See the Houston Zoo in a whole new light! TXU Energy Presents Zoo Lights returns to the Houston Zoo beginning November 17 through January 13, with two million Christmas lights illuminating throughout the area. We have your full guide to 2018 Houston Zoo lights dates, times, coupons and ticket deals, and more below!

Houston Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland each night from 5 pm – 10 pm with late closings at 11 pm on weekends. Yes, that’s right, Houston Zoo Lights has an earlier start time this year of 5 pm, giving you even more time to enjoy the marvelous display that’s become a holiday tradition for countless families!

You’ll enjoy colorful Christmas light displays, festive holiday music, strolling carolers and nightly performances, hot chocolate, and more.  A cold weather night makes it even more festive! Don’t miss the 33-ft. decorated Christmas tree, which is a great backdrop for your photos! And on select nights, jolly old St. Nick will be on hand for Santa photos with the kids.

The animals will be sleeping while the zoo Christmas lights are on, so visit during the day to enjoy them!

Zoo Lights is separate admission from the Houston Zoo. During Zoo Lights, the zoo closes early and re-opens at 5 pm for the magical light display. It’s one of the most popular places to see Christmas lights in Houston.

The exhibit offers Prime Nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at $17.95 for members and $22.95 for non-members and Value Nights (Monday – Thursday through December 20 and again in January) at $12.95 for members and $17.95 for non-members. Sensory-Friendly Night is November 26 offering quieter music, limited flashing lights, two designated quiet areas, and a smaller crowd.

There is no discount for buying online through the official Zoo site but it does save you time as lines to buy tickets to the zoo Christmas lights in person can be long. Ticket prices online are the same (no service fee) — and you can skip the lines.


Houston Zoo Lights 2018 Coupons and Discount Tickets

If you want to go to Houston Zoo Lights 2018 exhibit on the cheap, there are some great deals going on.

Many can enjoy special discount pricing on select nights for the military, First Responders, students, and educators with these special Zoo Lights coupons below.

Military Mondays – December 3, 10 and 17: Members of the military pay $12 admission to see the zoo Christmas lights. Purchase tickets online and use code ZLMN17. Military ID required.

First Responder Tuesdays – December 4, 11 and 18: Police, fire and rescue professionals pay $12 on these nights. Purchase tickets online and use code Responder18. Professional ID required.

Educator Thursdays – December 6, 13, and 20: Teachers, school administrators and other educators get $12 admission. Use discount code Educator18. Educator ID when you arrive.

College Student Wednesdays — December 5 and 12: College students in the state of Texas can get into Zoo Lights Houston for just $12 with discount code College18 at checkout online. Make sure to show your student ID upon arrival.


Zoo Lights Houston Parking

Parking can be tricky on busy nights. The zoo suggests arriving after 8 pm versus 5 pm to find more parking availability. Check out the map of all Hermann Park parking lot areas, including the lot in front of the Houston Zoo. On Prime Nights (Zoo Lights is one of the most popular things to do in Houston on weekends during the holiday season), the South Extension parking lot is available for $10 per car at 7100 William C. Harvin — Entrance 35. This includes a free shuttle back and forth to the zoo. It’s also usually open on specific Value Nights so make sure to check into that when planning your visit.

Or ride the METROrail to the Hermann Park/Rice U Station (Fannin and Sunset) and walk through the main zoo entrance. Lyft is another option as the official transportation partner of Houston Zoo. Download the app and request a driver for your route.

Learn more about Zoo Lights on their site here. And if you’re looking for more holiday fun around the city, check out our homepage for more cheap things to do in Houston every day.