Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to hold ‘ZOOLights’ event

The first night is Dec. 9.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens will mark the beginning of the holiday season with “ZOOLights” starting on Dec. 9.

The event, sponsored by Community First Credit Union, includes “an extravaganza of lights, interactive art installations, music, culinary treats and visits with Santa Claus.”

2022 is the 11th year that Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has held ZOOLights. Dates for this season are Dec. 9-11, 15-18, and 22-24. Each of those days the holiday lights be on from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“Guests will experience a winter wonderland of over 2 million twinkling, colorful lights highlighting the fantastical beauty of the Zoo’s gardens. More than 10 themed areas are designed with creative imagery, choreographed motifs and beloved holiday traditionsm,” a news release said.

“Friends or family can capture the experience in selfies with Instagram-worthy backdrops nestled throughout the Zoo. Guests will enjoy holiday traditions of musical performances and special appearances and photo ops with themed characters. For those looking to elevate the experience, holiday treats of hot chocolate and s’mores, culinary delights, adult beverages and one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts are available for purchase. To top off the magical evening, Santa Claus himself will be available for personalized photos.”

Guests can save $5 on tickets by purchasing them in advance online. Admission includes access to the 4D theater and unlimited rides on the Wildlife Carousel for children ages 12 and under. Children aged 2 and under are free.

The zoo said it expects each night to sell out, so tickets should be purchased soon.

Staff Reports


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