Glowfari (SOLD OUT)

A Wildly Illuminating Lantern Festival

February 12-28, 2021 | March 1-13, 2021

All Ages

5:30pm – 10:00pm

$20 adults/$18 children & seniors (2-14 & 65-75)

Members: 10% discount

Children under and adults over 76: Free

Parking: Free

Glowfari is SOLD OUT for the current season! If you weren’t able to get a ticket, don’t worry, we are already planning for Glowfari’s return in November 2021. We’ll have even more lanterns and more nature-themed attractions, including a Winter Wonderland complete with Santa and his workshop for the holidays. Stay tuned this October for more details!

This brand-new, family-friendly experience features hundreds of larger-than-life animal lanterns throughout the Zoo, storytelling the ongoing journey of wildlife, the importance of every species on our planet, and Oakland Zoo's commitment to conservation.

Dozens of towering and even interactive, glowing lanterns of every order await to entertain and enlighten you at every turn.

Take a mile-long stroll (socially distanced, of course!) through these illuminated and dazzling lanterns - from the ice-capped 15-foot tall penguin corridor to the breathtaking full-size elephants, giraffes, and lions - to the enormous, fluttering butterflies floating against the star-filled night sky. Ride our brilliantly-lit gondolas to visit California Trail - where you’re transported back in time to a dinosaur world filled with prehistoric rock stars like the T-rex, stegosaurus, pterodactyls, and more!

This event can be considered photosensitive. Guests who are prone to seizures or have light sensitivity should be aware.

Explore three different worlds:

Swim through the seven seas as you explore the habitats of your aquatic favorites -- sea turtles, jellies, penguins and more!
From tigers to tarantulas, bison to birds -- travel through Earth's diverse ecosystem to meet creatures from land to sky!
Transport back in time to the dinosaur world filled with prehistoric rock stars -- the T-rex, wooly mammoth, and pterodactyl!

Please Note:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to reserve Glowfari tickets?

Yes. A timed ticket reservation is required for Glowfari.

What if I have outstanding tickets for a date during the Zoo closure due to the recent Stay At Home Order?

An email with instruction on how to reschedule your reservation should have been sent to you.  If you did not receive this email, please contact for more information.

When do Glowfari tickets go on sale?

Glowfari is SOLD OUT for the remainder of the event. Thank you making this event such a success. We are looking forward to opening a bigger and better Glowfari in November 2021.

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.

Does my Zoo Groupon or Chase Private Client tickets apply to Glowfari?

No. Other than the Oakland Zoo membership discount, there are no other discounts to this event.

What nights will Glowfari be open?

Glowfari will be open 7 nights a week!

What are Glowfari hours?

5:30pm to 10:00pm. Last entry is between 8:00pm and 8:30pm with a timed ticket reservation.

Do I need to wear a mask at Glowfari?

Yes. All guests 2 and older are required to wears masks while on Zoo grounds.

Will Santa be at Glowfari?

No. Unfortunately, Santa will not be visiting the Zoo this holiday season due to new COVID-19 safety protocols set by Alameda County Public Health Department.

Can I buy food & beverage at Glowfari?

Only snacks and beverages (including hot chocolate) are available at The Landing Café and Tuskers Grill.

Will Adventure Landing (Rides Area) be open?

No. Unfortunately, Adventure Landing will be closed due to new COVID-19 safety protocols set by Alameda County Public Health Department.

Will the Gondola be open for Glowfari?

Yes. The Gondola will be open and festively lit to take you up to see the dinosaur lanterns at California Trail. The last ride up is at 9:15pm & the last ride down is at 9:45pm.

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 which we would like to preserve not only for the entirety of the event, but for years to come.

Is ZooLights open this year?

No. Glowfari is taking place of Zoolights. The event will feature larger light displays, longer hours, and more available dates than Zoolights. It is a brand new way to make new memories and continue your holiday tradition.

Can I reschedule my tickets to Glowfari?

Glowfari tickets are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Tickets will only be transferred 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 for that night with instructions for rescheduling their timed ticket reservation.

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.

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