Wild Lights at the St. Louis Zoo
The St. Louis Zoo is one of my very favorite places to visit and it's the perfect activity any time of year!
You may think the only time to visit a zoo would be in the summer, and while that's a great time, St. Louis makes sure there are activities happing all year round.
The St. Louis Zoo is free every day of the year, but then they have fundraising events to help support the massive undertaking that is running a top rated zoo.
So to attend the Wild Lights event, you must purchase tickets. You can usually buy them in advance, online and if it's not too crowded, you can purchase them at the gate. (And, head's up, the closer you get to Christmas and New Year, the ticket prices go up!)
Along with entrance to the park- and the amazing displays of lights, which made me happy all by themselves- also included with the ticket price was free parking. (That was certainly a treat because by the time you are finished with the park you're probably freezing and want your car as close as possible!)
You also get admission to several of the houses, like the Penguin/Puffin Coast and the Insectarium. The sea lions cove was open, but the sea lions were all sleeping elsewhere.
They had lots of projects for the kids scattered in various areas and plenty of holiday snacks available along the way. (The lines were crazy long, but, it was cold!). One of the snacks available were S'mores kits, and they came with, you guessed it, two graham crackers, a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow plus a long stick! Around the concession stand, small propane fire pits burned low for marshmallow melting and to warm cold fingers.
They of course, had hot chocolate, but they also had the adult version as well!
This year, I was able to make it out to enjoy the holiday lights they call Wild Lights at the Zoo. A small portion of the zoo is lit up with Christmas lights in various scenes and decorating the walkways. I love Christmas lights! And this satisfies even my need for colorful Christmas decorations. (Let's be real, I'm not decorating the camper like this!)
I didn't have any "littles" with me, but there were also several photo stops to get perfectly precious pictures to commemorate the holiday season.
So, before you ask, nope, the animals were not in any of the outside enclosures. While the zoo wasn't necessarily closed off, it was discouraged to venture further than the decorated areas, but just in case, all of the animals were safely tucked away. The lights bother them and cause them to be agitated.
Holiday music and even a few street entertainers could be found to make everything perfect. If you can't find the holiday spirit while you're here, you're in big trouble.
Extra bonus for me this year, I went with my bff, Tonya. We've been friends for over 30 years. The holidays are such a great time to get out and enjoy these hometown events and create new memories.
If you're interested it is usually open just after Thanksgiving until the New Year. They continually out-do themselves every year, but since I travel (and try to escape being cold), I've missed out the past few years.
For more information about Wild Lights or other events held at the St. Louis Zoo, click here to get all the details.
Elizabeth Bourgeret is an author, blogger, podcast host and full-time traveller. Here is where you'll find her adventures. Grab your beverage of choice, pull of a chair and dive in...