11/26/2012 12:51 pm ET Updated Nov 27, 2012

ZooLights 2012 Brightens Up The Holidays (PHOTOS)

Jim Jenkins/Smithsonian's National Zoo

WASHINGTON -- The Smithsonian's National Zoo will be brighter for longer than ever before. Now in its sixth year, the ZooLights holiday spectacle will run 25 nights until Jan. 1.

Hosted by Friends of the National Zoo, 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights will shine each night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the weekends of Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and every night beginning Dec. 14. The zoo will be closed Dec. 24, 25 and 31.

Additions for the 2012 iteration of ZooLights include the Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel and Zoo Tubing sponsored by GEICO. Tickets for both features are $3. Admission to ZooLights is free.

Click through the slideshow for a glimpse at previous ZooLights ...

Smithsonian's National Zoo ZooLights