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Experience Holiday Magic at Wild Lights, St.Louis Zoo Missouri

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

One of my family's favorite holiday events is an evening at the St. Louis Zoo's Wild Lights. The grounds of the St. Louis Zoo are transformed into a holiday wonderland. This annual extravaganza features sparkling light displays, winter themed treats, and visits to the animals at Penguin & Puffin Coast and the Insectarium. Arrive hungry so you can grab dinner or a snack at one of the dining establishments or buy everything you need to make s'mores at one of the fire pits that will be scattered throughout the Zoo. Warm up with festive drinks, including adult versions of your holiday favorites. Finish your holiday shopping at the gift shops, Wild Lights ticket holders can get a 10% discount on any purchase.

In 2023 Wild Nights will be open Thanksgiving Friday, November 24th - December 30th. You can enter this light extravaganza from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. It is highly recommended that you purchase tickets on their website, in advance. Ticket prices range between $15 to $18 for non members of the Zoo.

You can stroll through the Zoo grounds surrounded by a million shiny lights! Holiday lovers will enjoy animated light displays, fun photo opportunities, holiday carolers, Santa's woodland workshop, roaming entertainers, an animal themed Carousel, and so much more in this brilliantly lit wonderland.

This holiday season, brand-new twinkling light displays include a 40-foot walk-through lighted tree with a photo opportunity. Another new display is Meet Me in St. Louis sparkling with a 15-foot arch and a 17-foot steamboat backdrop. Also newly added is the Peppermint Pathway and Gingerbread Lane. Repeat favorites include the Frosted Forest, Butterfly Grove, Toy Town, Holly Jolly Hangout, Arctic Alley, Twinkling Tunnel.

Look for holiday carolers and other strolling live performances on select nights. Take a ride your favorite animal on the Conservation Carousel and experience the 4D Theater featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 4D. These attractions are free with Wild Lights admission.

Looking for somewhere delicious after exploring the holiday extravaganza, try the Stone Turtle on Clayton Ave just across Hwy 64 from the Zoo. . This gastropub offers a menu that is an updated take on classic American pub fare. All the food, sauces, and dressings are made fresh in house. They have an outstanding bar selection focusing on affordable whiskeys. I had their Dirty Spicy (pictured below), a vodka based dirty martini with a delightful spice.

From all of us at Traveling Tastes, we wish you and your loved ones a magical Holiday Season.


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