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Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Zoolights Celebrating Its 25th Year

In addition to visitor favorites, the Zoolights features a 100-foot giant octopus, zip line courses and tiger cubs.

Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

The outdoor event boasts more than 80 lighted zoo-animal figurines and multiple-piece scenes, half a million lights and a quarter-century of dedication to providing families from across Washington with affordable, holiday-season family entertainment.

Zoolights runs from Nov. 23 through Jan. 1 and is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every evening except Dec. 24. Discounted tickets are available at www.pdza.org and all Puget Sound-area Fred Meyer stores.

In addition to longtime visitor favorites like the gorgeous green-and-purple Flame Tree, the twin Tacoma Narrows bridges, an eagle swooping down to catch a salmon, ice skating puffins, carousel and camel rides and hot chocolate, there’s a lot new at Zoolights this year.

  • A 24,000-light, 100-foot Giant Pacific Octopus sits atop the North Pacific Aquarium, a huge addition to Zoolights this year.
  • ZOOM, a complex of two challenge and zip line courses, will open in a wooded area of the zoo. The Super Kid and Discovery courses will test mental toughness and physical agility for kids as young as 5 all the way up through adventure-seeking adults of any age.
  • Four-month old cubs Berani, a Malayan tiger, and Dumai, a Sumatran tiger, will be on exhibit during Zoolights. They’re not just adorable, they’re wonderful ambassadors for their endangered species.
  • Scuba-diving Santa is back for an encore in 2012. He will be in full Santa suit as he swims with the sharks, delighting aquarium visitors at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the Zoolights run. (He does, however, have things to do on Dec. 25, so he won’t make an appearance that night. And he’s taking Jan. 1 off to rest up.)

General Admission Tickets:

Fred Meyer stores: $7.25 per person.


Zoo members: $4.25 per person. (Must be purchased online or at the zoo’s main gate.)

At-the-gate: $8.50 per person.

The Zoolights Value Pass costs $15.75 for adults; $15.25 for senior citizens; $14.75 for youths from 5 to 12; and $12.75 for tots, 3 and 4.

There is no admission charge for children 2 and under.

Parking is free.

Zoolights is presented by Fred Meyer with support from Russell Investments, Tacoma Power, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center and KING 5. 

For more information, visit the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium website

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