My mom and I had so much fun going to the sneak peek of the OKC Zoo’s Safari Lights before it opened to the public! It was one of my favorite holiday activities last year so I was really excited to see it again. This light display is really different than lots of others that you see around town because all the lights are actually displays of wild animals. I knew it would be awesome, but Safari Lights was even better than last year! There are still two sections of the lights — one that you drive through and one that you walk through. Here are my 3 favorite things about Safari Lights:
- The walking section of Safari Lights is twice as big this year! We were so surprised at how much more there was to see! There are twice as many lights, bigger displays and lots of brand new displays this year in the walking section. The giant phoenix was my very favorite! I also loved the walkway through the flamingo lights, and the butterfly garden is full of moving butterflies and flowers. The frog and chameleon displays are so funny because their eyes open and close.
- There are also a lot more interactive lights and fun stations this year. I loved the disco room with bright lights and music! I had to stop and have a dance party. There are selfie spots where you can take a pic with several different animals. My little brothers will really like the light-up swings (back from last year) and the NEW light-up teeter totters. There were lots more places you could get up close to the light displays this year and even touch them. It’s really amazing to see how the displays are made and how realistic the animals look!
- The Miranda Family Lights made another amazing light display set to music this year. This is the first thing you see when you walk into the plaza area of the zoo. My favorite song was I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas because the singer is from Oklahoma! We have been going to see the Miranda Family Lights on their house for several years, so it’s really cool to see it at the zoo. We even got to meet the Mirandas at the event! I was just as excited to see them as Mayor David Holt and Santa!
Is it worth the price?
My mom says this is the question people ask her most often about going to see Safari Lights. And our answer is YES! We are even planning to go back to take my dad and brothers because we want them to see how cool it is this year, too. The drive-thru admission is $65 (or $55 if you have a zoo membership), and that actually includes BOTH the driving part and the walk-thru part (4 tickets to walk through) so you get to do both! And the walking and driving sections are separate light displays so you get to see a lot more by getting the drive-thru tickets. Or you can get tickets for just the walk-thru part for $15 per person ($13 if you have a membership). Since the walk-thru is so much bigger this year, my mom said it felt like it was really worth the price. My parents usually take us to do one big “splurge” holiday activity as a family, and this is our favorite! You could also give tickets as a gift either before Christmas or after because Safari Lights is open through Jan. 1.
If you’re like my mom and always looking for FREE things to do, here are my 3 favorite FREE holiday lights in OKC:
- Lights on Broadway. The lights hanging off the buildings in Automobile Alley are really cool and different than lights you see anywhere else — they are like walls of lights. You can go anytime to see the lights, from dusk till dawn through Jan. 9. But I recommend seeing them during the Lights on Broadway event, on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10. They have lots of fun activities, like horse-drawn carriages, balloon artists, performers and even Santa in a slow globe. Make sure you go get holiday treats at Katiebug’s!
- Luminance at Mitch Park in Edmond. This is another light display you can actually walk through, and they have lots of fun, colorful lights that you can get up close to and take pictures with. My family likes to visit this one during Thanksgiving break – it’s great to go on a walk through the lights after you’re super full from all the yummy food! Luminance is open from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 1.
- A new one that I want to go to this year is Chisholm Creek’s light display and Christmas Village. On Dec. 2, The Christmas Village will have Santa, a live reindeer, a Christmas Market to shop for presents and two performances by OKC Ballet, plus the holiday lights.
I hope you have fun seeing all the great lights around OKC this holiday season! Happy holidays!
Addie is a compassionate and creative 11-year-old 5th grader from OKC who loves to write almost as much as she loves math and STEM. She plays basketball, takes jazz classes and plays competitive soccer. She is the daughter of MetroFamily’s managing editor.