There’s so much to do and see at Dallas Zoo Lights presented by Reliant. Here are a few of the best-kept secrets and spots you absolutely MUST see, straight from the Zoo Lights pros.
Pro tip #1: Cozy up to the fire, and make your own s’mores at the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo.
Pro tip #2: Sip on some hot cocoa from Rudolph’s Sugar Shack. (Pssst…grown-ups, don’t forget to make yours extra special with a shot of Bailey’s and/or Peppermint Schnapps. 😉 )
Pro tip #3: Say hi to Santa! He’s kind of a big deal.
Pro tip #4: Get your craft on at our nature-themed ornament making station.
Pro tip #5: If you get chilly, head inside the Herpetarium or Bug U! to warm up.
Pro tip #6: Get in the holiday spirit with sounds of the season – catch nightly musical performances at Cat Green.
Pro tip #7: Take advantage of the most Instagram-worthy photo op – Rainbow Arch!
Pro tip #8: Stroll through Picnic Ridge and check out our newest light feature – larger-than-life animal-shaped lanterns.
Pro tip #9: Satisfy your sweet tooth – be sure to grab a funnel cake and a specialty donut. (Or two – who’s counting?)
Pro tip #10: Dallas Zoo Members get in FREE! Plus, tons of other perks all year long. Sign up to become a member today, and get 10% any level of membership. Take advantage of that deal HERE.
Did we miss anything? If you’ve been to Dallas Zoo Lights and have some more pro tips to share, let us know in the comments!
Click HERE for the full Dallas Zoo Lights schedule and to get your tickets now.
Collection bin is located at the Zoo’s front entrance throughout Dallas Zoo Lights and will remain until January 13.
Are you tangled up in holiday lights? Don’t know what to do or where to turn? Fear not! Bring us your old string lights, and we’ll keep them out of landfills by recycling them responsibly. Many string lights are made with copper and other precious metals, which are harvested through mining in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo where critically endangered gorillas and okapi live. Recycling these metals reduces the need to mine for new materials, which causes animal habitat destruction and other harmful effects to our environment.
There are so many reasons to recycle, but here are a just few ways that recycling benefits the environment and will help us Create a Better World for Animals:
- Less waste sent to landfills provides more habitat space for wildlife.
- Reduces the risk of waste making its way into places it shouldn’t, like the ocean, where animals can accidentally ingest it or become tangled.
- Allows us to reuse materials without having to harvest new ones, including copper and plastics.
- It takes less energy to recycle materials than to create new ones.
What do we do with these old lights? They go to our trusted metal recycler where they’re broken down and the parts are recycled individually.
*Only string lights will be accepted for recycling; please do not bring other items like flood lights, extension cords or light hooks.
It’s that time of year again at the Zoo—Dollar Day! This annual summer day is our way of giving back and saying “thank you” to our amazing community that supports us year-round. While Dollar Day is one of the most exciting days at the Zoo, it’s also one of the busiest. So here are a few tips for you to make the most of your Zoo day:
- GET HERE EARLY. Parking lots open at 7 a.m. and gates at 9 a.m., but lines will begin forming at the entrances well before that.
- TAKE THE DART RED LINE RIGHT TO OUR DOOR. Parking is limited, and with the attendance we expect on Dollar Day, public transportation is such a great alternative to driving personal vehicles.
- COME WITH A PLAN. Take a look at a map of the Zoo before you come and figure out your plan for the day. Consider which half of the Zoo you want to visit first: Wilds of Africa (hippos, giraffes, elephants, lions, Gorilla Trail) or ZooNorth (Children’s Zoo, reptiles, tiger, monkeys, etc.). Also consider which keeper chats you want to attend and which Wonders of the Wild show you want to catch. At 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m., you can experience our interactive 20-minute wildlife show in ZooNorth.
- PREPARE FOR THE WEATHER. The forecast calls for sun, with temps over 100 degrees. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and to stay hydrated throughout the day!
- PACK YOUR PATIENCE. The Zoo is going to be crowded. This day is always one of our busiest. Please be patient if you encounter lines and please be nice to your fellow visitors.
- SPEAK UP IF YOU NEED HELP. If you have a question, problem, or just need directions, please find a uniformed staffer and ask for help. We’re here to make sure you have the best experience!
If you get hungry during your Zooventure, not to worry. We have $2 hot dogs, chips, and sodas, and $1 canned water available for purchase. Sponsored by Oncor, MetroPCS, and Children’s Health, Dollar Day is going to be a busy day full of fun. Can’t wait to see you there!
Whether it’s a tamandua high up in the sky at Reunion Tower or penguins at a Texas Rangers ballgame, you never quite know where the Dallas Zoo’s Animal Adventures outreach team will go next. With just seven staff members, the team carries out nearly 1,000 animal outreach programs a year across North Texas, bringing animal encounters to places like, schools, hospitals, businesses, convention centers, and many iconic Dallas locations.
When the small staff is not on the road, they’re tending to the needs of the 40 educational ambassador animals that delight, inspire and educate those attending an outreach experience. The job sounds demanding, however for Animal Adventures outreach team manager, Allyssa Leslie, the well-being of the ambassador animals remains top priority, “We work hard to ensure our animals feel safe and comfortable traveling with us. It’s great to see that when we go out to these events, the animals choose to come out with us because they know they’re safe and it’s interesting for them to go to new places.”
Despite all the variety this team experiences, some trips are so special that they’re repeated over and over again. Thanks to the Simmons Animal Safari program, and a treasured partnership with Children’s Health established in 2014, the outreach team returns to the hospital every few months to provide magical up-close animal encounters to small patients overcoming big obstacles.
The outreach team, including two-toed sloth Lola and African penguin duo, Sid and Jazz, arrive with the humble goal of encouraging smiles while gifting a special experience to those families who have more on their plate than planning a trip to the Zoo at this time.
“Even for the children that cannot physically come down to see the presentation, Children’s Health broadcasts the program into their rooms so they can enjoy it as well,” Leslie shares of the experience, “We are glad to be able to go out and hopefully bring some joy and fun memories for the patients and their families.”
Following the animal presentation, families are encouraged to come up close and commemorate the experience with a photo with an animal ambassador. Leslie watches on as the patients eagerly line up to have their moment at the front of the stage, “It’s so wonderful to see the excitement on the kids and their families’ faces when they get to see the animals so close!” she gushes.
At the close of the presentation, one last parting gift is revealed, each family is given tickets as a standing invitation to visit the Dallas Zoo. We look forward to many future visits to Children’s Health, bringing enjoyment to these extraordinary kids and their families with each animal encounter.
(Interested in hosting an Animal Adventures outreach program? Click here for more information.)