Out & About

ZooLights is Back with ‘Ice-Less’ Skate Rink Addition

Christmas LightsSparkling brighter than ever in its fifth straight year at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, ZooLights remains the only free holiday light show in the Washington-Metro area. With added dates and expanded hours this year, ZooLights will run the weekends of Nov. 25–27, Dec. 2–4, and Dec. 9–11, and every night beginning Dec. 16–Jan. 1 (except Dec. 24, 25, 31), from 5–9 p.m.

Every night of ZooLights, thousands of environmentally friendly LED lights will illuminate the Zoo’s beautiful trees, walkways and buildings; and life-sized animal silhouettes, dancing trees, and festive holiday décor make this a perfect night out. Unlike other area light shows, the Zoo’s live animals offer visitors the unique opportunity to thaw their paws inside the exhibit houses and view the animals at night. The Small Mammal House, Great Ape House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank and Kids’ Farm will be open every night of ZooLights.

For the first time, visitors will have a chance to skate on an “iceless” rink, sponsored by GEICO, at the Zoo’s Picnic Pavilion. Families will enjoy ice skating on the world’s best and most eco-friendly synthetic ice skating surface, composed of specially engineered polymers that permit skate blades to glide as smoothly as on real ice. This “green” high-tech plastic ice is made from a non-toxic, recyclable acrylic material. Admission is $5 for a 30-minute session. Skate rental is available for an additional $2. Visitors can also bring their own skates.

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