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Three Zoos Going All Out with Holiday Light Displays

December 18, 2012 at 3:16 PM | by | ()

Even if you’ve still got plenty of shopping to do, we say it’s fine to take a little holiday break to enjoy the season. Load up on the hot chocolate or one of those peppermint mochas, and head out to the zoo. It might not seem that seasonal, but when they flip the switch on the lights it’s becomes a winter wonderland. Here’s a few zoos doing the Christmas lights thing this holiday season:

Christmas at the Zoo – Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana

At the Indianapolis Zoo the fun has been going on since around Thanksgiving, and the lights are turned on nightly—between 5pm and 9pm—through December 30. This zoo was the very first in the country to do something like this, so at this point they’ve got it pretty darn figured out. They’re bringing out the animals that enjoy the cooler nights like the sea lions, tigers, brown bears, and off course the polar bears. Lights are pretty much everywhere you look, and there are even a few holiday themed dolphin shows. Carolers round out the holiday zoo experience, and it’s all included in your admission. Offseason tickets start at $10 per adult, but you can save a buck by donating a new hat, scarf, or pair of gloves when you visit.

The Lights Before Christmas – Toledo Zoo, Ohio

They definitely win the award for the cleverest name, but the folks over at the Toledo Zoo also do a pretty darn good job at dressing up the place for the holidays. The switch was flipped for the first time back in November, and now things continue nightly—usually until 8pm or 9pm—through December 31. They have lights on the trees, lights on the ground, and the lights are pretty much everywhere else. Other stuff includes the chance to ride an oversized rocking horse, ice carving demonstrations, and the opportunity to step inside of a life-sized snow globe. Ordering online saves you a dollar, so it’s $11 for the big kids and $8 for the little ones.

ZooLights – National Zoo, DC

Everyone has their favorite zoo, but when it comes to the best one around the National Zoo in Washington has to be in the running. They went up into the zoo’s attic back in November to get down the lights and decorations, and now things run through January 1—with a couple days off here and there. Obviously they’ve got animals here, but for the holidays there’s now 500,000 LED lights doing their thing as well. The zoo promises lit animal silhouettes, musical light displays, and a new garden scene light sculpture. Admission here is free—thanks Uncle Sam—but parking can set you back as much as $16.

[Photo: Toledo Zoo]

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