Detroit Zoo to light up the night at Wild Lights opening celebration

Tree-lighting ceremony takes place Saturday at 5:30 p.m.


ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoo says visitors attending the opening night of Wild Lights will be treated to a luminous inaugural celebration.

The kick-off event, held just inside the admission gates Saturday from 5:30 to 6 p.m., will include a tree-lighting ceremony, music, holiday dancers and a complimentary holiday cookie and hot cocoa reception.

The Zoo said guests will be greeted by Santa, as well as the Zoo's mascots, Junior Z and the Zooper Heroes.

The holiday light display, presented by Bank of America, will feature more than 2 million twinkling LED lights adorning buildings, animal sculptures and trees on a half-mile trail through the front of the Zoo.

Live entertainment will include carolers and the Off Broadway Productions mini-musical "Frosty's Follies," as well as a musical light show, cookie decorating, storytelling, ice carving demonstrations and a Lego city and train display will add to the fun, according to the Detroit Zoo.

"The Polar Express 4-D Experience," a 14-minute adaption of the feature film starring Tom Hanks, will be featured during Wild Lights at the Wild Adventure Zone's 4-D Theater. "Happy Feet: Mumble's Wild Ride" will also be showing at the Wild Adventure Zone's Simulator Ride.

The Detroit Zoo said tickets for each experience are $5 with Wild Lights admission or a "Bundle Up" price of $7 for both. Children under 2 are free.

Seasonal food and refreshments, holiday spirits, photos with Santa (through Dec. 23), Wild Lights souvenirs and zoo-themed holiday gifts will be available for purchase, the Zoo said.

Wild Lights will be held for 24 nights: Nov. 23-24, 29-30; Dec. 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-23, 26-30, 2013; and Jan. 2-5, 2014. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. weeknights and Sundays and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The Zoo said Wild Lights admission is $8 per person in advance and $10 at the gate for ages 2 and up (under 2 free); parking is $5 per car. Tickets can be purchased at Detroit Zoo main admissions or online here, and are also available at all Michigan Kroger stores.