A BRIGHT SPOT FOR THE HOL­I­DAYS

Light fes­ti­val will go on at Lin­coln Park Zoo in tick­eted event

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - BY MIRIAM DI NUN­ZIO, STAFF RE­PORTER md­i­n­un­zio@sun­times.com | @Miri­amDiNun­zio

One of Chicago’s most beloved hol­i­day tra­di­tions, the ZooLights fes­ti­val at Lin­coln Park Zoo, will re­turn this year, but paid ad­mis­sion will be re­quired.

Due to the eco­nomic hard­ship brought on the by COVID-19 pan­demic, the zoo is re­quir­ing a $5 per per­son ticket (all ages, in­clud­ing in­fants) to at­tend. Tick­ets will go on sale to the public start­ing at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 at eventbrite.com. ZooLights runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on Nov. 21-23, 25, 27-30, Dec. 2, 4-8, 11-16, 18-20, 22-23, 26-28, 30-31, and Jan. 1-3. Ad­mis­sion ca­pac­ity will be lim­ited each date to com­ply with so­cial dis­tanc­ing guide­lines.

There will still be sev­eral free dates this sea­son: Nov. 24, and Dec. 9, 17, 21 and 29; reser­va­tions are re­quired and lim­ited slots will be re­leased at 4 p.m. the Sun­day prior to each free date at eventbrite.com.

“The pan­demic has left us fi­nan­cially vul­ner­a­ble. We are so grate­ful to our spon­sors, ComEd and In­vesco QQQ, for help­ing cover the cost of pro­duc­ing ZooLights, but un­for­tu­nately we are not in a po­si­tion to staff and op­er­ate the ex­tended hours with the lim­ited ca­pac­ity of vis­i­tors re­quired based on state guide­lines,” said Zoo Direc­tor Me­gan Ross.

New to the fest is the Pritzker Fam­ily Chil­dren’s Zoo En­chanted For­est, a won­der­land ex­pe­ri­ence boast­ing mu­sic, smoke ma­chines, twin­kle lights and more. An ad­di­tional $3 ad­mis­sion ticket is re­quired for ev­ery guest.

Re­turn­ing for the sec­ond year is “Snowy’s Spir­its & S’more” hol­i­day pop-up bar, fea­tur­ing sea­sonal cock­tails, hot drinks and sweet treats. An ad­di­tional $3 ticket is re­quired per guest.

Other ZooLights pro­gram­ming in­cludes free mem­bers-only nights (Nov. 20 and Dec. 1); a vir­tual ZooLights Chal­lenge (start­ing Nov. 27); the Adults Night Out: Hol­i­daze! (Dec. 10); and a trib­ute to “A Char­lie Brown Christ­mas” by pi­anist Chris White (Dec. 13).

A full sched­ule of ZooLights hol­i­day hap­pen­ings is avail­able at lp­zoo.org/events.

PHIL PARCELLANO

Lin­coln Park Zoo’s an­nual ZooLights fes­ti­val will re­turn this sea­son, but paid ad­mis­sion will be re­quired for most dates.

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