During the holidays, the Houston Zoo does something very cool.
They decorate the zoo with thousands of lights. It looks awesome and the people love it.
The zoo is open all days during the holidays except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They operate normally until closing at 5pm, then they reopen at 6pm for Zoo Lights.
I went on a Monday because I figured the weekends were a zoo – pardon the pun but I had to, lol.
If you go Monday thru Thursday, it’s $14.95 and it’s $19.95 on the weekend.
During the week, the Zoo Lights opens at 6pm and closes at 10. I got there about 6:15 and parking was already a madhouse. I found a spot and walked up to the gate.
When I got there, I saw a really long line. Earlier I had thought about coming later in the night and let these early birds get in and the line would be smaller later.
I was wrong about the line being smaller later. When I came out, the line was twice as long. I’m glad I went when I did.
The animals are all asleep, but you can go in the Reptile House and occasionally you’ll see some birds that are still up.
This was a cool Zoo Lights display. A good place for being photographed in front of it.
The people were coming in droves. It was hard to get a picture of the decorations and trees without having other people in it.
The zoo had a walkway through the zoo that was decorated along the way. At times, it got pretty congested. I can’t imagine the zoo on the weekend nights.
Everybody was just meandering along this walkway, admiring the lights and posing for pictures.
I think I mentioned in my Lifeguarding post that I used to do this kind of work for Houston’s large amusement park called AstroWorld.
I think we had about 400 trees to decorate with lights and it took us about 3 months to do them all.
We were a crew of lifeguards working a job when the waterpark was closed. We had a fun crew and were always laughing at each other.
In this next picture, this tree is one that we would call a “Show Tree” because it is so large and looks so awesome with lots of lights on it.
Trees like this take a long time to decorate and everything has to look perfect or the defect would be noticed. Look where the blue lights meet the red lights. Not enough blue lights and too much of the dark tree is showing through.
The zoo was good about having places to take pictures in front of.
Here, a woman and her son pose for a picture.
This is another Show Tree. I see a spot where the dark tree is showing through because no lights are covering it. Can you spot it?
When we were hanging lights, we occasionally used a Man Lift. This was a motorized piece of equipment that could lift about 3 or 4 people pretty high in the air.
We had a lot of fun goofing off with the Man Lift.
The amusement park I worked in had only white lights in the trees, but the zoo uses all kinds of colors. It looks nice.
These tree displays were along the walkway.
Here’s two more tree displays. These a relatively easy to put up.
I learned a lot about Electrician work when I was hanging lights. We all got shocked several times. It’s Electrocution that kills you. Shocks just hurt like hell.
Wrapping Palm trees is the easiest job. But you have to make sure there are no gaps or dark spots, or it looks like a terrible job.
This next picture is another Show Tree. Beautiful work… although I do see one small area where the spacing of the lights could have been a little tighter.
Look at the bottom of the large branch coming out to the left. The wrapping is a little too loose and doesn’t match the wrapping in the rest of the tree. Putting another set of lights in this area would fix that.
The photo below is a good one, but nothing beats being there and seeing it up close and personal.
The lights in each tree were connected to music and pulsated to the beat of the music. There were colored lights mixed in also.
I had to pull this picture out of my video because I had to freeze the frame when all the lights were on. Trying to photograph pulsating lights is not possible.
Here’s what this scene looks like on a regular day at the zoo.
I took this picture a few years back, not knowing I’d need it for this, but because I thought it was a cool view.
Here is a small video clip of the pulsating lights in this area.
As a closing note, I broke my diet when I saw a short line at a food stand and had the loaded Nacho Fries and a lemonade for about $12. This included a nice Zoo Cup that I could take home and reuse often.
The food was awesome and I stuffed myself. I felt so full afterwards that I got depressed for breaking my diet. Then the next morning I woke up lighter than the day before, so I actually lost weight even though I gorged on very fattening food.
It was a good night all the way around.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my post and looking at my photos. Maybe one year you’ll make it to Houston to see the Zoo Lights for yourself.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.