It's Back! A Wildly Illuminating Lantern Festival!

All Ages

5:00pm – 9:00pm

Adults: $26

Children (2-14)/Seniors (65-75): $22

Members: 10% discount

Under 2 and 76 and over: Free

Parking: Free

Glowfari will return in November 2024 - stay tuned for more details!

This wildly popular, family-friendly experience features hundreds of ALL new, larger-than-life animal lanterns throughout the Zoo. Each lantern tells the story of the ongoing journey of wildlife, the importance of every species on our planet, and Oakland Zoo's commitment to conservation.

This year’s experience features new themes including the forests of North America with iconic native wildlife like mountain lions and wolves, our frosty friends of the Arctic with puffins and polar bears, the Deep Ocean featuring rarely seen sea creatures, and a stroll through the swamp as you encounter alligators and other animals of the Bayou!

Finish your experience with a ride on the train through the great red island of Madagascar, a wondrous world full of lemurs, chameleons, and other unique flora and fauna!

*Please be aware of scams involving ticket resellers on third party sites like Facebook and Craigslist. We strongly encourage that all purchases for this event should be made below to ensure authentic tickets.

Please Note:

Get a sneak peak of this year's event!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to reserve Glowfari tickets?

Yes. A timed ticket reservation is required for Glowfari.

When do Glowfari tickets go on sale?

Glowfari will return in November 2024 - stay tunded for more details!

How far in advance can I purchase or reserve a ticket?

Glowfari tickets roll on sale online 28 days in advance of each visit date at 9:00am each day. For example, on December 1, tickets will be available for December 1-December 29.

Do members get in free for Glowfari?

No. Members will receive a 10% discount for Glowfari admission. All members are required to make a timed ticket reservation for the event.

I purchased a daytime admission ticket. Can I use it for Glowfari instead?

No. A separate timed ticket reservation is required for Glowfari.

Can I stay in the Zoo for Glowfari if I’ve reserved a daytime ticket for the same day?

No. Daytime guests will need to leave the Zoo entirely, and a separate timed ticket reservation specifically for Glowfari will be needed to re-enter.

What are Glowfari hours?

5:00pm to 9:00pm. Last ticket time is 6:30pm with last entry at 7:30pm.

Will Santa be at Glowfari?

Visit Santa in the Rides Area Fridays - Sundays in November and every night December 1-23 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm (line closes at 8:45pm). Please note, Santa's hours are subject to change and he may have to head back to the North Pole if it gets too wet.

Can I buy food & beverage at Glowfari?

Yes. Snacks and beverages (including hot chocolate) are available at The Landing Café, Tuskers Grill, and our snack carts.

What are the hours of the restaurants, snack spots, and gift shop?

Tusker's Grill: 5:00pm to 8:30pm
The Landing Café: 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Savanna's Edge: 5:00pm to 8:30pm
Madagascar Trading Post: 5:00pm to 8:30pm
Gift Shop: 5:00pm to 8:30pm

*Restaurant/Snack Spots/Gift Shop hours are subject to change.

Will the Rides Area be open?

Yes. The Rides Area will be open from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. Make sure to ride the Express Train to Wild Australia. Please note: The last rides tickets are sold at 8:30pm. All passengers must be in the train line with tickets by 8:45pm. All hours and availability are weather permitting and subject to change.

Will the Gondola be open for Glowfari?

Yes. The Gondola will be open and festively lit to take you up to see animals of the Arctic at California Trail. The last ride up is at 8:00pm & the last ride down is at 8:30pm. Please note: The Gondola line will close at 7:45pm.

Is re-entry allowed?

Yes. Re-entry is allowed before 8:00pm with a handstamp.

Will live animals be visible?

No. Oakland Zoo animal residents will be in their indoor areas and not visible to the public.

Can I touch the lanterns?

No. Each sculpture is a hand-painted work of art that we would like to preserve not only for the entirety of the event, but for years to come.

Can I reschedule my tickets to Glowfari?

Glowfari tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Tickets will only be refunded if Glowfari is closed due to inclement weather or other emergency situations (see Process for Glowfari closure due to inclement weather below).

What happens to my timed ticket reservation due to inclement weather or unhealthy air quality?

If the Zoo must close Glowfari for any reason, an email will be proactively sent to all guests who have purchased tickets and full refunds will be issued.

Can I apply my Glowfari tickets towards the cost of an Oakland Zoo membership?

No. Glowfari tickets are not eligible for an upgrade to a membership.

Someone in my party is sensitive to light, noise, or other stimulation. Can you help us plan ahead?

Yes. Music is played throughout the Zoo, so if someone in your party is sensitive to noise, consider bringing noise-cancelling headphones. Some areas of the Zoo including the Main Entrance and Children's Zoo may be triggering for those who are sensitive to light or are prone to seizures.

Is ZooLights open this year?

No. Glowfari has taken the place of Zoolights. The event features larger light displays, longer hours, and more available dates than Zoolights. It is the new way to make new memories and continue your holiday tradition.

Thank you to our Sponsor: