Setting the Holidays Aglow with "Wild Lights" at the Elmwood Zoo

Setting the Holidays Aglow with Wild Lights at the Elmwood Zoo

Elmwood Park Zoo, a historic, hidden gem nestled in Norristown, PA, is debuting its inaugural holiday zoo lights experience this winter.

Established in 1924, Elmwood Zoo put itself on the map in 2011 with a re-investment in the zoo and a new CEO and Director, Al Zone, at the helm. With a state-of-the-art jaguar exhibit and interactive giraffe feeding experience, the team continues to seek out new and exciting activations to educate and entertain its local community.

Interactive Giraffe feeding experience

Wild Lights will feature a dazzling tree-lined path as you stroll through Disco Ball Way, Candy Cane Lane, and finally, the can’t miss Santa’s workshop and his reindeer. Follow the journey that will bring Elmwood Park Zoo to light with their glittering new 2018 holiday activation.


Bright Lights. Brilliant Experiences.

For five years, Al Zone and his team sought out a partner who could introduce Elmwood Park Zoo to an invigorating visitor experience during the holiday season. Together with GES, the premier live event partner, they brainstormed the creative design, infrastructure, holiday theme and special considerations for its current residents.

Curious as to how to create your own holiday lights extravaganza? When seeking a partner to work with your venue, it’s critical to keep the planning focused on your objectives. Here are a few tips to consider when activating a new experience or revamping an old one.


  • What you are trying to achieve
    • Identify the attributes from your zoo’s surrounding community, e.g. what your city is known for, or your venue’s messaging and mission, to incorporate into the experience so that it is unique to your venue. Whether it’s an endangered species you want to educate visitors about, a featured landmark or an historic site, make sure it resembles what you value and what you hold true to your institution.
  • We live here tooWe live here too -- Animals are the primary residents
    • Don’t forget your primary residents. Your zoo is nothing without the amazing animals who inhabit the property, so building the light installation with the upmost care and consideration is crucial. In the wild, light exposure impacts the animals and can influence their behavior in a negative way. When you add illumination such as holiday lights, consider how it will impact their natural instincts. Will it make some animals stressed, or will it create a sense of excitement for them?  
  • Neighborly Love
    • Design the experience with your neighbors in mind. What will make your holiday experience unforgettable for large groups, families, singles and date nights? You’ll want to focus on creating a “can’t miss” holiday tradition for years to come.

Neighborly Love

Find inspiration for your own holiday experience by following the Wild Lights journey as we bring this new activation to light with Elmwood Park Zoo.  Stay tuned - we can’t wait to share the progression of this exciting self-guided nighttime holiday experience.



About the Author

Amy Kelley

Amy is the Global Digital Content Marketing Editor at GES. With a strong background in content marketing, social media, and communications, she is a passionate writer and self-confessed word geek. She is also the founder of a non-profit and a health and wellness online community.

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