Guest View: A Great Night for Wild Lights

Guest View: A Great Night for Wild Lightsessential

(Adam Cooley, Nov. 29, 2014)

While meeting friends at Java Hutt for chat and coffee drinks, we decided nobody was really in the mood to go to the bar that evening and my friend brought up the Wild Lights display at the Detroit Zoo. A quick search showed the event is running weekends from Nov. 22 to the end of the year. Having been to the Wayne County Lightfest a few times, I always enjoyed seeing the enormous and seemingly impossible displays of light and motion from the car window and was excited to walk around them.

Last night seed029_keyser_familywas really a perfect evening for it- the day was a bit cold dry and dreary, but once the snow hit, it really transformed the landscape – and no doubt, made the walk-through more magical!

After parking ($6/car), one enters the zoo through the main gates ($10/person, plus $1.00 if you choose to buy a viewer- almost like paper 3D glasses, but though, with my eyes, it just made everything blurry) and start walking the main path decorated with wrapped trunks and lighted archways until you approach a clearing and you get a really great view of the entire zoo, lighted, colorful and animated!

About a third of the way through the path, an ice carving takes place beneath the pavilion, and in the Ford Education Center, an exhibit of the Natural History Museum; Wildlife Photographer of the Year is on display. Near the Ford Education Center and across the Rackham fountain,934_8600_Gen-Online_Banners3 following around the path past the Arctic Ring of Life and Café, we begin to see more animal themed displays and animations including an impressive animated “snow globe” as well as dinosaurs and an animated pterodactyl. (Dinosaurs at Christmas!)

The backside of the Ford center is decorated in lighting set to the tunes of Manheim-Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra and spattered throughout the path are bonfires, booths where one can buy lighted trinkets for the kids and others where one waterworkcan buy cocoa and coffee (with a shot of peppermint schnapps or coffee liqueur, if so desired).

Also, some of the indoor animal exhibits are open to warm up in, such as watching the playful otters! The path is just long enough, given the cold, and filled to the brim with fun visuals for a family-friendly evening!

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