CALGARY -- A beloved Christmas tradition for many Calgary families is kicking off Friday night and officials say the event is observing all health protocols for COVID-19.

From Nov. 20 to Jan. 3, 2021 — excluding Christmas Day — ZOOLIGHTS will light up the Calgary Zoo grounds for visitors.

Some features of the 2020 edition include a Polar Wonderland in the north part of the zoo, Journey to Wechiau in the Destination Africa pavilion and a truly Canadian outdoors experience involving snowshoeing and cross country skiing.

Officials say visitors will be expected to follow a number of guidelines while at ZOOLIGHTS. They include timed ticketing, physical distancing, limited attendance capacity and mandatory mask wearing inside all indoor attractions.

"This year, more than ever, we’re committed to providing a safe, fun space for our community to gather, enjoy the magic of the holiday season and support wildlife conservation," said Alison Archambault, the Calgary Zoo's director of brand and engagement, in a statement.

While masks are required inside buildings as per the city of Calgary's bylaw, she says face coverings are also "strongly recommended" outside as well.

There will also be a number of special events during the ZOOLIGHTS season, including Sensory Sundays, Member Moments, Adult-Only date night on Nov. 24 and the Zoo Year's Eve family event.

Individual tickets are available online, but the Calgary Zoo also has group packages available. Those interested can email for more information.