River of Lights

The holidays sparkle each year at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

River of Lights banner

Plan Your Visit


November 28, 2015 - January 4, 2016

  • Open 6-9:30 p.m.
  • Closed Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1.


In Advance

Buy tickets link

At the Gate: Starting at 5:30 p.m.


  • Adults (13+): $12
  • Children (3-12): $6
  • Babies (under 3): Free

    No senior or member discounts for this special event. There is no will call for River of Lights tickets.

    Group Discounts

    • 50 or more: 10 percent discount
    • 100 or more: 20 percent discount

    Available from the New Mexico BioPark Society at 505-764-6212 or [email protected].


    Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for $7. Visit the Wildflower Cafe in the plaza for rentals.

    Contact Us

    Contact information

    Enjoy the magic of millions of twinkling lights and dazzling holiday displays at New Mexico's largest walk-through light show!

    Free Park & Ride

    Avoid traffic. Take a bus from the zoo on select nights.

    Buses are boarded via stairs and are not wheelchair accessible. Accessible parking is available at the Aquarium/Garden lot.


    5:45 pm – Zoo Arrival
    6 pm – Service begins
    9:45pm – Last Garden Pick-up


    Park & Ride Dates

    2015 River of Lights Park and Ride information coming soon.


    Live Music

    Local musicians bring holiday cheer with performances during River of Lights. View the performance schedule.

    Dinner at the Shark Reef Cafe

    Enjoy a festive diner at the Shark Reef Cafe. December 15-23, guests can have Supper with Santa. Special Rockin' Nights with music will continue through Dec. 26-30.

    Walk-ins are welcome, but we recommend calling ahead (505.848.7182). No groups of more than 30.

    Holiday Nature Crafts

    BioPark Education offers free Holiday Nature Crafts in the Education building on Wednesdays, Dec. 2, 9, and 16 from 6 – 8 p.m.

    G-Scale Model Railroad

    Special holiday trains chug through the Garden Railroad exhibit until 8:30 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays, weather and volunteer staff permitting.

    Polar Bear Express

    Polar Bear Express is a magical, nighttime experience aboard the Rio Line Train on a journey to meet Santa & experience the glow of River of Lights!


    In 1997, River of Lights began as a fundraiser for the BioPark. Today, proceeds continue to support a variety of ABQ BioPark projects through the New Mexico BioPark Society.

    Each year's show unveils ingenious new sculptures and stunning displays made by BioPark artists and craftsmen. Check back for more on what is new this year!


    A limited number of wheelchairs are available for rent during River of Lights.

    For more information or to reserve a wheelchair in advance, please call (505) 848-7182 or email [email protected].

    Event Sponsors

    NM BioPark Society, KOB 4, 100.3 the Peak, and 94 Rock.

    NMBPS logo color KOB Logo
    100.3 The Peak Logo

    94 Rock Logo