2020 Season: May 25-October 31

September 30th to January 3rd
Open: Wednesday – Sunday
September 30th – October 31st: 4:30pm-10:00pm
November 1st – January 3rd: 4:00pm-10:00pm

Closed: Monday & Tuesday
(closed November 26th & December 25th)

We are excited to announce our all new World of Lights event for 2020! From late September to early January, Southwick’s Zoo will be illuminated by handcrafted exhibits consisting of lanterns constructed from silk, steel, and environmentally-friendly LED lights.


The theme of this year’s event will be “Around the World”, so this spectacular nighttime display will shine a light on a variety of regions and their traditions. Visitors will also enjoy live acrobatic performances, a global marketplace, specialty foods, and more.



Interested in becoming a World of Lights sponsor? Click here to learn more about available sponsorship opportunities. For more information, email Belinda Mazur at belinda@southwickszoo.com.



View the World of Lights Frequently Asked Questions

Photo credit: MyEyes Photography by Scott Olsen

World of Lights FAQ (click to expand)

All safety rules and guidelines from the normal zoo season apply to this event.

Ticket Information

Can daytime zoo tickets be used for World of Light? If I visit the zoo during normal hours, can I stay for World of Lights for free?

Sorry, zoo admission tickets, Value Passes, and EARTH Memberships cannot be used for this event, and those who visit during the zoo’s normal hours will need a World of Lights ticket to stay for the event. World of Lights is a special after-hours event with limited availability, and it requires its own date-specific ticket.

Where do I buy tickets?

World of Lights tickets will be available to purchase online starting May 1, 2020. Tickets are limited and we cannot guarantee they will be available to purchase at the entrance each night of the event. For this reason, we strongly recommend purchasing tickets online. Please remember that, when you purchase World of Lights tickets online, they are for a specific date.

What discounts are available?

World of Lights is a special event taking place outside of the normal zoo season. Discounts available during the normal zoo season (AAA, MTA, military rates, and EARTH memberships) cannot be applied to World of Lights tickets.

What happens if it rains/snows/etc?

In the case that a night is canceled due to sever inclement weather, we will allow ticket holders to visit on a different evening. Refunds are not available for tickets.

Help! I bought tickets online, but never received a confirmation email. What do I do?

Tickets purchased online typically arrive by email within 15 minutes of the transaction. If you do not see the confirmation in your inbox, please first check your spam/junk folder as they are occasionally filtered into here. If you still cannot find them, please email us at admissions@southwickszoo.com with the name, email address, and phone number used for the purchase, or call us at 1-800-258-9182 ext 211, and we will check the email used for the transaction for typos and then resend the confirmation email.


The Event

How much is parking?

Parking is always free at Southwick’s Zoo!

Are strollers permitted?

Yes, guests can bring strollers into the event. Please just be aware that, for the safety of staff and patrons, strollers are not allowed in Galliford’s Restaurant & Tavern. Stroller parking will be available.

Will stroller and wheelchair rentals be available?

We will have strollers and wheelchairs available for guests to rent, weather permitting. Rentals may not be available during World of Lights in the case fo rain or snow.

We have a very limited number of wheelchairs available. We recommend calling our admissions at 800-258-9182 ext 204 at least a week in advance to inquire about reserving a wheelchair for the day of your visit. Please leave a message if you are unable to reach a zoo employee.  Learn more about rentals.

Can I bring a camera and take photos?

Guests are welcome to take photos. If you post your pictures on Facebook or Instagram, use the hashtag #SZWorldofLights to share them with us!

Will there be food available to purchase?

We will have food venues open during the event for guests to purchase food and beverages, and Galliford’s Restaurant & Tavern, the full-service restaurant at our zoo, will be open. If you plan on dining at Galliford’s, we recommend making a reservation by calling 508-928-0928.

What animals can be seen during the event?

We cannot guarantee what animals will be outside and visible during the event. This event takes place during the nighttime, so please be aware that some animals are kept indoors for safety at night, and many others will choose to stay indoors even if they have the option to go outside. Please also note that by the end of October, many species will have been moved indoors and off exhibit to their winter habitats.

The focus of this event is lantern displays and lights; if you wish to see view animals, we recommend visiting the zoo during our normal daytime hours during the normal zoo season, open early April to October 31.

Will the Deer Forest be open during World of Lights?

For the safety of our visitors and the animals, the Deer Forest will not be open for guests to walk through during World of Lights. However, it will be open as usual during normal zoo hours until the end of the season (October 31st).

World of Lights visitors will be able to ride the train through the Deer Forest during late November and December.

Are Chinese lanterns a fire hazard?

The lanterns used for this event are not paper Chinese sky lanterns. The lanterns in World of Lights are large lantern displays constructed from non-flammable silk and steel, and they are illuminated by LED lights and not by a flame.

Will there still be a Winter Wonderland event this year?

Many elements of Winter Wonderland will be combined with World of Lights! Starting in late November, World of Lights guests will have the opportunity to enjoy holiday activities including meeting Santa Claus at his house, riding the train though the Deer Forest, lights, and more. Please be aware that a World of Lights ticket is required to particpate in the holiday themed activities.


Do you have a question you don’t see in the FAQ above? Fill out the form below, and we will respond as soon as we can.


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