Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo

Why you need to make Zoo Lights your new holiday tradition.


Written by: Lauren Steeves

Why you need to make ZOOLIGHTS your new holiday tradition

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about the holidays that brings out the inner-child in me. I get excited hearing Christmas carols, specifically Mariah Carey’s Christmas album. I thoroughly enjoy all the baking and probably eat one (or five) too many cookies and love the delicious combination of rum and eggnog. But I can’t help but get the most excited from the holiday spirit that fills our city and brings with it some of the most amazing events.

One event that you must go to this holiday season is ZOOLIGHTS. Now, I know what you might be thinking, “ZOOLIGHTS? Isn’t that something for kids?” and while it is a kid-friendly event, I discovered it’s actually the perfect setting for a romantic date night with your man, or a fun activity to go to with your girlfriends—so hear me out on this one.

At ZOOLIGHTS the Calgary Zoo completely transforms itself. You no longer feel surrounded by packs of screaming kids, but instead feel like you and your love are literally walking in a winter wonderland. Not only are there millions of lights that decorate trees and pathways, but also impressive light displays in the shapes of your favourite zoo animals like elephants, flamingos and giraffes. The zoo even has a tunnel of love, so you don’t have to wait around for mistletoe to sneak a kiss.

But ZOOLIGHTS is more than just all of the lights; it also has a ton of fun activities. Some of these activities include, skating, snowman building and wait for it, Christmas karaoke. Yes, you read that right, ZOOLIGHTS has Christmas karaoke. So you and your girlfriends can belt Jingle Bells, or you and your bae can perform a duet of Baby It’s Cold Outside—the opportunities are endless.

So what do you do if you get chilly? Don’t worry—the zoo’s got you.

There are several fire pits throughout the zoo for you and your boo to cozy up to. And if that doesn’t do the trick you can always pop indoors for a visit with Santa, or take a stroll through the beautifully decorated rainforests. I will warn you though, the Christmas trees in the rainforest look like they were taken straight from Pinterest and will definitely make you green with envy.

ZOOLIGHTS even has you covered when it comes to getting your pic with Santa. You no longer have to fight with kids to get to the front of the line—they have a Selfie Santa. This Santa will hold your phone for you, so you can get your Insta-worthy-selfie-snap without feeling any of the shame for sitting on Santa’s lap.

So before your time has run out and they turn the lights out, visit ZOOLIGHTS this holiday season. It just might shine a light on your new holiday tradition.

ZOOLIGHTS is open nightly from 6- 9 p.m. running from November 27- January 2. You can purchase your tickets online here.

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