Elmwood Park Zoo Lights


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Festival highlights

Step into a world where twinkling lights and the animal kingdom meet in a dazzling dance of illumination. The Elmwood Park Zoo Lights in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is not just another festival of lights; it’s a wondrous journey where vibrant hues, festive decor, and the night sky become one mesmerizing spectacle.

From key details like ticket prices and festival dates to local eateries and additional attractions, our comprehensive guide ensures you don’t miss a single glowing moment.

Elmwood Park Zoo Lights

About the Festival

Elmwood Park Zoo Lights, known as Wild Lights, is a yearly event that transforms the Elmwood Park Zoo into a festive paradise to celebrate the holiday season. Forget what you knew about zoos because this one is a radiant animal kingdom decked out in a glorious array of lights. It’s more than a festival; it’s an experience that combines the spirit of wildlife with the enchantment of the holidays.

Featured Lighting Displays

  • Twinkling Trees: Trees come alive with flickers of light.
  • Drape Lights: Cascading veils of brilliance.
  • Animal-shaped Light Displays: Flamingos, elephants, and more in glowing form.
  • Christmas Lights: Traditional holiday lights with a twist.
  • Tunnel of Lights: A passage to a luminescent world.
  • Curtain Lights: Walls of light that sparkle like stardust.
  • Illuminated Animal Sculptures: Artistic creations in radiant splendor.
  • Light Art Installations: Pieces that turn the night into a canvas.
  • Choreographed Lights: Lights that dance to the tune of festive melodies.
  • Illuminated Pathways: Walkways that lead you through a radiant wonderland.
  • Glowing Christmas Characters: Your favorite holiday personas shining bright.
  • Illuminated Animated Displays: Motion in every glowing pixel.
  • Video Projection: Light transformed into visual storytelling.

Other Activities to Explore

  • Watch live and musical performances: Groove to the beats of the season.
  • Ride the Carousel: Spins made magical with an array of lights.
  • Visit Santa Claus: Have a glowing chat with the jolly man himself.

This year, Wild Lights is set to outdo itself, marrying the worlds of outdoor lighting and animal wonder in a harmonious spectacle. Prepare to walk through an illuminated paradise where every corner is an Instagram-worthy moment and every step is a new adventure in lighting.

Festival Dates

Good news for those who believe the most wonderful time of the year deserves to be stretched out for as long as possible: the Elmwood Park Zoo Lights festival graces us with its brilliance from November to December. No need to cram your festive fun into just a few days; you’ve got two whole months to take in the spectacle. So whether you’re an early bird wanting to kickstart the holiday season, or a December traditionalist waiting for the snow to fall, there’s plenty of time to catch this glowing marvel.

Elmwood Park Zoo Lights

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

When it comes to locations that truly light up during the holidays, Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pennsylvania, stands out. As the sun sets and the sky darkens, the zoo becomes a twinkling paradise, drawing people from near and far to marvel at its luminous beauty.

From Airport to Zoo
The closest airport to Elmwood Park Zoo is Philadelphia International Airport, which is approximately 26 miles away. Visitors have several options for getting to the zoo from the airport:

  • Car Rentals: Numerous car rental services are stationed at the airport.
  • Ride-Sharing Services: Uber and Lyft operate in the area.
  • Public Transport: Taking the Airport Line to Jefferson Station and transferring to Norristown Transportation Center on the Manayunk/Norristown Line brings you within a short distance of the zoo. From there, local buses or ride-sharing services can cover the last leg.

How to Get to Norristown, Pennsylvania by Train

  • From New York City: Take Amtrak’s Northeast Regional service to Philadelphia 30th Street Station. Then, transfer to the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line to reach Norristown.
  • From Washington, D.C.: Amtrak offers service from Union Station to Philadelphia 30th Street Station, where you can catch the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line.
  • From Boston: Board Amtrak’s Northeast Regional service to Philadelphia, then hop onto the Manayunk/Norristown Line.
  • From Chicago: The Amtrak Capitol Limited service will get you to Pittsburgh, where you can transfer to the Pennsylvanian service to Philadelphia. Once in Philly, catch the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line.
  • From Atlanta: The Crescent Amtrak service travels to Philadelphia, from where the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line will bring you to your final destination.

