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Celebrate the holidays at Miller Park Zoo

Nothing relieves stress like a collection of the world’s most majestic creatures surrounded by beautiful Christmas lights. This weekend, take a break from studying for finals and head to Miller Park Zoo to check out its two-night holiday event, Wild Lights.

Miller Park Zoo offers many animal exhibits, such as: the Tropical America Rainforest, ZooLab, Katthoefer Animal Building, Wallaby Walk About, Children’s Zoo and Animals of Asia. All of the outdoor habitats will be decked in thousands of twinkling lights and glowing luminaries.

During the Wild Lights event, the zoo will provide many fun activities to help guests get into the holiday spirit. There will be face painting, crafts and cookie decorating. Santa Claus will also be making a guest appearance, along with his two favorite reindeer, Ealu and Rika.

While at the zoo, Santa, Ealu and Rika will put on a special performance called “Can reindeer fly?” During this routine, the deer will overcome obstacles and prove to everyone that they are just as graceful on land as they are in the sky.

The zoo celebrated its 122nd anniversary last June and has been hosting Wild Lights for the past three years. Sarah Waggoner, the Miller Park Zoo event and volunteer coordinator, planned the event last year and is excited to be doing it again this season.

“It was a good time last year and we had a lot of smiling faces. It’s a fun holiday night and a good way to welcome in the Christmas season,” Waggoner said.

In 2012, the Wild Lights event had about 1,500 guests in attendance. This year, however, Waggoner and the Miller Park team hope to top it by making the experience available to everyone.

“This year we did [Wild Lights] a week early so that we could include college students. We want them to be able to come before they leave for break so they can enjoy it too. We are trying to reach out to everyone,” Waggoner said.

Wild Lights will be offered Friday and Saturday. Miller Park Zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, this special holiday event is held exclusively after hours, and will be open to the public from 5:30 until 8:00 p.m. Admission is $3 if you have a zoo membership and $5 for non-members.

Take advantage of this special event, because it only comes once a year. Explore the zoo, enjoy the lights and find out if you really can teach an old reindeer new tricks.

Jake Johnson/Staff Photographer: The Miller Park Zoo is home to animals all over the world. During the holiday season, come check out some of the decorations that surround the animals living spaces.

Jake Johnson/Staff Photographer:
The Miller Park Zoo is home to animals all over the world. During the holiday season, come check out some of the decorations that surround the animals living spaces.

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