In addition to the problems listed above, there seemed to be a lack of holiday spirit in the air. No one seemed to be in a good mood due to the intense crowds and inability to see many of the displays without running into someone. Other holiday zoo events have included special touches to make it more festive such as carolers, tram tours, visits with Santa, and special holiday treats. For some reason, the Phoenix Zoo didn’t seem to incorporate any of these festive additions that make a holiday visit to the zoo so special and memorable.
Nevertheless, if you are visiting Phoenix during the winter months are you are looking for a holiday activity, the Zoo Lights might be your best bet. Be sure to visit on a Value Night as you will save $6 per person. Not the best light show around, however, it is something to do at night during the winter months. For $18 (the general admission price), it is just not worth it for the sub par light display, intense crowds, inconvenient parking situation, and lack of zoo animals. However, visiting on a budget night (just $12 at the gate or $10 online), makes it is a little more worthwhile: still overpriced, but worthy a look if you have nothing else planned.
For next year, I recommend opening up the entire zoo to better manage the crowds. This would also mean more lights and a better possibility of animal sightings, thus justifying the high price tag. In addition, adding a few specialty holiday themed attractions would make the event feel more seasonal, instead of simply feeling like another light show. They did have holiday music playing, although the crowds were much to loud to enjoy the songs (another problem which could easily be resolved by opening up the entire zoo). A few simple changes could make the Phoenix Zoo Lights the entertaining, festive, peaceful night out that it should be!
Location, Dates, & Pricing
The Phoenix Zoo is located at: 455 North Galvin Parkway Phoenix, AZ 85008. The Zoo Lights event runs from November 23-January 15th from 5:30pm-10:30pm.
Tickets are $18 at the gate and $16 online. Value tickets can be purchased on select dates for $12 at the gate or $10 online. Free parking is available, however, you must arrive early to ensure your spot. Or be prepared to walk from the alternate parking lot.
Have you ever attended the Phoenix Zoo Light? What other Phoenix area holiday events would you recommend?