Winter at the Calgary Zoo can be some kind of awesome.
On Nov. 27, when we flick on the switch to ZOOLIGHTS presented by JSS Barristers, the grounds will be transformed into a twinkling wonderland for the entire family. When ZOOLIGHTS began some 18 years ago it was dubbed Wild Lights but, back then, it was far from the conservation-focused $1-million event it’s become.
Between its lengthy history and an annual investment of new activities, 20 to 30 new light figures and more razzle dazzle — it’s no wonder it’s become a top family tradition for more than 120,000 people who attend its five-week run.
Five holiday traditions you just can’t miss:
#1: Nowhere else in Calgary can you see a dazzling 1.5 million LED light bulbs and 230 light figures . . . some of which are interactive while others dance to music.
#2: Who doesn’t love dressing up a snowman with outrageous duds? We promise you’ll love our “Build a Snow Buddy,” which is really just a very good excuse to play in the white stuff and customize a snowman for the perfect photo op.
#3: Set under a canopy of Christmas lights is our enchanting skating rink sponsored by Mahogany Lakeside Living. Don’t have skates? No worries. We have free skate rentals (courtesy of KidsSport Calgary) on the site. Consider this our little gift to you.
#4: Fewer things say Canadian Christmas better than a mug of hot chocolate, sipped around the crackle and hiss of an outdoor fire. We have six massive fire pits, strategically placed around the grounds that come with volunteers, primed to entertain you with animal stories and fun facts about “what’s new at the zoo.”
#5: No visit would be complete without a chat with Santa. Yep, the jolly ol’ gent will be back, from Nov. 27-Dec. 23, in the ENMAX Conservatory. Bring your camera and remember, visits with Santa are free.
ZOOLIGHTS runs nightly (6-9 p.m.) from Nov. 27-Jan. 2, 2016. Entrance is through the North Gate only. General admission (16 years and up): $14 (plus GST). Children (3-15 years old): $11 (plus GST). Parking is available in the North lots for $5. Tickets are available at the gate or beat the crowd by purchasing tickets online.