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Go wild this holiday at Binder Park Zoo's ZooLights!

Posted: 4:00 PM, Nov 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-27 16:00:24-05
Go wild this holiday at Binder Park Zoo's ZooLights!

ZooLights will return to Binder Park Zoo on Friday November 30 to dazzle guests every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 23 from 5:00pm-8:00pm. Bundle up your loved ones to come for a merry stroll through the zoo to enjoy brilliant light displays, festive décor and a holiday visit with the animals and another very special guest who wears a red suit!

Binder Park Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland where guests can enjoy free carousel rides, make a cute holiday craft, write and mail a letter to Santa and even pay a visit to the big guy in person!  It’s also an opportunity to hear scheduled Keeper Chats to learn how winter hardy animals like the gray wolf, red panda, and snow leopard all  manage, and even enjoy the snow and chilly temps. Then warm yourself up with a visit to your reptile and amphibian friends in the Adventure Station of the Binda Conservation Discovery Center. Don’t miss the animal ambassador presentations happening every hour on the half hour there, too!

One of the most memorable experiences at ZooLights is Dinner with Santa - a traditional family style meal with the jolly old elf himself!  If you’ve been naughty this year, your chance to make the nice list is during Dinner with Santa on Saturday, December 1, 8 or 15, from 5:00-7:00pm.  Tuck into a home style holiday dinner of roast turkey with all the trimmings as you watch the youngsters whisper their Wish Lists into Santa’s ear… but make your reservation soon! Seating is limited at this popular event.

Channel your inner artist at ZooLights to create a holiday masterpiece at Cocoa and Canvas. No experience needed and all materials are provided. You’ll be guided step-by-step through the fun and easy process of painting a “Holiday-Obsessed Giraffe” - suitable for framing!  It’s a great activity for a girls’ afternoon out, family fun or any group of friends or co-workers.  Two sessions of Cocoa and Canvas are scheduled in the Conservation Hall - Sunday, December 9 and Sunday, December 16, from 2:30-4:30pm. Recommended for ages 10 and up, reservations are required. The fee of $20 per person includes all materials as well as tasty refreshments to help fuel your creativity!

Special guest Stormy the Magician and  Balloon Twister will delight all ages on December 8,21 and 22, from 5:30 -7:30pm,  and  the sound of carols will fill the air from the a capella singing group Kalamazoo Sound Builders as they stroll zoo grounds on December 14 from 6:00pm-8:00pm.

Timed to take advantage of a visit to ZooLights is “Winter Wreaths” - a special F.A.W.N. playgroup on Saturday, December 15 from 3:30-5:00pm. Celebrate Wreaths across America Day with your favorite little ones ages 2-5  (older sibs are welcome, too) where you’ll create a beautiful holiday wreath together while learning about the importance of preserving nature.  Cost is $5.00 per person. Register online. (Zoo Lights admission is not included and sold separately.)

Beulah’s Restaurant will be open during ZooLights where guests can purchase a snack or a meal and enjoy a fireside visit with Santa Claus.  Santa will alternate between the Conservation Hall and Beulah’s and his schedule can be checked at the gate each evening. Melissa’s Images will be on hand to snap a 5 x 7 image as a keepsake of your visit for only $5 of which a portion is donated to support the zoo.

You can start (or finish) your holiday shopping at the zoo, too!  Memberships make great gifts and start as low as $55 for a gift they’ll unwrap all year long. The ZooKeeper for a Day experience is truly a one-of-a-kind gift they’ll remember forever.  You can also A.D.O.P.T a red panda cub for someone you love.   They’ll receive a certificate of adoption, fact sheet, color photo and adorable plush red panda – a treasured gift for any animal lover. Find gift details online at []

The Safari Gift Shop will be open during ZooLights hours and is stocked with unique gifts and stocking stuffers at every price point.

Put a little wild into your holidays and bring the crew out to enjoy ZooLights- every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 30 through December 23, 5:00-8:00pm.

General admission to ZooLights is $6 per person and $5 for zoo members. Tickets will be sold at the gate.

  • Dinner with Santa is $15 per child, $20 per adult, and includes admission to ZooLights. Reservations are required. Children under the age of two enter and dine for free, and the gate opens early at 4:30 for Dinner with Santa guests.
  • Cocoa and Canvas is $20 per person which includes admission to ZooLights. Reservations are required and the gate will open early at 2:15 for Cocoa with Canvas guests.
  • Winter Wreaths F.A.W.N. playgroup is $5 per person.

Visit []   for more information, to make your Dinner with Santa , Cocoa and Canvas or Winter Wreaths  reservations and to see the many great zoo-gift options online.

Source: Press Release