Indianapolis Zoo and CareSource begin three-year Christmas at the Zoo collaboration

The Indianapolis Zoo’s annual Christmas at the Zoo is underway for its 53rd year, this year joined by exclusive presenting sponsor CareSource, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan. This year will mark the start of a three-year partnership as the organizations work together to make lasting memories for the event’s more than 100,000 annual visitors.

The beloved holiday tradition opened the 2021 season on Nov. 20 and will continue daily through Dec. 30, with closures only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The event uses 100% energy-efficient lights to illuminate its variety of guest experiences, including real reindeer housed in Santa’s Barn, a penguin photo-opportunity bench, warm beverages at Tinsel Tavern, fire pit areas, and much more.

“Meaningful collaboration is one of our values, and our partnership with the Indianapolis Zoo is one way to see that value come to life,” said Steve Smitherman, CareSource Indiana president. “Christmas at the Zoo has been a long-standing tradition for many families in the Indianapolis community, and we’re excited to take part in it.”

A trailblazer in holiday light events, the Indianapolis Zoo was the first zoo in the nation to put on a “Zoo lights” in 1967 and has been nominated for USA Today’s 10Best Zoo Lights for seven consecutive years. Indianapolis Zoo fans near and far can cast their daily vote to show support of the Zoo.

“We are thrilled to have CareSource as our presenting partner for Christmas at the Zoo,” said Carla Knapp, Indianapolis Zoo public relations specialist. “For 53 years, we have been welcoming families from around Central Indiana to the Indianapolis Zoo for a magical holiday experience. Having CareSource’s support enables us to share our beloved tradition with new generations of Hoosiers and help them create lasting memories.”

Christmas at the Zoo is free for Zoo members and included with regular admission. Visit for tickets and more information. Photos and b-roll can be accessed here.

About CareSource

CareSource is a nonprofit, multi-state health plan recognized as a national leader in managed care. Founded in 1989, CareSource administers one of the nation’s largest Medicaid managed care plans and offered a lifetime of access to care through health insurance, including Medicaid, Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicare Advantage and dual-eligible programs. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, CareSource serves 2 million members in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. CareSource understands the challenges consumers face navigating the health system and is transforming health care with industry-leading programs that improve the health and well-being of our members.

For more, visit, follow @caresource on Twitter, or like CareSource on Facebook.

About the Indianapolis Zoo

The Indianapolis Zoo protects nature and inspires people to care for our world. Located in White River State Park downtown, the Indianapolis Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums as a zoo, aquarium and botanical garden. Visit