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Melbourne Zoo

Neon Playground

About Neon Playground - Light and art for wildlife conservation

Experience Melbourne Zoo after dark as it's transformed with lights, projections, art installations, interactive performances, food and drink, and more!

Bringing Melbourne's vibrant culture to the lush grounds of the Zoo, Neon Playground is a new event celebrating wildlife conservation with a showcase of some of the best local light and visual artists and designers. 

And the most important part, all proceeds contribute to the conservation of the critically endangered Southern Corroboree Frog. Join us in the fight against wildlife extinction! 

BUY TICKETS

Adult $39.00 
Child (4-15 years)  $19.00
Child under 4  FREE
Adult Member  $35.10
Child Member $17.10

Tips on how to make the most of your night

  • Gates open at 5.30pm but it won’t get dark until after 6pm. If you’re arriving on time, we recommend bringing a picnic and watching the sunset from the Zoo lawns near Rail Gate before everything lights up after dark, or hitting up Relaxoland for some food and drink before you start your neon adventure.
  • Don't miss the Reptile House at Frog Hollow and the Deep Dance silent disco at Underwater Avenue. They're a little more tucked away - check your event map to find them.
  • The Waterhole performances are on three times a night - 6:30pm, 7:30pm and 8:30pm, and run for about 20 minutes each. We recommend arriving at The Waterhole 5 minutes early to find a good spot.
  • The Cube performances also run three times a night - 6.00pm, 7.30pm and 8.45pm, and run for about 45 minutes each
  • The Double Beam laser at Awareness Alley will activate every 11 minutes – it’s a different show every time so make sure to check back throughout the night.
  • Bring a torch if you’d like to light your own way – some corners of the Zoo are a little dark between the art installations
  • If you are arriving via the rail gate entrance, make sure to still pop out of the main gate entrance at the other end of the zoo to check out the Zoo Edge ‘Biosynthesis’ projection on the outside wall.  Your wristband will work as a pass out on the night.

Neon Playground Program

Download the event program here >>

Neon Playground Map

See Melbourne Zoo like never before

We don't want to give it all away, but here's a little of what to expect at Neon Playground:

  • Journey through Awareness Alley where you will be engulfed by dynamic laser art along Melbourne Zoo’s historic Main Drive. On the way, learn about our fighting extinction species from the colourful Neon lights by artist Carla O’Brien.

  • Transport yourself into the world of Graeme Base’s Waterhole, where illuminated and animated giant tortoises bring this childhood favourite to life. 

  • Explore the giant neon maze. Inspired by the Southern Corroboree Frog’s distinctive yellow and black colouring, almost 600 meters of LED neon suspended from the ground creates a labyrinth of light with surprises along the way.

  • Take it all in at Relaxoland where you can grab something from the food trucks and bars to refuel.

These are just some of the amazing experiences – come along to see it all!

Neon Playground and wildlife conservation

Zoos Victoria is a not-for-profit conservation organisation that, with your generous support, is working to secure a future rich in wildlife.

All proceeds from Neon Playground help Zoos Victoria save the critically endangered Southern Corroboree Frog. There are estimated to be less than 100 individuals left in the wild, which is why this colourful species is one of the 21 local threatened species Zoos Victoria is saving from extinction.

On the night, brought to you through light and art, you'll learn more about the Southern Corroboree Frog and how your support is making a big difference.

Find out more >>

The animals

The event has been designed with the welfare of the animals front of mind; most of the activities and installations are down Main Drive as to not impact them. However, as it is the first year of the event, Zoo Keepers and welfare staff will monitor animals for any changes in behaviour throughout the event period. If any welfare challenges are seen, immediate action will be taken to mitigate the impact if required.

Please note, only portions of the zoo will be open for this event so animal viewing on the night is not guaranteed.

Getting to Melbourne Zoo

Getting to Melbourne Zoo by public transport is easy on the 58 tram or Upfield train line. If you wish to drive, there is also ample parking available.

Plan your trip >>