Submitted by Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
Tickets go on sale Nov. 1 for the Puget Sound area’s longest running and most loved holiday lights display.
Zoolights, which began in 1988 with a big dream and several displays of animals around the zoo’s grounds, is celebrating its 30th annual edition in 2017 with dozens of lighted tableaus and colorful figurines and more than 650,000 energy-efficient LEDs.
It opens the day after Thanksgiving – Nov. 24 – and runs through Jan. 1. Hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly except for a one-night closure on Dec. 24.
Visitors will “swim” into a sea of wonder from the moment they enter the zoo.
A dramatic scene featuring a 100-foot-wide octopus, an 8-foot-long sea turtle, a crab with moving pincers, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and other sea creatures will cover the zoo’s main lawn in a sea of ocean blue lights.
Jellyfish and other sea animals will illuminate the site of the under-construction Pacific Seas Aquarium, which is due to open next summer.
The 2017 edition of Zoolights will be an eye-popping marriage of longtime favorite displays like the 30,030-light purple-and-green Flame Tree with new creations like the scene that might have visitors believing they’ve taken a deep dive under the sea.
- $5 for zoo members at the Front Gate and online.
- $8.50 general
admission online and at the Customer Service desk in all Puget Sound area Fred Meyer stores beginning in early November.
- $10 general admission at the Front Gate.
- Children 2 and under are admitted at no charge.
- Parking is free.
Visitors will find amazing sights in lights, like a 12th Man tree decked out in Seahawks’ colors, a 23-foot-tall Mount Rainier sitting atop the North Pacific Aquarium, a 17-foot-high tiger head, whimsical ice skating puffins, swooping eagles, swinging siamangs, majestic polar bears, wonderful walruses and red wolves howling at the moon.
Plus, there will be camel rides, carousel rides, and sharks – did we mention sharks! The zoo’s South Pacific Aquarium, home to 16 large sharks, will be open nightly for visitors who want to warm up in the steamy tropical atmosphere and get a look at the beautiful animals as they glide silently along in their warm-water home.
Next door, there’s an octopus, Chilean sea nettles (a kind of jellyfish), and a boatload of other interesting sea creatures to see in the North Pacific Aquarium.
And over in Kids’ Zone visitors can feed Nigerian dwarf goats and watch the antics of the meerkat mob.
Zoolights is a wonderful outing for family and out-of-town guests, couples, grandparents and grandchildren and groups of friends who just want a fun evening wandering among the lights, sipping hot chocolate and munching on delectable treats from the café.
Zoolights is presented by Fred Meyer. Tacoma Power is sponsoring the glorious – and popular – Flame Tree.
For more information, go to www.pdza.org/zoolights.