Merry and bright, Zoolights returns to Calgary

Calgary’s favourite holiday tradition, Zoolights, is back and will be lighting up the Calgary Zoo Nov. 25 to Jan. 8.

Back for its 19th year, Zoolights will feature more than 1.5 million lights throughout the zoo grounds from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night.

“It is reasonable for families to afford and a great way to gather with friends and family to capture the holiday spirit and enjoy night time under the stars,” said Trish Exton-Parder, media relations lead at the Calgary Zoo.

Zoolights is the biggest annual event at the zoo, and preparations begin well before the winter season.

“We start putting lights up at the end of summer,” said Exton-Parder.

“Many lights are LED lights that we purchase and we re-use what we can yearly.”

Fun-filled activity zones will be set up around the zoo for easy navigation.

“With activities for all ages in easily navigated zones, you are literally immersed in light from the moment you enter through North gate,” said Exton-Parder.

Zone One will include Christmas karaoke on the Savannah lawn and the popular Lovers’ Lane in Destination Africa.

“My boyfriend and I go each year to take a picture in lover’s lane,” said Tia Armstrong.

“It definitely is a popular place among couples during the holiday season.”

Visitors can also enjoy the magic of Candyland outside of the ENMAX Conservatory, including the Lollipop Rock Tree and Friday night chocolate giveaways in Zone Two.

Zone Three will include a unique new interactive light display with a polar bear, inflatable igloos, build your own snowman and a wishing tree on the lawn behind Grazers Restaurant.

Zone Four is perhaps the most popular, as the skating rink returns to the West Lawn complete with free rentals from KidSport Calgary.

“My family has been going for 10 years, it’s not the holiday season if we don’t go,” said Savannah Martin.

“It’s very family-friendly and my kids absolutely love the skating rink.”

Fire pits and hot chocolate will be available to keep you warm while you enjoy the lights.

Tickets are available $14.99 for adults, and $11.99 for kids. Find out more information on the Calgary Zoo website.

Light Em Up: Zoo Lights poster displayed at the Calgary Zoo in Calgary on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The 19th annual Zoo Lights tradition begins on Nov. 25, 2016. (Photo by Lindsey Dahl/The Press)
Light Em Up: Zoolights poster displayed at the Calgary Zoo in Calgary on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The 19th annual Zoolights tradition begins on Nov. 25, 2016. (Photo by Lindsey Dahl/The Press)
About Lindsey Dahl 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Lindsey Dahl is working as a reporter for The Press during the 2016-17 academic year.

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