River of Lights

The holidays sparkle each year at the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden.

Plan Your Visit


Nov. 28, 2015 - Jan. 2, 2016

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


In Advance


  • From any BioPark cashier from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
  • Tickets for Polar Bear Express sold separately.

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) 764-6227 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! Learn more about how this amazing light show comes to life each year.

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 and Garden lot.

Park & Ride Times

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


Park & Ride Dates

Park and Ride is offered on select nights. Park at the Zoo Parking lot and take a free shuttle to River of Lights at the Botanic Garden. Park and Ride will be offered on:

Nov 28, Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30.


Live Music

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

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.


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

For more information or to reserve a wheelchair in advance:

Event Sponsors

NM BioPark Society, KOB 4, 99.5 Magic FM, 770 AM KKOB.

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