Remember to visit the respective train company’s official website for up-to-date information on train schedules and ticket prices.

Looking for more lights in Pennsylvania? Check out this Light Festival Philadelphia

Festival Hours

The Wild Lights at Elmwood Park Zoo transforms the zoo into a resplendent evening wonderland. The festivities commence at 5:00 PM, just as the sky begins to show off its early evening hues, and continue to dazzle visitors until 9:00 PM

Whether you arrive right as the gates open to witness the magic unfold or come a bit later to walk through an already illuminated paradise, these are the prime hours to experience this festival of lights. Prepare to be awed as you navigate through a zoo that has swapped its daytime charm for nighttime brilliance.

Elmwood Park Zoo Lights

Cost to Visit Elmwood Park Zoo Lights

Wondering about the ticket prices for this glowing adventure? We’re pleased to report that the costs are as friendly as a sea of twinkling lights. The ticket prices for Elmwood Park Zoo Lights are categorized into two groups:

For Zoo Members:

  • Adults: $14.95
  • Children (3-12): $10.95

For Non-Members:

  • Adults: $19.95
  • Children (3-12): $15.95

Here’s the best part: kiddos aged 2 and under get to experience all the twinkling trees, curtain lights, and illuminated pathways for free! Yes, you read that right—absolutely free.

To make your experience as seamless as possible, tickets can be purchased online. This way, you can skip the ticket lines and dive straight into this radiant festival of lights. So grab those tickets and let’s make this holiday season a brilliantly memorable one!

Weather and What to Wear

While the lights may be warm and inviting, the weather in Norristown, Pennsylvania, from November to December can be quite the opposite. Temperatures typically range from a low of around -1°C (30°F) to a high of 10°C (50°F). Keep in mind that the festival runs from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, so the temperatures are likely to be on the lower end of that scale. The sky is often clear, but do prepare for the occasional snow flurry or rain shower. All this is to say, layer up!

Recommended Clothing:

  • Thermal Base Layers: Good old thermal shirts and leggings to trap the heat.
  • Mid-layers: Think fleece jackets or wool sweaters.
  • Waterproof Outer Layer: A waterproof coat to keep any unexpected rain or snow at bay.
  • Scarves, Gloves, and Hats: Protect those extremities! A good pair of gloves and a cozy hat can make all the difference.
  • Insulated Footwear: Nobody enjoys cold toes; insulated or waterproof boots are a must.
  • Thick Socks: Wool socks are excellent for additional warmth.
  • Optional: Hand Warmers: Those little packets can be life-savers on particularly chilly evenings.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

When it comes to lodging options, the Elmwood Park Zoo Lights has you surrounded by convenient choices that will let you continue to dream in colors even after the lights go out.

Courtyard by Marriott

  • Address: 651 Fountain Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
  • Location: Just a 10-minute drive away from the Elmwood Park Zoo Lights.
  • Description: Ideal for those who prioritize convenience without sacrificing quality, this hotel boasts modern rooms and a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, on-site dining, fitness center, and an indoor pool.

Hampton Inn Plymouth Meeting

  • Address: 2055 Chemical Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
  • Location: Situated 15 minutes from the festival’s twinkling wonders.
  • Description: This hotel offers the right balance between comfort and budget, complete with warm, spacious rooms.
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

Chubb Hotel & Conference Center

  • Address: 800 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
  • Location: A 20-minute drive away if you’re looking for a touch of luxury.
  • Description: This hotel sets itself apart with its refined ambiance and lush, landscaped grounds.
  • Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, gourmet dining options, fitness facilities, and spacious conference rooms for any business needs you might have.

