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Best Zoo Lights

author
Ava Flores
• Wednesday, 28 October, 2020
• 8 min read

Visitors can meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, watch a Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, drool over a gingerbread village, munch on s'mores or ride the North Polar Express train. Some 50 acres at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are illuminated with 85 light sculptures during the park's annual Electric Safari.

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Contents

Select animal exhibits remain open during the festivities, and warming fires spread throughout the grounds offer a place to thaw those cold fingers. Visit Santa’s Village to see St. Nick’s sleigh and reindeer or snap a selfie in front of a Christmas tree.

Visitors can walk through a tunnel of lights, visit with St. Nick, get up close to Santa's reindeer, ride a carousel and participate in holiday arts and crafts. Festivities include a Holly Jolly Christmas Parade, nightly visits with Santa, an animated story tree, a Jingle Bell Bonfire and plenty of holiday treats, like s'mores and hot cocoa.

The San Diego Zoo in California does the holidays big with its annual Jungle Bells event, where guests can see light displays, animal sculptures and musical shows. A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

An avid globetrotter and professional storyteller, she has covered topics that include wild Tahitian getaways; Sicilian wine trails, delectable Hawaiian food trends and luxury beachfront resorts. Marla lives in New Jersey (Philadelphia area) and is a frequent visitor to Hawaii and Southern California, and often covers those destinations.

An avid globetrotter and professional storyteller, she has covered topics that include wild Tahitian getaways; Sicilian wine trails, delectable Hawaiian food trends and luxury beachfront resorts. Marla lives in New Jersey (Philadelphia area) and is a frequent visitor to Hawaii and Southern California, and often covers those destinations.

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Always up for an adventure, Eric is constantly searching for new and inspiring experiences, with a keen interest in luxury travel and urban exploration. Memorable experiences have run the gamut from discussing the future of food with Terran Adrian to sharing a stage with Coldplay.

Always up for an adventure, Eric is constantly searching for new and inspiring experiences, with a keen interest in luxury travel and urban exploration. Memorable experiences have run the gamut from discussing the future of food with Terran Adrian to sharing a stage with Coldplay.

Ferris Lopez is a food and travel writer/photographer whose adventures have taken her from tiny islands (Isle of Man, Lanai) to mega-cities like Mexico City and Hong Kong. A former vegetarian, Ferris has grown to appreciate carnivorous fare through sampling the best meats in the world, including smoked pork jowl in Thailand and whole hog barbecue in South Carolina.

Ferris Lopez is a food and travel writer/photographer whose adventures have taken her from tiny islands (Isle of Man, Lanai) to mega-cities like Mexico City and Hong Kong. A former vegetarian, Ferris has grown to appreciate carnivorous fare through sampling the best meats in the world, including smoked pork jowl in Thailand and whole hog barbecue in South Carolina.

Born in Manhattan, she now lives on the sunny island of Montreal and covers the Caribbean for a variety of publications including USA TODAY TRAVEL, CaribbeanTravel.com, and MarryCaribbean.com. A journalist with a boatload of writer awards under her belt, Melanie's affection for the Caribbean started young when her family vacationed in Puerto Rico.

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© Provided by WTH IndianapolisThis is the Indianapolis Zoo’s fourth top-5 finish. Tickets are still available to visit the zoo this holiday season and there will be timed entry.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Animated light shows, including “Holiday Rhythms Around the Watering Hole” at Conservation Lake and Jingle Ball located at the Shores Play Park.

Guests can spend time with Santa and also enjoy holiday sweets with Mrs. Claus at her kitchen in Conservation Courtyard. Wild lights rides, including the Polar Bear Express, a train ride through the North America winter wonderland; camel rides located in the North America region; and the 1914 Mangels-Illions Carousel, a historic Central Ohio treasure located near the Columbus Dispatch Charities Grand Pavilion.

Be sure to bring your camera as the most favorite reindeer of all, Rudolph, the lovable abominable snow monster, Bumble, and aspiring dentist, Herman the elf, join us at Wild lights this year to create even more magical memories. The Sparkling Spruce, presented by Meyers Jewelers, and its captivating light and sound shows “Candela: The Evolution of Light” and all-new show “Christmas Cheer Masterpiece” located in the Entry Village.

Many animals will be visible from the comfort of heated, indoor shelters, including Manatee Coast; Discovery Reef; the reptile building; the habitats at Vanishing Giants and the Naomi Coyle Dempsey Quest for Enlightenment Interpretive Center in Asia Quest; and the nocturnal building in the Australia and the Islands region. Please note that some animal areas (such as the gorilla and bonobo habitats in Congo Expedition) will close at 4 p.m.

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Santa is spending extra time at the Zoo this year. Families can meet in his study through Dec. 23 from 12:30-4 p.m. and during event hours (5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday).

Tickets are still available to visit the zoo this holiday season and there will be timed entry. Due to the popularity of Taillights, and in an effort to allow for maximum social distancing, nightly attendance is being limited and timed tickets are required for this event.

All tickets must be purchased online, in advance to secure your spot. Taillights presented by Florida Power & Light Company, GPL Solano is sure to become a Florida holiday tradition for families and friends.

While the animals slumber, Palm Beach Zoo will be illuminated for the holidays with over one million eco-friendly lights. Each evening from 6 to 9 pm the Zoo will be aglow with unique themed displays from the entrance through the Florida Wetlands, Tropics of the Americas and NEW this year, Asia.

The festive holiday fun also features photos with Santa (until Dec. 23rd)! Families can experience the best West Palm Beach holiday celebrations.

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This year, the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is honored to be the official non-profit community partner of Sand and the City of West Palm Beach Holidays in Paradise annual downtown campaign. In addition to taking part in Taillights, plan on visiting Sand and her flamingo friend Hope as Sand Brings Hope to West Palm Beach.

Zoo Member prices are $9.95 for Adults, $7.95 for Children 12 and under. We will be checking the list each day to confirm membership.

Zoo Lights takes place in the east side of the Zoo, including the Fountain Plaza, Florida Wetlands, Tropics of the Americas, Tropics Café and Asia. You may catch a glimpse of a few animals along the pathways, however the main focus of Zoo Lights are the more than one-million LED lights, music, and holiday treats.

The Tropics Café is open serving a menu of meal options, drinks including beer and wine. This year you can also order online and pick up your food without the wait.

Look for the QR codes in the Zoo or click here to order. The Fountain Plaza is North Pole Circle and includes an s'more station, funnel cakes, a bar, beer and wine.

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During Taillights, the main attraction is enjoying our brighter light path and animal-themed displays. Our Zoo animals will be enjoying a full night’s slumber.

By purchasing a ticket to the Houston Zoo, you agree to properly wear a facial covering during your visit. In accordance with Harris County orders, and for the safety of our staff, guests, and animals, visitors 10 years and older are required to wear facial coverings that fully cover the nose and mouth.

You may remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing. If a person with a disability is not able to wear a face mask the Houston Zoo will consider reasonable modifications to the face mask policy.

Please note that Taillights will be closed to the public on the following dates: Taillights will also be open to the public on Thanksgiving Day.

Multiple food locations will be available, including Cypress Circle Café during Taillights hours. Our main entrance is at 6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, Texas 77030.

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