Daily News

Forest Park Zoo to Open on Dec. 11 for One Night During Bright Nights

SPRINGFIELD — While the Zoo in Forest Park officially closed its gates for the season in early November, it will open for one night only during this year’s Bright Nights.

On Wednesday, Dec. 11, the Zoo will open from 5 to 8 p.m. Not all parts of the Zoo will be accessible due to snow and ice, but many animals will still be visible. The event features animal interactions, crafts, carolers from Longmeadow High School’s chorus, free hot cider, and a visit from Santa.

For those who have never experienced the Zoo in winter, this is a great opportunity to see how the animals — and the staff — handle winter weather conditions. All animals at the Zoo have access to shelter, with some structures offering full heat for those animals that require a warmer climate.

Tickets are available only at the Zoo gate on Dec 11. The cost is $5 per adult (adults with a 2019 season pass are $3). Children age 12 and under, as well as military families with an active ID, will receive free admission to the Zoo that night.

The Zoo is not affiliated with the Spirit of Springfield or Bright Nights, and Bright Nights is a separate cost, charged by Spirit of Springfield, per vehicle, at the main entrance to the park. This is not a fee imposed or collected by the Zoo.