Lions and tigers and Santa, oh my! The Akron Zoo is lighting up the holidays with more than one million lights during this year’s family favorite event, Wild Lights presented by Akron Children’s Hospital. Guests will see everything from fun animal displays to a Rockin’ Lighted Spectacular set to holiday music.
Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo is a tradition like no other in Northeast Ohio. Festivities kick off the day after Thanksgiving on November 24 and take place every weekend until December 29.
Holiday lights aren’t the only reason to celebrate the holiday season at the Akron Zoo. Stop by Mrs. C’s Sweets for s’mores and other treats, take a picture with the man in the big red suit and hang out with some other holiday characters, like the Grinch.
Wild Lights is fun for the whole family, which means adults too. Buy a glass of beer or add an adult jolt to your hot chocolate or coffee. Oh yeah, and guests will be able to get nose-to-nose with more than 1,000 animals from around the world!
Putting on an event like this is no easy task. It requires meticulous planning and takes months to set up. Planning for the next year’s event begins almost immediately after Wild Lights ends, and some conversations even begin while the current show is already going on.
Once the displays are planned, the set up begins. Crews begin setting up lights at the end of August and ramp up in September. After all is said and done, the team spends more than 5,000 hours stringing up the lights. This doesn’t include time spent checking every strand once they are up. The team does this every single morning to ensure all of the sets are looking their most “merry and bright.”
The best part about Wild Lights is seeing all of the new displays each year. “We have exciting new changes coming to the show this year including a change to our hill display and some great new photo opportunity areas,” said Senior Facilities & Grounds Manager Amber Acord. “I don’t want to say too much though, but it’s going to be great!”
So, grab your coats, mittens and scarves because Wild Lights at the Akron Zoo is going to be a “beary” good time. We’ll see you there!