Potter Park Zoo lights up for holidays
Joseph Jeong and Lia Kim enjoy an evening at the Potter Park Zoo's Wonderland of Lights. Photo by Mallory Stiles
By Mallory Stiles
Potter Park Zoo is holding its 27th annual Wonderland of Lights event Thursdays through Sundays, from 5 to 8 p.m. now through to Dec. 26, closing only for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The zoo has been decorated with a vibrant display of lights circling around the different enclosures. Hot chocolate is sold at nearly every corner, offering a holiday experience sure to be remembered.
Megan Wiedman, Potter Park learning program assistant, said the event is helping the community by accepting toys as admission to help in the Toys for Tots drive in December. All other proceeds are used to meet zoo needs, whether that means a new bed for a lion or enclosure maintenance for the penguins.
Admissions and Parking Supervisor Ruby Bellosillo said approximately 150 people show up to see the lights per week.
An employee who sells admission tickets, Mckenna Perez, confirmed many people gather for a bit of seasonal fun.
“I see lots of families come through for the lights; lots,” Perez said. “Definitely more than usual. They love it, even though not as many of the animals are out, they still come to enjoy the atmosphere and to see the lights. It’s really cool.”
Young couple Joseph Jeong and Lia Kim, who stumbled across the idea of the Wonderland Lights on a suggestion, were happy to speak on their experience.
“A friend of ours saw a poster about tonight’s lights,” Jeong said. “We were here so we decided to check it out. It’s very pretty. We saw the lights from the parking lot and heard the music and knew it would be worth it.”
Admission prices are $9 for adults, $5 for kids age 3-12 as well as seniors and veterans, and free for kids under 3 years of age.
“It’s only $9; that’s a great price.” Jeong said with a smile.
The event is sponsored by Jackson National and McLaren Hospital; all candy canes were supplied by Meijer, Inc.