ZooLights Photos: Holiday Lights at the National Zoo

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    ZooLights Lights Up the Zoo During the Holiday Season

    ZooLights Entrance
    ••• ZooLights Entrance. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    ZooLights  is a free winter holiday event at the National Zoo in Washington, DC that is fun for the whole family. The Zoo presents a display of thousands of sparkling lights featuring many of the Zoo’s most popular animals. The annual event is one of the region's favorite. Enjoy the following photos and learn more about the festivities. 

    See ZooLights dates, times and ticketing information

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    Elephants in Lights

    ••• Elephants. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    ZooLights features sculptures of many of the Zoo’s animals as well as brightly illuminated trees, shrubs, and statues. Every night visitors enjoy various musical and theatrical performances on a stage near Lion/Tiger Hill.

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    Visit the Animal Exhibits and Adopt a Species During ZooLights

    Zoolights Cats
    ••• Zoolights Cats. © Smithsonian's National Zoo

    Several animal houses are open to visit during ZooLights including the Small Mammal House, Great Ape House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, and Kids' Farm.

    In this photo, the National Zoo’s male Sumatran tiger Kavi was introduced to the young female tiger, Damai. Visitors can support the zoo's conservation programs with the Adopt a Species package that supports these fascinating felines. With a donation of $65 or more, your special someone will receive a gift set that includes a cuddly plush tiger, a colorful photo, an adoption certificate and more delivered inside an “animal carrier” box.

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    Panda in Lights

    ••• Panda. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Visitors at ZooLights will enjoy the holiday lights, winter-themed crafts, ice sculpting demonstrations, choral groups, and storytellers. The light displays are sponsored by Pepco, the local power company. Smart Energy Talks are given featuring representatives from Pepco who present energy talks to illuminate the best ways to save energy.

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    Howling Wolf in Lights

    ••• Howling Wolf. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Wolves howl at the moon at Zoolights, a holiday light display at the National Zoo. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland complete with a dazzling light show set to music.

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    Snowglobe with Panda

    ••• Snowglobe with Panda. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.
    This is a great spot to take holiday pictures - in front of a 10-ft.-tall snow globe featuring a costume character.
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    Tigers in Lights

    ••• Tigers. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    ZooLights features light sculptures of a variety of zoo animals. The free event includes live music performances, tasty winter treats, and opportunities for holiday shopping.

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    ••• Tamarins. Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    ZooLights features a variety of fun, family-friendly activities and entertainment.


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  • 09 of 10

    ZooLights Train Display at the National Zoo

    ••• © Smithsonian National Zoo

    Zoolights at the National Zoo features a model train display in the National Zoo Visitor’s Center. Watch toy trains as they journey across the Visitor Center through a land of Legos and an alphabet countryside.

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    Zoolights Gingerbread Habitat

    ••• Ging-grr-bread Habitat Contest. © Smithsonian National Zoo

    Gingerbread enthusiasts can enter the National Zoo’s “Ging-grr-bread Habitat” contest. A twist on the traditional gingerbread house, contestants are asked to build a gingerbread lion habitat in honor of the Zoo’s new cubs. Here's an example of one of the entries. See ZooLights dates, times and ticketing information

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