Things to Do

To Do: ZooLights at the National Zoo

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Any kid who has read From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler knows how cool it is to be at a museum after hours. Apparently, it’s just as much fun at the zoo. At Wednesday night’s opening of ZooLights—the National Zoo’s first-ever winter lights event—beaming toddlers and elementary-schoolers ran around looking at giant illuminated panda bears, elephants, lions, and more (all, by the way, lit with environmentally friendly LEDs), stopping off at the Reptile Discovery Center to make bird feeders out of cranberries and popcorn, and continuing to an outdoor stage with performances by area theater groups.

The event is more of a kid thing (women dressed as tigers throwing pretend punches as the Rocky theme plays appeals only to a certain age set), but all of that—plus hot chocolate and kettle corn—does make for a great night out with the family. And the ten-foot inflatable snow globe screams great photo op.

ZooLights, put on by Friends of the National Zoo, runs Wednesdays through Sundays from 6 to 8:30 pm through December 30. Tickets (available here) are $10, or $6 for FONZ members.