I didn’t plan to go to Zoolights in Calgary for different reasons, but everyone I met including our landlord and my co-workers told me it’s a must during winter – and it was indeed amazing!
There are some things I wish we’d know before we went so we could have planned our visit better, since Zoolights is only open for three hours. If you’re planning on going to Calgary during November – January, you’ll most likely end up at Zoolights just as we did – and here’s all you need to know about it!
What is Zoolights?
Imagine two million Christmas lights in different shapes and colours wherever you go. Add Christmas music, lots of various activities and the sweet smell of hot chocolate and you got it – Zoolights in Calgary! You find this annual event at Calgary Zoo and it truly seems to be a must-visit for many Calgarians.
Dates, hours and how to get here
The park opens up for Zoolights every evening between 6pm-9pm from November 23, 2018 – January 5, 2019.
If you’re going by car, the adress is 210 St. George’s Drive NE. Look for the parking signs! If you’re planning on going by public transit, take the Ctrain. 202 goes directly to the Zoo and the station is called exactly that – “Calgary Zoo”.
Price and what’s included
I recommend you to book online through Calgary Zoo. You will get a discount on the regular price, which is $14.95 for children (3-15 years old) and $19.95 for adults (16+). Tickets are also available to purchase outside the gates at the zoo.
The best part? As good as everything is included! During my visit to Zoolights in Calgary, I found two things that weren’t – parking, which costs $10, and getting a face painting. Everything else, except food and snacks, is yours to explore for free! That’s why I want to emphasise the importance of getting to Calgary Zoo early. We were inside at 6:30pm and we just made it through the whole park in time.
What you definitely can’t miss at Zoolights in Calgary
There are a few things that really caught our attention, in addition to all the beautiful lights:
- The ice rink. You can bring your own skates or borrow a pair for free. If skating isn’t your thing, you’ll find hot chocolate and maple taffy in the same tent. We started off by skating and ended up eating maple taffy. We did indeed spend a lot of time here and it could have been even more if they weren’t closing at 9pm!
- If you go with your kids, or if you yourself enjoy meeting Santa, don’t forget to go inside and take a photo with him! The queue was a bit too long for us to stay and get our pictures, but I saw lots of happy and excited kids in line with their parents. You’ll find him at the ENMAX Conservatory until December 23. In here, you’ll also find a huge house made of gingerbreads, the possibility to get a face painting and a nice stroll through a greenhouse.
- The fire pits – you’ll find them at different spots around the park! It’s the perfect place to end your visit while sipping on some hot chocolate. We didn’t find them too busy and even got a fire pit for ourselves before the park closed.
- If you go here with your date or anyone you hold dear, make sure to visit the Tunnel of Love! It constantly changes in colour and it’s the perfect spot for taking a picture.
It’s not cold here during winter, it’s freezing. Remember to bring warm clothes and have in mind that Zoolights occasionally has to close down on extremely cold nights! Other than that, you’re ready to go – have a great visit!