DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – We haven’t quite made it to Halloween, but the Dallas Zoo is already preparing for the holiday season.
The Dallas Zoo Lights holiday tradition continues this year, but with a safe and socially distant twist. This year’s event has been reimagined as a drive-thru, this means guests will enjoy zoo holiday cheer from the comfort of their vehicle.
On select nights, between November 20 and January 3, guests can drive through the zoo ‘winter wonderland’. This year’s display will feature more than one million sparkling lights and lighted displays. The more than one-mile-long driving path will take guests on a winding route through areas of the zoo that haven’t been open to the public for years, and then through ZooNorth and back out the front entrance.
The drive-thru event is designed to let guests see holiday lights after most of the animals have ‘gone to bed’ for the night. Animals will not be viewable along the event.
Anyone wanting to see the Dallas Zoo Lights must purchase a timed ticket in advance from the zoo website. When purchasing tickets, guests choose a window of time for their entry and are asked to arrive at the zoo during that window to get in line for the drive-thru.
“Despite this year being one of the most challenging we’ve ever faced, we felt we had to find a way to deliver on what already has become a must-see holiday tradition for so many North Texans,” said Gregg Hudson, Dallas Zoo president and CEO.
The Zoo has created themed vignettes along the drive-thru path, showcasing silk-covered animal lanterns on a safari of lights, Santa’s candy cane lane, and a trio of penguins on an Antarctic adventure! Between vignettes, guests will be surrounded by light-wrapped trees, overhead and hanging lighted decorations, and 2D and 3D animal and holiday displays.
In addition to the drive-thru sights, guests can pre-order gift bags full of holiday goodies to enjoy along the ride. The zoo also will provide a holiday soundtrack that guests can tune into via AM radio as they travel the path.
The Dallas Zoo will be open for normal visits from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and then the new drive-thru version of Dallas Zoo Lights Presented by Reliant opens at 6:30 p.m.
The Reliant Holiday Village located outside at the end of the drive-thru gives guests the opportunity to park, walk around while still social distancing, take part in lighted photo ops before heading home.
The pre-sale for Dallas Zoo members starts Monday, November 2, and then all remaining tickets go on sale Thursday, November 5.