It’s been a couple of Christmases since we went to Zoolights at The Phoenix Zoo. It was definitely past time to venture into the crowd and see the updates they’ve added to their collection over the years. It’s hard to believe that the zoo has been doing this for 25 years now! Seeing millions of lights all in one place is fun and it just makes the holiday season seem so magical. It takes them months to put up (and take down) these lights. And it’s an impressive display for sure.
Boy did we sure pick the night to go… it was “Intel night” so there were thousands of Intel employees and their families present. We also brought our 3 nephews, their mom, and my mother-in-law. We had quite the crowd ourself but it was so much fun!
Our nephews LOVE LEGOS! The Phoenix Zoo currently has LEGO exhibits set up so we got to see these in addition to the awesome lights! If you go for ZooLights, you’ll see a handful. To see them all, you’ll need to visit the zoo during daylight when you can access all of the trails.
On The Phoenix Zoo’s website, they describe the LEGO display like this:
“Nature Connects® is an award-winning, record-breaking exhibition currently touring across the country. Created with over 1 million LEGO® pieces, the show features 27 animal and flora sculptures built with LEGO bricks thanks to the vision of esteemed artist Sean Kenney.”
These LEGO displays are pretty cool because some of them have like 60,000+ LEGOS depending upon the display and take several hundred hours to complete. I think they must also glue them together once finished because I don’t know how they’d stay standing otherwise. If you have thoughts on that, lemme know! I’m curious. Here are some of my favorite LEGO displays that are currently at the zoo:
Shortly after we began touring ZooLights, one of our nephews lost his beanie and we had to re-trace our path. Luckily, we found it without a problem. Crisis averted! Phew.
We kept going and taking in all of the lights until we decided it was time for hot cocoa. So, we bought some for the kids and immediately warned them it’d be hot. Having averted the almost-lost-beanie-crisis, that nephew decided to wait a bit to drink his. Another nephew decided he no longer wanted his, and the third went straight in for a big gulp.
Hot-cocoa-crisis-NOT-averted. He now had a burnt tongue and wanted nothing to do with hot chocolate after that until it was nearly gone and lukewarm. I admit that as the person he asked to hold his hot cocoa while it cooled down… I drank most of it. Can’t let hot cocoa go to waste while it’s hot! Plus, there were marshmallows. #justsayin 😉
We worked our way back around the
lake pond and stopped to watch the light show where they coordinate the music that’s playing with the lights. We watched as The Trans-Siberian Orchestra blared over the loudspeakers and lights danced, shimmered, and sparkled in perfect synchronization. (Bonus: check out my Instagram feed for a short, 30-second video of the song and light show: If you aren’t yet, follow me on Instagram @copperandcacti ).
A short time later we worked our way back to the car (where we then stood trying to get into someone else’s car for a good solid minute…while ours was parked literally 3 spots away and nearly identical to the one we were at. I mean…who hasn’t done that!? Oops.)
I think the kids had a ton of fun seeing all of the lights (and especially the LEGOS) and it was family time well spent. There’s still time to go see the LEGO displays if you’re so inclined (now through January 2nd).
If you want to get in more festivities and see Christmas lights before they disappear for several months, you can still visit The Phoenix Zoo for ZooLights until January 8, 2017. Hours are 5:30-10:30pm nightly and more info can be found here. (Note: Animal viewing is pretty limited when you go to ZooLights, so don’t expect to see many live animals while there at night.)
Have you been to ZooLights? If so, what do you like about it? Let me know! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a Happy New Year! See you in 2017, friends!
I’ll leave you with a couple more photos from ZooLights: