I'm a freelance writer and proud mom of two. I've lived in Seattle my whole life and I still find new places to explore all the time. This is a great place to live!

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Brave the Rain at Wildlights

If you’ve been thinking it’s too rainy to check out Wildlights at the Woodland Park Zoo, let me tell you, I’ve done it, and it was a blast.

I went to the members’ preview of the new holiday light extravaganza, and there was pouring rain and even a little hail, but my kids had so much fun. This is partly because there are plenty of ways to escape the elements at this beautiful exhibit. Here’s how we navigated the dramatic weather:

The Snowmazium (AKA the Zoomazium) We already go there on rainy days anyway, so this was our first stop. (We got to see lots of pretty lights on the way.) The popular indoor playground is cleverly set up to mimic a winter wonderland. There are fluffy cotton snowballs for impromptu, ice-free battles and the cutest build-your-own snowman area in the toddler section. All sorts of felt features can be arranged on stackable white felt cushions that look like oversized marshmallows. It was a bit hectic, with snowman eyes and noses all over the floor, but the kids loved it. Though we didn’t catch it during our visit, there are also story times each night at 6 and 8:20 pm.

A felt "snowman" in the Snomazium


The Day Exhibit/Former Nocturnal House
The reptile and amphibian house is the only animal exhibit open during Wildlights hours. Once you have walked through that, there’s a light exhibit set up in the old nocturnal house. I had a hard time enjoying the display, because I still miss the animals that used to be in there so much, but it was nice to see the space in use.

The Carousel
It’s magical to ride this amazing merry-go-round at night. The lights are much more vivid, and with the wildlights outside, it is even more beautiful.

The Reindeer Exhibit
In the picnic shelter near the carousel there is a covered pen with two visiting reindeer. If the rain starts to pour, linger here a while and ask the zookeeper/docent a few questions about these lovely animals.
Another beautiful thing about Wildlights is that a lot of it can be seen from these locations or at least under some kind of cover. When the weather starts to get chillier, you won’t have to worry about your little ones getting too cold.

And the lights–I should mention them right? They are gorgeous. Lots of animals and nature features of course, and some pretty stunning arches and canopies as well. They run along the corridor from the Zoomazium to near the Northern Trail exhibit. There are also carolers every night and food booths with all sorts of goodies. Check out the event schedule for information about other special performances and events, including ice carving, live music and crafts.

This is a great exhibit! I hope Wildlights will become a new annual tradition for the zoo. For details, check out the zoo’s website.

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