Well, friends, this is it for Year #1 of my Indy Holiday Guide. I’m going to have to do some more festive things so I’ll have more to write about next year. There are definitely additional things that I’ve checked out once and haven’t made it back to, but everything I’m featuring on the blog is worth a repeat visit. I’m excited to tell you about Christmas at the Zoo because it was my VERY FIRST holiday event in Indianapolis. I moved to Indianapolis in the summer of 2010 and had just made my very first friend, Jessica, who suggested that we have a friend date at the zoo. I picked her up in her old apartment and we made our way downtown to the zoo. We had good luck on our choice of night because we found easy parking AND scored tickets to the Christmas dolphin show (tickets are included with admission cost, but are usually sold out by the time I arrive). We had a wonderful time seeing the lights, watching the animals, and talking about boys and graduate school. We’ve been friends ever since and I still think about her on my many repeat visits to the zoo.
Now on to the actual experience: many zoos offer a light display, so the idea is not very creative. You walk around and enjoy the lights. Pretty simple concept. The Indianapolis Zoo has been hosting a Christmas light exhibit for 50 years now, so they seem to really have it down. On top of looking at the lights, you can also see some animals, visit with Santa, decorate cookies, listen to local choirs, drink hot chocolate, kiss under the mistletoe, take family pictures, and warm yourself by several strategically placed fires. It’s definitely a complete family-friendly holiday experience.
The only part I don’t like? It’s expensive. Prices are on a fluctuating schedule depending on weather and popularity of the day and such, but they’re usually around $20 for adults and $13 for kids, plus parking and snack costs, so this can very easily turn into a $50+ outing when Husband and I just want to enjoy a nice holiday light walk. I know the high prices are definitely an incentive to buy a zoo membership because Christmas at the Zoo is included if you have a membership. ALSO! The entire city of Indianapolis comes to this event! So expect VERY LONG traffic lines when trying to park and when trying to leave. The zoo parking lot is HUGE, but you’re still going to be walking a while to get inside. AND! Expect to see/hear lots of screaming and yelling children. Everywhere. Please don’t step on them.
Even though it’s December 19, you still have plenty of time to head to the zoo because the light displays last until 12/30/18. You can learn more and buy tickets here.
Christmas at the Zoo is getting some competition lately with Lights at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Winterlights at Newfields, among others, so the people of Indianapolis definitely have choices. I’ve decided that I will probably alternate years at each one so I can spread my love equally and prevent each one from getting boring. They are all so festive, though, and are sure to put you and your family in a good mood.
Do you have a favorite light display in Indianapolis??