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Wildlights returns to the Columbus Zoo this weekend

The popular holiday event will run through Jan. 2, and features more than just festive lights.

POWELL, Ohio — Wildlights returns to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium this Friday.  

The popular holiday event will run through Jan. 2, and features more than just festive lights. Reindeer encounters, camel rides and a trip on the Polar Bear Express are just some attractions offered by the zoo.

This marks the 33rd year the zoo will transform into a twinkling display, decked out with more than 3 million lights.   

Here’s a list of attractions 

  • Sparkling Spruce| Two animated light displays: “Candela: The Evolution of Light” and “Holiday Cheer” 
  • Holiday Rhythms Around the Watering Hole | An animated light display set to festive songs. 
  • S’mores Experience | Guests are invited to roast s’mores while socially-distanced around a fire.   
  • Polar Bear Express | Ride through a winter wonderland on the North America Train 
  • Camel Rides | Ride a camel at the Prairie Outpost 
  • The Santa Experience at Polar Frontier | Meet Santa and take a photo 
  • Jingle Ball | Shores Play Park is illuminated while seasonal music plays 
  • Polar Express 4D Experience | View the movie in 4D at Shores Play Park

Animal viewings 

  • Sea Lions of Adventure Cove viewing tunnel 
  • Jack Hanna’s Animal Encounters Village of Adventure Cove 
  • Naomi Coyle Dempsey Quest for Enlightenment Interpretive Center 
  • Vanishing Giants 
  • Discovery Reef 
  • Manatee Coast 
  • Reptile Building 
  • Bob & Evelyn’s Roadhouse Nocturnal Building

Tours and Experiences 

  • Reindeer Encounter | Up-close experience with a reindeer 
  • Wildlights Tour | After hours golf cart tour  
  • Sensory-Friendly Light Stroll | Experience the zoo with smaller crowds, muted music and readily available sensory kits, only from 6 - 8 p.m. on Nov. 16.  

Wildlights Hours

  • Sunday - Thursday: 5 - 9 p.m. 
  • Friday, Saturday: 5 - 10 p.m.

You can learn more here.

Note: Wildlights is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

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