Have you been to the Phoenix Zoo recently? Even if you have, I would highly recommend visiting this Christmas season for their annual ZooLights event! It’s the time every year when the zoo decorates the entire park with so many lights you won’t be able to count them — 3.7 million total lights. This event is hugely popular, and when you go you’ll notice that most of the people are parents with their young children. Get ready to see more strollers than you ever thought you’d see at one time.
Enjoy 3.7 million total lights and more than 700 light displays located on the Zoo’s Arizona Trail and around the Main Lake. You’ll be able to spot familiar zoo animals re-imagined and transformed into holiday lights, moving light displays, 3D displays and see familiar characters from the Wizard of Oz. Look for the Wizard of Oz’s tin man, cowardly lion, scarecrow and more than 20 flying monkeys hidden throughout the Zoo. Enjoy fun and traditional holiday music as you marvel at the beauty of ZooLights! Even Luka, our playful Andean bear cub, makes a lighted appearance this year.
That’s right, this is an event designed for kids! And their parents, of course. Entry costs between $9 and $14 (depending on day of the week, and if you are already a member of the Zoo). You can find discounted tickets at Fry’s food stores.
In addition to the light display, there are lots of moving lights, 3D displays, and a Wizard of Oz display with the tin man, cowardly lion, and scarecrow. They’ve also added 20 flying monkeys and a most of the displays are animated to music and holiday classics.
There’s also a talking giraffe named Jengo (a bit strange, if you ask me). He tells funny jokes and sings songs. On most evenings you can see Santa Clause (photo opportunity that costs additional money).
There’s a Polar Slide ($3 per ride) which is dubbed as 200 feet of snow tubing experience and a separate FlyWire Zip Line Ride ($10 per ride per person). This ride is pretty cool, and supports two people at once.
In addition to all of this, there’s a carousel ($2 for members, and $3 for non-members) as well as wagon rides (prices vary), and camel rides (offered year round for $4 for members, and $5 for non-members).
Parking is always free at the Phoenix Zoo (and they usually have plenty). Nearly 300,000 people visit ZooLights each year. It is considered the largest light show at a zoo in the United States. Believe it or not, they begin installing the show in mid-July! It takes that long to install all of the lights and prepare everything. Apparently they’ve managed to cut down on electricity usage dramatically since introducing LED lights (they use less electricity than incandescent lights). Even so, they usually get the power-company to sponsor the whole thing.
The event runs from Nov 28th, 2013 – Jan 12th, 2014. Entry times are: 6 – 10 p.m. on Sunday – Thursday, and 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. on Friday & Saturday.
455 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, Arizona 85008