Holiday light display returns at Henry Vilas Zoo after early cancelation last season due to COVID-19

MADISON, Wis. — The annual holiday light display at the Henry Vilas Zoo has returned after being canceled midway through last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event kicked off Friday night with nearly one million lightbulbs, which zoo officials said is its brightest display ever. It runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through December 30.

Santa will be available at the event for pictures every night through December 23.

Tickets, which are $10, include free carousel rides. Kids under three can get in for free.

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Zoo marketing manager Kristin Moala said the event showcases aspects of the zoo like its grounds that normally are less of a focal point.

“It’s just a fun way to experience the setting in a whole different light — quite literally — because we have nearly a million lights up,” she said. “We start hanging the lights up in early October, and you’re just so used to coming here and checking out the animals; this just gives you a chance to check out the grounds we have here.

To learn more or to buy tickets, visit the zoo’s website.