Woodland Park Zoo lights up for bright holiday nights
Seattle’s animal park has followed the example of many other zoos with its first-ever holiday light display.
Seattle Times staff
Wild animals at Woodland Park Zoo flash to life in fanciful light sculptures nightly at WildLights, a new holiday attraction for Seattle’s zoo this year.
Displays of thousands of lights include animated displays of wild animals in exotic settings plus indoor play for kids, carousel rides, entertainment, and food concessions at the Rain Forest Pavilion.
Most zoo exhibits are closed since the animals are asleep, except for the warm, indoor Day Exhibit of reptiles and amphibians and special appearances by visiting reindeer nightly near the carousel.
Wild animals and exotic destination displays along zoo trails include Northern Lights, with animated bears, moose and wolves beneath a color-changing ribbon of lights and shooting stars representing the Aurora Borealis; the Water Hole, with hippos and elephants of the African Savannah; and Jungle Lights, with tigers and snakes scaling trees outside the Day Exhibit.
Zoomazium becomes “Snowmazium” each night with faux falling snow, snowballs, snow play and stories with animal guests.
Conservation always plays a role at the zoo and WildLights is powered by energy-saving LED lights that require only 112 watts per night for an estimated total energy cost of $550 for the six-week event.
Advance tickets are recommended, available online for general admission and good for any evening through Dec. 13. Starting Dec. 14, advance purchase tickets are for specific dates only. Tickets are available nightly at the gate; space has been available so far, but larger crowds are expected closer to Christmas.
Admission to WildLights is at the zoo’s West Entrance, with free shuttles from other zoo lots available nightly.
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m. daily through Dec. 23, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 26-Jan. 1.
Location: Woodland Park Zoo West Entrance only, on Phinney Avenue North between North 55th and North 56th Streets or off North 59th Street and Phinney Avenue North, Seattle.
Cost: $8.50 through Dec. 13, $9.50 Dec. 14-Jan. 1/adults, $6.50/ages 3-12; ages 2 and younger free.
Getting there: Zoo parking lots free Mondays through Thursdays, $5.25 Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, space limited; carpooling, biking, or public transportation suggested, see tripplanner.kingcounty.gov. Free shuttle nightly from south zoo parking lot and lower Woodland Park to West Entrance.
More information: 206-548-2500 or www.zoo.org/wildlights.
Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or firstname.lastname@example.org