Calgary ZOOLIGHTS 2015 – A Family Affair

Calgary lifestyle blogger Leslie Brooks from Ruff Ruminations captured her family's visit to ZOOLIGHTS.

Guest blog: Leslie Brooks, Calgary lifestyle blogger at Ruff Ruminations.com.

Wonder fills my seven year old’s eyes as we see the first lights entering the zoo on a warm winter night, well warm for Calgary but I suppose that term is relative. You know it’s warm out because the zoo is packed even though ZOOLIGHTS has only just started. It’s 6 p.m. and the families are streaming in non-stop. I think the whole city has the same general rule, if you’ve got a free night and the temperature is above -5 degrees you better take your opportunity to enjoy the warm winter weather and go to ZOOLIGHTS!

Buy tickets to visit the Calgary Zoo.

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Family & Friends visiting for the Holidays? Take the crew to ZOOLIGHTS!

Bringing family and friends into town for the holidays? Escape the house and make memories at ZOOLIGHTS!

Holiday season is here, and that means being surrounded by the things you love…eggnog, cookies, and visiting family and friends. It’s always exciting to spend time with those you love, especially when they’ve traveled from out of town. However, sometimes the season can lend to festive cabin fever, and you need to get your group out of the house!

So where do you go when you need to entertain kids and adults alike? Look no further than the Calgary Zoo and ZOOLIGHTS, the one stop shop for the season’s classic activities, and Calgary’s number one holiday tradition.

Buy tickets to visit the Calgary Zoo.

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Why you need to make ZOOLIGHTS your new holiday tradition

Take your sweetheart out for a classic winter date night at ZOOLIGHTS!

Guest blog: Lauren Steeves, Junior Editor with Branded Magazine and It’s Date Night.

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.

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One Degree of Change Can Make a Huge Difference

ZOOLIGHTS this year features a brand new interactive light display that showcases the polar bear to talk about climate change.

While strolling through ZOOLIGHTS this year, you’ll find a new feature lighting up Zone 3. We have a new interactive light display that shines a spotlight on polar bears, and how they’re affected by climate change. While we don’t have polar bears at the zoo, what can you do to help them thrive?

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Experience ZOOLIGHTS: Top Five Holiday Traditions

ZOOLIGHTS at the Calgary Zoo is the place to check out your top five holiday traditions.

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.

Buy tickets to visit the Calgary Zoo.

Five holiday traditions you just can’t miss:

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All wrapped up in planning ZOOLIGHTS

The Calgary Zoo team is getting ready for ZOOLIGHTS 2015!

If you’re a Calgarian, then you know that there is one major seasonal event that the zoo hosts every winter. That’s right, it’s almost time for ZOOLIGHTS!

Calgary’s favourite holiday tradition is back (running from November 27, 2015- January 2, 2016), and with it comes 1.5 million LED lights, activities, and memories to be made.

With all of those twinkling lights, what is it like getting ready for this big event? We caught up with Aaron Cunningham and Kelsey Van Raay, two employees with the ZOOLIGHTS know-how.

Buy tickets to visit the Calgary Zoo.

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This winter, adventure awaits you at the Calgary Zoo!

Have you ever wanted to sleep near a hippo or meet a giraffe? If you haven’t checked out the events and activities we offer here at the zoo, you might be surprised to learn about all the adventures at your fingertips.

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20 things to do at the Calgary Zoo! #20zootodo

For the past few weeks we’ve been using the hashtag #20zootodo to count down the days until the Calgary Zoo fully reopened. Once a day, for 20 days, we’ve shared suggestions for what you can do when you get back on the island.

With the zoo officially opened, as of November 28, 2013, we’re turning the list over to you!

Print it out (you can download it here) and use it as a guide to take pictures during your next visit to the zoo. Share your pics on Instagram and Twitter using the #20zootodo hashtag. Then follow the hashtag to get in on the fun!

Here’s the full list:

#20 – Marvel at our ever growing meerkat mob! The babies are so cute & growing fast!

#19 – Sip a cup of hot cocoa while admiring the ZOOLIGHTS! Starting on November 29.

#18 – Spot a snow leopard. They are often more active during the cooler weather months.

#17 – Dress in red and visit the red pandas!

#16 – Take a slide down the snake slide in the rejuvenated playground area! It’s been completely resurfaced since the flood.

#15 – Take your picture with friends at the Ganesh (dancing elephant) statue.

#14 – Snuggle a penguin plushie at the gift shop.

#13 – Make happy faces at the hippos while you watch them swim in their habitat.

#12 – Roar with our male lions, Aslan and Baruti!

#11 – Hang out with the Bactrian Camels and admire their warm shaggy coat.

#10 – Tango with the tigers. Ok, maybe not, but definitely pay them a visit.

#9 – Take a spin on the wooden carousel. Maybe ride on the swift fox or the lion!

#8 – Leap with the lemurs…the mongoose lemurs that is!

#7 – Escape the cold and enjoy the beautiful plants at the ENMAX conservatory.

#6 – Graze with the giraffes or, if they don’t want to share, maybe just grin at them instead.

#5 – Hiss-s-s-s-s with the gigantic Madagascar tree boa.

#4 – Grin at the gorillas!

#3 – Flap with the straw-coloured fruit bats!

#2 – Stomp with the elephants!

#1 – Tell Santa what you want for Christmas through SantaVision at ZOOLIGHTS!

For more fun ideas for things to do at the Calgary Zoo, check out our events and activities!

Download and print: Calgary Zoo #20zootodo activity list