On Monday, Nov. 23rd, Zoolights officially opened. Zoolights, which is open from 5 – 9 pm at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, is an event hosted every year that features over half-a-million lights and a plethora of holiday-themed activities.
Tickets at the front gate will be $10 and $8.50 online, but the UWT Student Activities Board has set up a deal with the zoo, making tickets for students only $3. Visit UWY 107 to claim your ticket. Although you may purchase more than one, the limit is four.
A tradition of Point Defiance Zoolights experience is Santa’s visit from the North Pole. On Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23, the South Pacific Aquarium will feature Santa swimming with the sharks at 6 pm. Another tradition is the camel rides. Rides cost $6 but with a picture can be $12.
Another part of Zoolights is getting up close and personal with all the animals. This features a range of animals from dozens of massive sharks to goats and meerkats at Animal Avenue.
An all new part of Zoolights is their animal light displays, which features a 30-foot-wide underwater landscape and a 22-foot-wide moving rock crab. The program also includes a 100-foot octopus on top of the aquarium, a giant tiger head, a lit-up Mount Rainier, and colorful trees.
Freshman Gabi Gonzales attended Zoolights last year, and says that it was “the best winter experience.” Her favorite part about attending Zoolights was all the lights.
On their website, The Point Defiance Zoo has a list of “helpful hints to get the best out of your ZooLights experience.” Their first tip is to buy tickets online. “Instead of waiting in line,” the Zoo site says, “buy your tickets online and scan your tickets at the front gate turnstiles and walk right in.” To buy your tickets online, visit pdza.org. Another tip is to come to the zoo early with a combo pass. These passes include half-price daytime admission into the park as well as Zoolights admission. Combo passes are only available at the zoo’s front gate for $16. Planning ahead and carpooling is another tip provided by the zoo due to parking limitations.
If you are not interested in visiting the zoo before Zoolights and purchasing a combo pass, another option is to come late. According to the Point Defiance website, the crowds start to slow down around 7:30 pm, and coming at that time will benefit you to get away from all the people and just enjoy all the aspects Zoolights has to offer.