8. Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights

A dolphin, turtle, and sea faun lanterns glow against a black backdrop at the Bronx Zoo's unique holiday decorations display
Julie Larsen Maher © Bronx Zoo

The holiday lights at the Bronx Zoo are wild! Instead of holiday figures like Frosty, Santa, and Rudolph, at the Bronx Zoo holiday lantern festival you’ll find glowing depictions of elephants, turtles, gorillas, and other wildlife. as you embark on a lantern safari, you’ll see nearly 400 lanterns representing almost 90 animal and plant species. Of those total numbers, 64 new lanterns representing 9 new animal species have been added for 2023. The wildlife displays are separated into geographical categories of Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, and the ocean.

The lantern safaris are accompanied by live ice-carving demonstrations, holiday treats, costumed characters, wildlife theater, stilt walkers, and more fun activities. After you’ve trekked through the illuminated wildlife habitats, you can sit down and enjoy a warm cup of hot cocoa. See more details and purchase tickets here.