WildLanterns – New Family Tradition

As I’ve been drafting our 2020 holiday bucket list (in keeping with this year’s theme, it includes a lot of staying close to home and outdoor time), one of the new events I looked forward to was WildLanterns – the WildLights 2.0 at the Woodland Park Zoo.

We’ve gone to the zoo regularly since Julia was only a couple of months old (I needed somewhere to walk with a baby that wasn’t around Green Lake) and WildLights was part of our holiday tradition for just as long. It was a bit hard to let go of our “old favorites,” but I’m not sure how much of that is just nostalgia for non-pandemic times. Honestly, the things I missed most were the carousel and the fluffy “snowball” fights in Zoomazium.

The new lanterns are stunningly beautiful and diffuse light over rainy puddles in a way that feels magical. I loved the angler fish’s lure in and the hippos with their wide-open pink mouths. Many of the lanterns are animated, which adds to the surprises around every corner.

Visit early for a peek at the lanterns before their full glory

The kids loved all the interactive stations and I have to recommend a weekday visit if you want to just hang around and play. We went on Sunday evening and everything was comfortably spaced and didn’t feel busy, but on Wednesday we almost had the place to ourselves. The kids spent 20 minutes or more bouncing between the light-up stars and the piano in the African Savanna area.

Playing in the mirrored pentagon-shaped room near Willawong station

For more details on our visit, check out my review at Seattle’s Child.


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