McLean kids heading to where the wild things are

December 20, 2013 by  

It is time for McLean parents to bundle up the kids and head for the National Zoo’s annual Zoolights event, at which children can see animals, watch entertainment, go for rides, and even help design habitats.

Upon arrival, visitors will be greeted at The Visitors Center, a LEGO wonderland of animals with a Thomas the Tank Engine meandering through a land of alphabet letters and fantastical papier-mâché sculptures of animals. Children can ride the solar powered Conservation Carousel or get around by riding the Zoo Choo-choo.

Nocturnal creatures will be featured in the exhibit buildings, and everyone can enjoy the 150-foot-long Zoo Snow-Tubing track sponsored by Geico. Other entertainment will include the Gin-ger-bread contest and an area in which children can help design a habitat for the zoo’s two new tiger cubs. Visitors can also watch ‘Panda Claws’ dance in a giant snow globe at the Panda Plaza. Zoolights is a perfect event for family picture-taking and postcard printing.

Hot chocolate, eggnog, and mulled cider will be available along with roasted nuts, holiday gingerbread, and cookies. Dinner and holiday specials will also be offered in the zoo restaurants, as will other concessions throughout the park.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, free shuttle service (provided by the Big Bus Tours and Zipcar) is available from the Woodley Park Metro.

The event runs from now till January 1 every night from 5 to 9pm (except on December 24, 25, and31) at the National Zoo in downtown Washington D.C. 3001 Connecticut Ave NW.