christmas-themed events. There are a number of other fun things to do in New York City during the holidays, so be sure to check out our 2022 Christmas in NYC bucket list!
Dozens of Christmas Train Shows: There are a lot of different train shows in New York this time of year, but one that I’m particularly fond of is the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show. It’s a fun and educational experience that pays homage to the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and other famous attractions of New York City.
It’s a fantastic and free activity that’s perfect for the whole family!