December 2012

We took the kids to Zoolights this weekend and with 1.5 million Christmas lights strung around the Calgary Zoo, this is one of the most spectacular light displays in Calgary. It can get pretty cold, and most of the activities are outdoors so here are a few tips to help make your trip the Zoolights enjoyable.


1.Dress Warm

This might seem obvious but you’d be surprised by the number of people who were underdressed for an evening spent outside in a Calgary winter. My family looked like a group of walking marshmallows in our snow pants, heavy winter coats, toques, mitts and scarves but we were warm!

zoolights 2012-slides
2. Hot Chocolate is always a good idea

We brought a big thermos filled with hot chocolate, along with some left over cookies and squares from our annual Christmas Party. In case you are not in the mood to make and take your own, the Zoo is selling awesome light up mugs sold at Kitamba Café filled with hot chocolate, a great Zoolights souvenir. They always have great treats in the cafe too, and it is warm!

3. Bring light up gear

It was pretty dark and I was constantly stressing about losing my kids. I saw two young boys wielding lightsabres and knew that mom was genius! The boys were having fun with their light up swords and the mom never had to worry about trying to locate her young boys in the dark. If you have glow in the dark or light up anything, bring it. Your kids will love it and you’ll save yourself a small heart attack or two when you turn your back and realize you can’t see your kid.

zoolights 2012-fire

4. Stop by the fire pits

There are number of fire pits scattered around the Calgary Zoo where you can stop by and warm up. Friendly volunteers tending the fire are more than happy to have a quick chat and answer questions. My kids quickly found out they’d get a sweet treat from the volunteers if they waited long enough and tried their darndest to look cute.

5. Visit the Conservatory for a photo op

The Conservatory was a great stop to thaw out in the heat and humidity. Beautifully decorated Christmas trees and hundreds of poinsettias made this a popular photo op for families and couples. We stopped by towards the end of our visit and it really helped thaw the kids out so that they were ready for more.


6. Don’t miss Candyland

This was my kid’s favorite part of Zoolights. I’m not sure if it was because of the massive lit up candy canes sugar plums and lollipops or if it was because they caught a glimpse of a tiger or the small playground or because a zoo staff member was walking around handing out candy or all of the above but they loved Candyland.

There are a ton of adventures to be found at Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo. These were just a few of our favorites. Check out our YouTube video below for a preview of the Candyland section of the Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo. Leave a comment with your favorite spot below!