ZOOLIGHTS! Enjoy A Free Evening At The Washington DC Zoo

The entrance to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park

The entrance to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park

The day is done. You are fed, rested, and ready to do something. There’s nothing good on TV, so why not get out for a few hours? Gather your family or friends and take a stroll through the zoo. There are over 500,000 environmentally friendly light displays, many set to music, throughout the park.

Along the main pathway in the zoo.

Along the main pathway in the zoo.

I thought the light display was going to be kind of weak. You know, a few lights in the trees. But I was wrong in a big way. Everywhere you look there are really cool vignettes of animals and different scenes like trains and birds flying through the trees.

Hummingbird display

Hummingbird display

Panda display

Panda display

The children I encountered were thrilled. They spontaneously broke out into Christmas carols and infected the adults with joy.

Dancing Tree Lights display

Dancing Tree Lights display

The zoo gift shops are open for Christmas shopping. There are holiday treats available as well. Live music performances take place nightly.

Tiger and cubs display

Tiger and cubs display

Lion and cubs display

Lion and cubs display

Take your camera or cell phone to get selfies in front of the displays. They will make great e-cards to send out.

Palm Tree and Flamingos display

Palm Tree and Flamingos display

I intend to make a tradition of seeing the ZooLights every year. It’s a brilliant (pun intended) pick-me-up after a long day.

Train display

Train display

Zoo Lights at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park

ZooLights entrance

ZooLights is open every evening from 5 – 9 through January 1st except for December 24, 25, and 31st.

Take the Red line Metro to the Woodley Park exit. It’s only a couple of block from the station. On Saturday nights, there’s a complimentary shuttle bus that runs from the metro station to the zoo every 20 minutes. Look for the red double decker bus. If you drive go early because parking is limited. Be prepared to pay a steep parking fee – $20 if you are not a member of the zoo.

Have fun.

*All images © 2014 Gina Genis

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