Since there are only 3 more days left to visit our Zoo's Festival of Lights this year,
this post is more for me to look back at next year for reminders.
Unless you have nothing to do one of the next three nights and you are local.
Things to remember about the Festival of Lights:
- Go early. Although the Festival of Lights' hours are 5-9 each night, the zoo is open from 9-5. We arrived between 4-4:30 and it was perfect. There was plenty of parking, no line to get in, etc. (When we left at 7:00 the entrance gate was CRAZY, the parking lots were full and traffic around the zoo was at a complete stop.)
- Then head straight for the train. Again, the line wasn't bad because it wasn't completely dark yet. The kids still enjoyed it, because for them it was more about the train ride than every little light being bright.
- Eat beforehand. We ate at 3:30 which meant no main meal at the zoo. Not so much about cost as about ease. Dining with toddlers outdoors is enough work when it's warm and you are picnicking. Add cold weather and lots of accessories...mittens, scarves, etc. and it's just not fun. The small snack and treat were troublesome enough.
- Bring a blanket. If you still tote a stroller around, add a blanket or drape one around like a scarf or something. We had two with us and were extremely glad when it came time to sit anywhere. Chairs and benches are COLD on the bum in 30-degree weather.
- See the Madcap Puppet show. Well worth it. But again, bring a blanket. Cement benches are another level of cold.
- Don't expect to see a lot of animals. Like HallZOOween, it's more about the seasonal experience than the animals during this trip. Sure, there are animals indoors, but guess what? Everyone goes there to get warm...extremely crowded.
- Stop by the Talking Tigers - "Blizzard" and "Snowflake". This is no recording. They can actually see you and converse with you. Stella was amazed that they thought her "pink Dora hat was too cute".
- Stand in line for the roasted nuts. If you don't (I didn't) you will think about them the entire next day and really wish you would have. It will most likely haunt you until next year. An endless craving.
- Come up with a better answer to Stella's questions, "Why didn't Frosty talk??" (my response was something about him having trouble with his head and maybe it really was a girl with that apron and all = redirection) and "Where is the giraffe with the broken arm?" (I focused more on the fact that her leg was broken and so she just went away because they couldn't fix it = redirection again. Now, I'm not afraid to talk about heaven with her - have already - but it wasn't the time nor the place due to the crowd of kids and her mood.)
- Wear socks. Long story, but I had no socks. Not smart. Extremely comfortable flats, but my toes were froze. (Not what I planned to wear!)