Zoolights returns to Calgary for 20th year

Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo is lighting up the night with 1.5 million Christmas lights, until Saturday, Jan. 6. The event includes seven weeks of family-friendly activities that promote wildlife conservation.
There will be classic activities like ice skating as well as brand new ones special to this year.
For the last 20 years, the Calgary Zoo has invited the public to enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Christmas lights, and this year Zoolights will be featuring several new themes for guests to interact with.
The Enmax Conservatory is housing an Alice in Wonderland themed adventure, which includes the Mad Hatter’s tea party, Santa in the Queen of Hearts throne, and a trip down the rabbit hole with Alice in the Garden of Life.
“It has been my dream to do the Alice in Wonderland theme,” said Roz Freeman, Senior Specialist, Special Events and Experience at the Calgary Zoo.
Freeman said guests will be able to sit down at the Mad Hatter’s table to take pictures. The Mad Hatter himself will be present every Thursday evening.
Another new theme this year is, “animals in the winter.” Freeman said the Zoo wants to take extra time to talk about the migration, hibernation, and adaptation of certain animals.
One of the hands-on activities is a habitat building station, where guests can build their own den to get cozy in.
“It’s a cool experience to immerse yourself, and feel what it’s like to go to sleep for the winter,” said Freeman.
The skating rink, sponsored by the Calgary Hitman, has a Sugar Shack where guests can roll maple syrup in snow.
Madison Friesen, a student at St. Mary’s University, said that she is excited to go skating with her boyfriend and family, and check out Wonderland at the Enmax Conservatory.
“It’s a tradition to go with friends or family, so it’s about keeping that tradition alive,” said Friesen.
For more information on Zoolights events, Freeman said, “we encourage people to check out the website,, to check out what’s happening on any given night.”
Zoolights is open nightly from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are available online, or at the doors. General admission is $14.95 or $11.95 for children.

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