Seattle's Child

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Woodland Park Zoo lanterns

Photo: Tianyu Arts & Culture

New for 2020: WildLanterns holiday event at Woodland Park Zoo

The exhibit replaces WildLights. Tickets must be reserved in advance.

Update, Nov. 17: We’re happy to learn that WildLanterns will go on as scheduled even with new statewide coronavirus restrictions announced Nov. 15. Mask up (and reserve in advance)! Here’s how one family liked it.

It could be a new holiday tradition.

Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo announced that, instead of the WildLights holiday event, this year it is introducing WildLanterns, described as the region’s first holiday lantern festival and a “a larger-than-life, immersive experience” in which the zoo will be illuminated by large-scale animal and naturescape lanterns.

Photo: Tianyu Arts & Culture

Features will include a tunnel of lanterns more than 130 feet long, plus highlights such as a 15-foot-tall illuminated giraffe.

The Living Northwest exhibit will feature lantern versions of familiar creatures like grizzly bears, eagles and mountain goats. The Jungle Lights exhibit will feature more exotic species such as snow leopards, tigers and gorillas. The SeaMazium exhibit will feature underwater and aquatic creatures, and herds of giraffe, zebra and more will roam the African Savanna exhibit.

WildLanterns runs 4 to 8:30 p.m. daily, Nov. 13-Jan. 17, 2021 (closed Mondays, Nov. 26, Dec. 24 and 25).

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Members get a 20% discount.

COVID safety notes: To limit the number of visitors inside the zoo at any given time, visitors will purchase tickets with a specific entrance time and are asked not to arrive early. Face coverings are required for anyone age 5 and up.

Make a night of it: Show your ticket or zoo membership card and get a 10% discount at these neighboring businesses: Ada’s, Modern Japanese Cuisine, The Park Public House, The Whit’s End, Windy City Pie and Zeeks Pizza.

P.S.: ZooLights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma is set to begin Nov. 27.


About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is the website editor for Seattle's Child. She is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 12-year-old girl.