Christmas at the Zoo puts up bigger light display

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)– The Indianapolis Zoo is getting visitors in the Christmas spirit a little earlier this year.

For the first time, the Christmas at the Zoo event will begin the week before Thanksgiving and feature a larger light display than in years past.

“We want to make sure that absolutely every corner of the zoo is covered in Christmas lights,” Carla Knapp with the zoo said.

Christmas at the Zoo also brings participation from some of the zoo’s tigers, red pandas, brown bears and walruses. Guests can also interact with wintertime dogs, penguins and reindeer. The zoo’s indoor exhibits also are available to visitors.

The zoo launched the event in 1967. This year, for the fifth straight, Christmas at the Zoo was nominated for USA Today’s “10 Best Zoo Lights.” More than 100,000 guests visit each year.

This year, a new display at the Holiday Harmony Stage will dance to the sounds of voices. All the LED lights are presented by Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent.

Santa’s Village is the largest recent addition to Christmas at the Zoo. For a special treat, children can decorate cookies in Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen presented by Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent.

While local choirs fill the night with the familiar sounds of holiday carols, visitors can chase the chill away with a cup of hot cocoa or even a seasonal cocktail presented by Hotel Tango.

Christmas at the Zoo schedule

  • Event runs Saturday through Dec. 30
  • Closed: Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28), Christmas Eve and Day.
  • Hours: The zoo will be at noon. Christmas at the Zoo activities will go from 5-9 p.m., extending until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Tickets are available online.

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