Category Archives: The Columbus Zoo

Winter Wildlights

As evening exercise it beats running mindless laps at the gym or stumbling along a dimly lit running trail.  But a walk through Ohio’s most spectacular light display offers much more than a Christmas cookie calorie burn!

Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo has become an annual Christmas tradition for many of us in central Ohio.  It’s a jeweled version of an Ohio winter with acres of glittering trees and walkways rainbowed by glowing lights.  Musical light shows and live music, reindeer, a scuba Santa diving amongst tropical fish in a coral reef (as well as a dry one, available for souvenir photos), a 1914 carousel, a Christmas train ride…  Wildlights is geared to engage the whole family.

And actually, it can simply be a great evening stroll. Even on a crowded night, it beats tangling with frantic shoppers at the mall.



Wildlights runs through Jan 1, 2012 at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio.  Admission is $14.00. Reduced admission for children (ages 2 9) and seniors. Parking is $5.00. Free admission/parking for Columbus Zoo members.

*Purchase and print your tickets on-line to avoid waiting and save $1.00. Even better, buy a season pass. Walking through Wildlights is a lot warmer (and more fun) than standing (and shivering) in long admission lines.

 (Photo credit: Columbus Zoo Ornament; Hannah Hartzell)

Information updated for 2011-2012 season from December 6, 2010.



Wild Times With Your Camera

Photo Thursday

More Photo Swaps coming up! In the meantime: More from Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo.

When capturing Christmas lights, don’t be afraid to mess around with your camera settings! They’re adjustable for just such an occasion. Shooting lights in the dark may require a little experimentation for you to land effective shots.  Remember that slower shutter speeds (lower numbers like 100 or 200) let in more light. And a low F-stop(F2, F/2.8, F/4) number gives you a wider aperture and more light as well. A slower shutter at night guarantees some blur unless you’re willing to haul in a tripod (stabilizing your camera on a bench or trashcan can steady the shot and give you a sharper image as well).  However, the blurred light can make for an interesting image as well!

The photos above are of the same view but with different camera settings. Click for full-sized views.

Wildlights runs through Jan 1, 2011 at the Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio. Admission is $12.99. Children ages 2 – 9 and Adults 60+ receive a reduced price of $7.99. Parking is $5.00. Columbus Zoo members get free admission.
*Purchase and print your tickets on-line to avoid waiting. Walking through Wildlights is a lot warmer (and more fun) than standing (and shivering) in long admission lines.

Columbus Things To Do on raveable


WildLights, Wild Nights


I’m not normally a fan of rushing the seasons. We avert our eyes from displays of school supplies until at least mid-August and roll our eyes at the Valentine candy that usually appears next to mark-down Christmas candy canes. Let me enjoy Thanksgiving before we so quickly move on to Christmas please…



The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Wildlights display nudges us toward Christmas without steamrolling over our Thanksgiving holiday.  We attend the members’ preview night most years and do a leisurely wander through the annual dazzle, exhaling autumn and breathing in the goodness of being a family.

The nightly holiday display runs through January 2, 2010, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (5 – 9PM, Sunday – Thursday and until 10PM on weekends).  Regular zoo admission and parking prices apply for non-members.

More photos and information to come…

Columbus Things To Do


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