Back for its second year, Zoo Illuminations 2017 brings the lights and magic of Christmas to Five Sisters Zoo.

• Meet Santa and his reindeer each evening.

• Try out the new ice rink and festive market.

• Keep an eye out for the zoo's nocturnal animals.

• E-tickets are sent straight to your mobile device.


About Five Sisters' Zoo Illuminations:

Back by popular demand and better than ever, Five Sisters Zoo is ushering in the festive season with 'Zoo Illuminations 2017'.

From November 3rd until December 23rd, see the wooded paths and animal enclosures wreathed in mesmerising winter hues. It's a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of the zoo's nocturnal residents while experiencing the magic of Christmas. You're free to take pictures every step of the way.

Amidst the stunning light displays you'll find all the trappings of a true winter wonderland. Santa and his reindeer will be around to greet visitors of all ages, an ice rink will be open to skaters in the marque, and you'll be able to browse gifts and treats in the new Christmas Market.


  • Nov 3-30, 2017: Friday, Saturday & Sunday Nights.
  • Dec 1-23, 2017: Daily*, until last show on December 23rd.
  • *Except December 12th.

Opening Hours:

  • 18:00 to 21:00 (last admission 20:30).


  • The average visit lasts around 80 minutes.

Five Sisters Zoo Address:

  • Five Sisters Zoo, Gavieside, West Calder, West Lothian EH55 8PT.


  • Food and drink fees.
  • Ice skating rink - £2 per person, purchase in picnic area.
  • Children's rides - £1 a time after first free shot.
  • General daytime zoo admission.

Event Details:

Your ticket for Zoo Illuminations 2017 includes access to the Lost Kingdom Reptile House, one glass of mulled wine and a mince pie or sweet. Juice will be available for under 18s. Younger visitors also get one free shot on the kiddie ride. Subsequent shots on other rides cost £1 a time.

As you wander among the light installations keep your eyes peeled for the zoo's lions and its graceful arctic wolves. While other nocturnal animals will be out during the evening, guests should be aware that they might not see all of them on any given night. Animals housed indoors, such as those in the Reptile House, can be seen at night. If it is only animals you wish to see, we recommend visiting the Zoo during the day.

A special guest animal you are sure to see is Santa's reindeer. You may even get a chance to meet Saint Nick himself as he keeps an eye on his little helper elves. His Grotto won't be open during the Zoo Illuminations event, but it will be open every Saturday and Sunday during the day from December 1st up to and including the 23rd. During this time you will require a separate general zoo admission ticket.

Continue your experience in the Japanese Garden, where colourful Christmas lights mix with a blissful zen-like atmosphere. If your ideal Christmas night out has to include a spot of skating then an ice rink will open in the marque. One session lasts 20 minutes and costs £2 per person. Tickets can be bought in the picnic area. Note that the marque also has a separate seating area with heaters.

Another new addition for 2017 is the Christmas Market, where you'll be able to purchase a whole range of trinkets, treats, crafts and zoo vouchers. Food and drink including fast food, hot and cold beverages, candy floss and sweets will be available for purchase at the site's various outlets.

Planning Your Visit:


The main car park inside the entrance to the Zoo is free, there is also an overflow car park. If the overflow car park is in operation, staff will direct you accordingly. Anyone planning to arrive by minibus or coach, please contact us in advance to ensure we reserve a space.


The Zoo is mainly on the flat, the main paths either have mono block or concrete.


Please note that this event is outside and visitors should dress accordingly for all weathers. There are few areas to shelter and some paths may be slightly muddy. Sturdy footwear and warm/waterproof clothing is advisable.

Select your ticket type(s)

Helpful ticket usage instructions are listed below.

Important Information & Usage instructions

Access to the Zoo Illuminations event is by pre-purchased ticket only. Upon completing your purchase you will receive an electronic ticket voucher immediately via email. Please either PRINT or present this on a MOBILE DEVICE to staff at Five Sisters Zoo ticket desk on your selected date. It will be exchanged for ticketed entry to the event.

Tickets purchased are only valid for the date shown and can only be used once. No TIME SLOT allocation is required, you're welcome to arrive at any time between 18:00 to 20:30 (event finishes at 21:00).


No concession or family rates are available for the Zoo Illuminations event. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Babies 0-11 months are free.


Unfortunately, no dogs, other than guide dogs are permitted in the Zoo.


Once issued, your ticket voucher for the Zoo Illuminations event cannot be altered. However, if you would like to change your date of visit please contact the Five Sisters Zoo directly on (01506 87000) and quote your CityXplora booking number. A member of staff will check to see if a change of date is possible.


Due to the open-air nature of the Zoo Illuminations event it is possible that bad weather could adversely affect the overall experience. No refunds will be offered if the weather is inclement but the event is safe to operate. If the event does have to be cancelled due to extreme weather, tickets will be refunded within 7 working days and you will be contacted via email with confirmation or offered an alternative night.

Any event cancellations will be confirmed by the Five Sisters Zoo on their website, and via their Facebook and Twitters pages.


Visitors should dress accordingly for the weather. There are few sheltered areas and some paths may be slightly muddy. Sturdy footwear and warm/waterproof clothing is advisable.


Please note there are limited cashline facilities within the Zoo. Debit and credit card transactions are accepted in the Gift Shop and at some of the outlets in the main area of the Zoo, but it is advisable to bring cash if you want to purchase food, drink or gifts.


Unfortunately these passes issued by the Five Sisters Zoo do not allow entry to the Zoo Illuminations Christmas event.

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