It was the runner up in the USA Today, zoo lights competition.
The aquarium was recently renovated. We didn't go in, as the line snaked all along the outside of the building.
I loved the animal heads on poles throughout the zoo.
We also didn't go in the aviary, but we did find a few birds in the trees outside.
Some lighted giraffe
Another giraffe and a gorilla hiding among the trees.
I can not imagine how many hours go into to hanging the lights on just the zoo trees. The lights are wrapped so meticulously around the branches.
Many light displays were animated. This bear is after some salmon headed upstream.
This animated fox jumps over some bushes.
The moose is enjoying some dinner.
This turtle just keeps swimming.
And these kangaroo just keep hopping along.
This peacock really struts it's feathers, fanning them over and over.
This tiger drinks a lot of water.
These tree frogs jump in and out of the tree, over and over.
Ice Carving Demonstration
Very intricate work
"The Big Tree" is 65-70 years old and more than 85 feet tall. It has been named one of the top five trees in the nation by Parade magazine. The lowest branches from tip to tip are 50 feet in diameter. The trunk circumference is eight feet seven inches and it is estimated to weigh seven tons. More than 35,000 LED lights (almost 3 miles of lights) cover the Big Tree. It takes a crew approximately one week to decorate the tree.
The dancing trees are always a favorite. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas sang by Gayla Peavy is so appropriate.
Our two grandsons could have watched all night, along with both sets of parents and the uncles.
Carol of the Bells by Callann Lane
Musicbox Dancer by DJ Schwede
The Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve in Sarajevo and Jingle Bells by Michael Buble filled the rest of the play list.
We warmed up by watching the model trains.
And had to have another view of the dancing lights.
You can find some clips of the lights in action on youtube.
We could have watched all night, but it was pretty chilly when we visited.
My children could remember making these molded plastic figures from their childhood.
Of course, they had to make one for old times sake.
The "Lights Before Christmas" began in 1986. A core crew of 12-15 zoo employees begin decorating in early August. Almost 70 miles of lights are utilized throughout the zoo. Nearly 10 miles of extension cords are put to use. It takes about two months to take down all the lights, sort and prepare them for storage. Over 200 lighted animal images are on display. Our children think this is the perfect place for a date. Now that a couple are married, they enjoy taking their children as well. We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful zoo within driving distance. We had a very enjoyable evening with all of our children and grandchildren.
When we returned home, the teapot was anxious to warm up with a pot of Candy Cane Lane tea.
Sips and Smiles,
Teresa and the Teapot