Winter Wonderland

More than 5 million LEDs transform a Detroit Zoo stroll into a wild experience

Each holiday season, the Detroit Zoo gets cast in an entirely different glow — courtesy of more than 5 million LED lights.

The annual Wild Lights exhibit transforms the front of the zoo into a magical glimmering walkway. Trees, buildings, and animal sculptures light the way through live entertainment, cookie decorating, storytelling, and ice-carving demonstrations. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit will also be on display. Visitors can purchase seasonal refreshments and gifts, take photos with “Santa Paws” (the zoo’s polar bear mascot), and ride the carousel. There’s also a chance to see The Polar Express 4-D Experience at the Wild Adventure Zone’s 4-D Theater, and the Wild Adventure Zone’s Simulator Ride will feature “Happy Feet: Mumble’s Wild Ride.”

Wild Lights runs for 24 nights, from 5:30-9 p.m. Nov. 22-23 and 28-30 and Dec. 5-7, 11-14, 18-23, and 26-31. Admission is $8 per person in advance and $10 at the gate for ages 2 and older (younger than 2 are admitted free); parking is $6 per car. For more information, visit or call 248-541-5717.

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