The Lights Before Christmas

November 29, 2010

The Lights Before Christmas is one of the most popular events in the Midlands during the holidays.

On Friday, November 19, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will open its gates for the 23rd annual Lights Before Christmas, an event that has become a holiday tradition for many Midlands families.

Guests will stroll the paths throughout the Zoo and marvel at the trees adorned with one million twinkling lights and countless handcrafted and animated images. They can also sing along to the Music in Motion Lights Spectacular or cozy up to the fire and listen as seasonal stories are read aloud in the Congo Classroom. The Holiday Card Walk, located in Safari Camp, features larger-than-life holiday cards created by local schools.

Lights-goers will have the opportunity to sip hot cocoa and toast marshmallows at the Jingle Bell Bonfire. No visit to the Lights Before Christmas is complete without a stop to see Santa to share holiday wishes and snap a photo (with your personal camera). And don’t forget to bring your hat – it snows every night at the Lights Before Christmas.

Over at the Congo Classroom, children are entertained with stories.

The Lights will dazzle from 6 to 9pm each evening from November 19 to January 2, with closings on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Riverbanks members are eligible to receive one free visit to Lights Before Christmas when they show their membership card at the gate; guest passes are not accepted. General admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 3 – 12. Tickets can be purchased online at or at any Riverbanks ticket booth. Parking for the event will be on the Zoo side only.

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