About Nature Illuminated
Back by popular demand, Nature Illuminated is a magical narrated journey through brilliant, oversized lit displays of your favorite animals. Join us for the return of this light spectacular of the wildest kind. Reserve your tickets now for the driving tour or our new walking experience!
Thank you for your support of the Minnesota Zoo and our mission to connect people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife.
NEW! Walking Experience January 6 – 16: $14 – $20 per person.
Members save $2 off all General Admission walking tickets.
Event Gate Open 5:00-9:00pm Thu & Sun and 5:00-9:30pm Fri & Sat
This season, shop with a purpose. Show your support of the Minnesota Zoo and shop our online gift store – now featuring Nature Illuminated and Holiday gift collections. Our fun selection of clothing, toys, plush, and more make great gifts for friends, family, or even yourself! Your purchase helps support the care of Zoo animals and our mission of connecting people and nature to save wildlife.
Nature Illuminated is back and brighter than ever! With new animal additions and a whole new theme, this year’s drive-thru and walking experiences will take you on an enchanted journey featuring brilliant displays of larger-than-life animals that all possess brilliantly wild natural adaptations. Before embarking on this light spectacular of the wildest kind, take a peek behind the scenes to see how all the magic comes together.
Nature Illuminated is a magical narrated journey through brilliant oversized lit displays of your favorite zoo animals! This event is a truly wild night spectacular- and sure to be a favorite seasonal tradition.
The Nature Illuminated Driving Tour, December 2 – January 2, guides you through a world of light and awe all from the comfort of your own vehicle. The Driving Tour is accompanied by an educational and entertaining audio tour which details the power and prowess of the animal kingdom.
The Nature Illuminated Walking Experience, January 6 – 16, is an artfully designed trail where you can set your own pace and enjoy snacks and beverages as you take in the wonder of this light spectacular. The Nature Illuminated walking experience is a ¾ mile long trail that can be enjoyed at your own pace.
All tickets must be purchased in advance and online. Tickets for the event are not for sale at the Minnesota Zoo.
All tickets must be purchased in advance and online, including for Zoo Members. Minnesota Zoo Members are offered discounted pricing for this event.
Free to Explore tickets are not valid for this event. For more information on our Free to Explore program, visit https://mnzoo.org/us/freetoexplore/
The Nature Illuminated driving tour is ¾ mile long with a 30-minute audio tour. The pace of this event is relaxed and enjoyable. Vehicles will drive less than 1 mph and are encouraged to stop, look, take photos from inside your vehicle, and listen along through the audio tour.
The Nature Illuminated walking experience is a ¾ mile long trail that can be enjoyed at your own pace.
As tickets for the event are for a designated time and date, there is no need to arrive more than 5 minutes before your start time.
There are ADA accessible portable restrooms located along the entrance route prior to ticket scanning and along the exit route.
Food will not be available onsite for the driving tour. There will be food and drink available for purchase during the Nature Illuminated walking experience. Outside food and beverage is not allowed during the walking experience.
As this is a limited-time and limited-capacity event, tickets cannot be transferred or exchanged for an alternate date or time.
This is an outdoor event with a limited hourly capacity. Please note: masks are required in indoor spaces for all guests age 3 and up – this includes entry/ticket scanning and restroom use. Masks are encouraged outdoors but not required.
Yes, video and photography is permitted throughout the event.
From Dec. 2–Jan. 2, Nature Illuminated is a driving tour event and can only be attended in a vehicle. From Jan. 6-16 the Nature Illuminated experience will shift to a walking experience with additional interactive experiences. Bicycles are not permitted during either experience.
Nature Illuminated is a unique nighttime experience that operates after regular Zoo hours and highlights the natural world through spectacular light-work and large-scale animal art installations. To see live animals at the Minnesota Zoo, please schedule a daytime visit with us during our regular hours by visiting www.mnzoo.org.
In the unlikely event that the show must be cancelled due to extreme circumstances, you will be notified by email and your ticket will be automatically refunded.
If you are unable to find a friend or family member to attend with, we welcome Metro Mobility vehicles. You may also attend Nature Illuminated between Jan. 6-16 when the experience will shift to a fully accessible walking tour.
No RV’s, busses, or commercial vehicles are allowed. Vehicles may not exceed 30ft in length and 12ft in height. You must have a proper seat belt for each passenger. Children are allowed to exit their car seats only during the duration of the event drive. Upon exit, there will be time to ensure all occupants are buckled before exiting the Zoo.
No, stroller rental and electric scooters will not be available for rental for Nature Illuminated.
No, pets are not allowed but service animals are welcome during the Nature Illuminated Walking Experience.
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
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