What to Eat

Dazzling lights are bound to work up an appetite, and luckily, Norristown offers a smorgasbord of dining options to fuel your festival adventures.

Banh Street

  • Location: 832 N Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, PA 19002
  • Description: A cozy establishment that specializes in Vietnamese cuisine, with a modern twist.
  • Foods Served: Think Banh Mi sandwiches, spring rolls, pho, and other Vietnamese staples that are as vibrant as any light exhibition.

Guppy’s Good Times

  • Location: 2 Maple St, Conshohocken, PA 19428
  • Description: A laid-back pub environment where good food and good times are a given.
  • Foods Served: From classic pub grub like burgers and wings to more refined options like steaks and seafood, there’s something for every palate.

Taqueria La Michoacana

  • Location: 301 E Main St, Norristown, PA 19401
  • Description: A must-visit for when the craving for Mexican food strikes, this place offers an authentic experience.
  • Foods Served: Tacos, enchiladas, chiles rellenos, and more—everything you’d hope to find for a south-of-the-border feast.

More Things To Do In The Area

In between marveling at twinkling trees and curtain lights, explore some of the other gems that Norristown and its surroundings have to offer.

Norristown Farm Park

  • Location: 2500 Upper Farm Road, Norristown, PA 19403
  • Description: A verdant oasis that provides a tranquil backdrop for daytime activities.
  • Activities: Take a leisurely nature walk, go bird-watching, or have a picnic amidst the natural beauty.

Norristown Arts Hill

  • Location: Main Street and Dekalb Street, Norristown, PA 19401
  • Description: This vibrant cultural district is the heartbeat of Norristown’s arts scene.
  • Activities: You can catch live performances ranging from musicals to dramas, or explore art exhibitions that rotate throughout the year.

The Schuylkill River Trail

  • Location: Starts at Philadelphia’s Center City and runs Northwest through Norristown
  • Description: An ideal choice for the more active traveler, offering scenic views of the river and surrounding landscapes.
  • Activities: Walking, biking, and jogging are popular activities on this well-maintained trail.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Elmwood Park Zoo Lights

As the curtain falls on your Elmwood Park Zoo Lights adventure, it’s clear that this festival of lights is more than just an evening of radiant beauty; it’s an experience that illuminates the soul. From the twinkling trees to the myriad of nearby dining and lodging options, Norristown, Pennsylvania offers a holiday experience that is as fulfilling as it is illuminating. 

So come for the lights, but stay for the community, culture, and the endless opportunities to make this holiday season truly unforgettable.

Elmwood Park Zoo Lights


Is parking available at Elmwood Park Zoo?

Yes, parking is available at the zoo, and it is usually free. However, due to the popularity of the event, it’s advised to arrive early to secure a spot.

Is smoking allowed within the festival area?

No, smoking is not permitted within Elmwood Park Zoo, including the areas where the Zoo Lights event is taking place.

Can I bring my pet to the Zoo Lights festival?

Pets are generally not allowed in the zoo for safety reasons. Service animals are an exception, but documentation may be required.

Are there age restrictions for the Zoo Lights festival?

There are no age restrictions, and it’s a family-friendly event. Children aged 2 and under can even enter for free.

Is the event wheelchair accessible?

Yes, most areas of the zoo are wheelchair accessible. However, some pathways could be more challenging to navigate due to the natural terrain.

Can I buy tickets at the gate?

While tickets can be purchased at the gate, buying them online is recommended, especially on high-traffic nights, to ensure you don’t miss out.

Is outside food or drink allowed?

Outside food and beverages are generally not permitted. There are various food vendors within the zoo where you can purchase meals, snacks, and drinks.

Do they offer any group discounts?

Yes, group discounts are available for parties of 15 or more. It’s advised to contact the zoo directly for specific rates and to make arrangements.

While this article aims to answer questions about Elmwood Park Zoo Lights, it is always best to visit the zoo’s official website for up-to-date information.




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