As 2019 enters the double digit months that can only mean one thing; the holidays will soon be upon us. There’s definitely a beautiful shift in the color scheme of our beloved city as we slowly glide through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas before welcoming in the new year (as well as the annual arrival of low temperatures and the dreaded ‘S’ word – Snow). But of all the aforementioned holidays one way that Philly has always gotten into the Christmas spirit is by throwing up Christmas lights on everything from the trees aligning Market Street to the lighting of the gigantic Christmas tree just outside of City Hall at Dilworth Park. But did you know that in addition to the bright lights in Peddlers Village and multicolored walkways of Jeweler’s Row there’s another Christmas attraction coming to the Philadelphia Zoo called LumiNature?
It is an exhibit that will feature thousands of Christmas themed lighting displays featuring animals as the stars of the show. Now, in all fairness this isn’t the first time a zoo in our region has done something like this. Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown also has an annual Christmas light show called Wild Lights, which will be selling tickets very soon.
LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo will mirror the holiday splendor of its counterpart in Norristown, yet this marks the first time the zoo has ever done anything like this. And they have been working very hard behind the scenes on this new attraction as well. For the past two and a half years the zoo has been preparing LumiNature for its debut and now they’re finally ready to show off their efforts by opening the exhibit to the public beginning on November 20, just in time for a fun outing for those with family visiting during the busy Thanksgiving holiday.
LumiNature isn’t going to be something that was simply thrown together to secure some of your Christmas cash because the zoo has reportedly spent $3.5 million on this latest endeavor. And early renderings of the exhibit look very promising. In an interview with Philly Voice the zoo’s chief marketing officer Amy Shearer had nothing but good things to say about their new exhibit, adding that LumiNature “is set to be the most unique and memorable holiday-season light extravaganza in the entire Philadelphia and tristate region.”
It’s sure to be quite an experience when it finally opens but what exactly will LumiNature have to offer those willing to partake in this inaugural event?
Tickets for LumiNature will range from $24 for adults and $19 for children, with Philadelphia Zoo Members receiving special discounts and free parking.
Once inside there will be winter themed beverages for kids and adults as well as twelve immersive attractions showcasing over 600,000 lights throughout the entire zoo, transforming it into a winter wonderland at night. Some attractions include Big Cat Stalk, which will give people an opportunity to walk through an illuminated path of tall grass while catching glimpses of jungle cats’ eyes flashing in the darkness (don’t worry, they’re just lights).
Another attraction is Flamingo Fancy, which is a huge twenty-five foot tree completely comprised of illuminated flamingo lawn ornaments. You probably thought you wouldn’t be seeing any of those things again until next summer, but the zoo is going to hook you up by making them the star of your winter nights this Christmas season.
One of the coolest things they’ll be showcasing is Penguin Peace on Earth, which is a display of hundreds of illuminated penguins sprawled across the zoo’s lawn to bid the guests adieu as they exit the zoo.
It looks like the Philadelphia Zoo is trying to make LumiNature a brand new tradition that can be enjoyed by the entire family, especially those who love Christmas lights and animals. However if you’re planning on going just know that tickets must be purchased in advanced as they are sold in blocks of time. So don’t wait too long. For more information about LumiNature, which runs from November 20 until January 5, click here.