A Magical Family Evening at the Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

Heather Raulerson

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0cpUaQ_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

The Christmas season is directly upon us, and if you are like me and love this time of year, you are looking for things to do to celebrate the holiday and entertain your family at the same time. You could drive around your neighborhood and admire your neighbor’s ingenuity and creativeness to be like Clark Griswold or make an evening going to spectacular Christmas drive-thru light displays. But, if you are searching for something unique and different, the Detroit Zoo has a fantastic holiday event for your entire family. The Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo offers a magical display of lights and sounds that the whole family will enjoy.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3jHeWS_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Wild Lights Schedule

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2RO95R_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

The dazzling Wild Lights start after the Zoo closes on select weeknights and the weekends from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m; until January 3. On Fridays and Saturdays, it stays open until 10:30 p.m. Tickets are scheduled on 30-minute intervals. Make sure to be on-time for your entrance time. I booked a 5 p.m. slot, and it was a little too bright for taking good photos. However, it did get darker soon after I entered the zoo. It takes approximately an hour to complete the Wild Lights loop, which is only in the front half of the zoo. Remember that the event will go on in rain or snow, so dress appropriately as this is an entirely outdoor event. Note: There will be no access to see animals during the event.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2oSid3_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

How Do I Get Tickets?

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4RBrJF_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

You can purchase tickets online here. It is recommended to buy your tickets in advance as the event can and will sell out. Reservations are limited as the zoo limits capacity to 1,600 guests (only 800 in the zoo at one time) to maintain social distancing. When you get to the zoo, make sure to bring your parking pass to the gate with your ticket. At the entrance, there are social distancing markers for you to wait in line on. Also, don’t forget to get your family photo done at the gate. You will be able to see your picture later when you leave.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2rP2lv_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Ticket prices range between $15-$20 for anyone over two years old. The parking fee is $8 per car.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0xAdMj_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Helpful Hint: If you try and get a general ticket for a particular day and it is sold out. Check into the costs of becoming a Detroit Zoological Society Member. A portion of the tickets are exclusively reserved for Members, and you might be able to get the day or time you want. This is what I ended up doing to secure a Friday night Wild Lights ticket. But, I love coming to the Detroit Zoo and plan to visit more times in the next year.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1BtcAh_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Animal Sculptures

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1pwO5W_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Over five million lights covering buildings, trees, and over 280 animal sculptures are awaiting your family. When you walk into the zoo, the first light display you see is the Butterfly Garden. The bright, colorful butterflies are scattered around the garden with their wings fluttering. You might even see a few flying in the trees. Make sure to look at the top of the Penguin House to watch a video tribute to all the animals at the zoo and around the world.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1U7mK3_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

As you head to the zoo’s central area, more trees will be decoratively lit, and you will start to see animal sculptures based on areas of the zoo. You will see some animal groupings such as reptiles; safari animals including the rhinos, camels, and elephants; polar bears, flamingos, camels, woodland creatures, and the last animal grouping in the loop are the underwater animals. Besides the animal sculptures, there are timed musical areas with sticks that change color to the music and even musical trees further in the zoo. Make sure to stop and listen to a song or true and marvel at how everything is synchronous.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1mf1Zl_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3IRtFA_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2pnwmQ_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Photo Opportunities

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1yD0d4_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

There are several photo opportunities throughout the zoo. There are oversized ornaments by the fountain area for you and your family to get your photo taken. Just remember to give each other space and not crowd up at the ornament while waiting in the line. Other areas to take pictures are with the cute painted barriers around the zoo. They are blocking the paths to make sure you stay in the loop, but they are all distinct and have lovely Christmas scenes like the Polar Express, snowmen, and Nutcracker soldiers, which would be great backgrounds for kid’s photos.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3NS2YV_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Snacks & Drinks

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3OvpiD_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

While there is no indoor dining available, there are options for you to get snacks or drinks while you are at the Wild Lights event. Restaurants offering food are Buddy’s Pizza, American Coney Island, and you can pick up coffee at The Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co. All of these do have places for you to sit outside. Other food options are at the Winter Grille, which has burgers, hot dogs, and roasted nuts. You can also get Pretzels and Funnel Cakes at the other snack stations around the zoo. I walked around the loop and crossed over to go back to pick up a Pretzel and then walked the loop all over again.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1jVbxy_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo is a marvelous family fun-filled evening out with Christmas tunes, animal sculptures lit up, and more Christmas lights than you know where to look. Come and see the explosion of colors while singing along to your favorite holiday song all at the magical Wild Lights! Don’t you love the holiday season!

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0EEjwg_0Xvl2r2Y00

Photo by Heather Raulerson

Comments / 1

Published by

Freelance travel writer and photographer who loves sharing her adventures from around the world. It is never too late to pursue your dream!

Rochester Hills, MI
2745 followers

More from Heather Raulerson

Comments / 0