Zoo-rrific Time to be Had at ZooLights This Month


Deja fuse: Just like previous editions, this year’s ZooLights offers more than just electric spectacle. Kid-friendly activities on tap include a solar-powered carousel, train ride, snow tubing tracks and more. (gorgejeff via Flickr)

This has been going on for a few days, you say. Well, right you are. It still doesn’t mean we can’t tout a friendly night at the zoo – we have the two previous years.

ZooLights, powered by Pepco, takes place every night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. until January 1 (with the exception of December 24, 25 and 31) at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Woodley Park. And yes, again, the event is free, for apartment renters and everyone else.

And oh, what a sight it is, animals silhouetted with the power of LED lights – more than 500,000 of them – making the zoo quite a spectacle. There will also be musical light displays and a lighted garden scene to check out.

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If you have kids – or little nieces and nephews – you can let them have fun at Zoo-magination, where they can check out the Land of Legos, which depicts life in the present and past; more than 50,000 Lego bricks are used in the exhibit.

View Larger Map Smithsonian National Zoological Park
3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Also on hand for tots to enjoy will be Fantastical Animals, paper sculptures by California artist Andy Byers. And no, you’re not having flashbacks or hallucinating. Panda Claws, the official ZooLights ambassador, will be dancing inside a giant snow globe. For what it’s worth, there will also be a nightly raffle.

Not everything is free for the kids though; you’ll still have to fork over the elephantine sum of $3 for them to ride on the National Zoo Choo-Choo, zoo tube down Lion/Tiger Hill, or take a spin on the solar-powered Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel.

Open again this year for your viewing pleasure will be the Small Mammal House, Reptile Discovery Center, Great Ape House and Think Tank.

Helping with the cold will be hot chocolate, mulled cider, coffee, eggnog and other snacks on hand; there will also be alcoholic beverages for grownups. And if you want to go whole hog, and why not, the Zoo’s restaurants will be open as well. Of course, you can shop at ZooLights too, if you hadn’t already guessed.

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And the zoo gives you ways to help animals. You can join in celebrating the zoo’s 125th anniversary by helping “bring back the animal that sparked the conservation movement and the founding of our Zoo, the great American bison.” If you give $125, you’ll receive a special invite to see the new bison exhibit opening in 2014. Or you can donate old cell phones to help save primates.

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is located next to the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metrorail stop on the Red Line. Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) Member Nights run from December 2 to 8, where discounts can be had.

Come be a friend of the zoo this holiday season. Take a look at ApartmentShowcase.com and find your next place!

Click here for some great apartments near the Woodley Park Zoo.

Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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