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Holiday Date Night Idea: Detroit Zoo Wild Lights Total Experience

Wild Lights Date Night

The Detroit Zoo continues their holiday tradition with another season of Wild Lights. Guests can enjoy this even from November 24, 2023 until January 7, 2024. More than five million LED lights that illuminate trees, buildings, and sculptures throughout the front half of the Detroit Zoo make this the perfect date night idea. If you are really looking for the ultimate date night, then you should check out the Wild Lights TOTAL EXPERIENCE PACKAGE. Get your tickets online.

Wild Lights Total Experience

What is included in the Wild Lights Total Experience Package?

Each ticket to the Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo includes admission to the front half of the zoo, which is lit up with over five million led lights. This experience includes the Field of Light, Underwater Trail, as well as the Enchanted Trail. Guests may also enjoy the newest addition to the experience, the Environmental Impact II Art Exhibition.

In addition to the perks of General Admission, the Total Experience Package includes:

  • Polar Express 4D Show with Fast Pass Admission, which allows you to skip the line at the Theater.
  • Souvenir Cup with Unlimited Hot Cocoa
  • Polar Patio Access with VIP Experience
  • One Carousel Ride
  • FREE Parking
Date Night at the Detroit Zoo Wild Lights

The Polar Patio VIP Experience – Wild Lights Total Experience Package

If you purchase the Total Experience Package, then you be able to visit the Polar Patio. This is a great way to warm up, sit back and enjoy a tasty meal with your date. You will also have access to a food buffet within the Polar Patio (aka Table 28) featuring the following*:

  • Chili
  • Minestrone (V & gf.)
  • Penne marinara (V. Gf upon request.)
  • Penne Alfredo (Vg. Gf upon request.)
  • Grilled chicken (Gf.)
  • Meatballs
  • Broccoli (Vg.)
  • Bread sticks (Vg.)
  • Garden salad (V.)
  • Apple and cherry cobbler (Vg.)
  • A cash bar
The buffet at the Polar Patio - Wild Lights Total Experience

Detroit Zoo Wild Lights Map

During your visit you may need a bit of help finding what you are looking for, here’s a handy map to help. This is great for finding the next hot cocoa station or restroom.

The Wild Lights Total Experience: Our Pro Tips

My girlfriend and I visited the Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo and got the Total Experience Package. It was a nice date night filled with lots of opportunities for great photos and memories.

Wild Lights Total Experience - souvenir cups with free hot chocolate refils

☕ As soon as you arrive, head over to the Giraffe Feeding Booth to the right to get your wristband and souvenir cups. The first hot cocoa stand by the booth was super busy, so we opted to skip it and headed over to the second one by the otters where there was no line.

☕The hot cocoa is good… but it is even better with a shot of your favorite alcohol. Bring cash or your card to add a shot for $4.99.

🦫 Since 2012, when the Jane and Frank Warchol Beaver Habitat opened, I have NEVER seen a beaver. Many people, like on this Reddit thread, question if they are really in there. However, after dusk in the winter is the perfect time to see them. If you go around the exhibit, to the west side, there is a little window on the side that lets you see the whole exhibit. This is where I saw one of the beavers swimming around. IT WAS SO COOL to see him/her for the first time.

📷 Make sure your camera is fully charged before you visit. There are so many great photo and video ops during the experience.

🍽️ The Polar Patio closes at 9 pm. It’s better to go earlier rather than later so you can enjoy fresh, hot food and not feel rushed.

❄️ The Polar Express 4D movie is an amazing experience. Your Total Experience ticket allows you to jump to the front of the line with your fast pass. During the 15-minute movie, your chair becomes part of the 4D experience. It will rumble, and shake, you will experience foam snow, bubbles and there was a moment where everyone thought the person behind them kicked them.

Wild Lights Total Experience - dinner

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo 2023-24 Dates and Times

If you get a general admission ticket, you can plan on spending about 90 minutes at the event. The Total Experience will take a bit longer, taking into account the Polar Express 4D show, dinner and the Carousel Ride.

Select weeknights and Sundays 5 until 9 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays 5 until 10:30 p.m.

DECEMBER: 1-3, 8-10, 13-23, 26-31

tunnel of lights

Wild Lights Prices

You can save money on most tickets by purchasing early and online. General Admission prices range from $17 up to $25. While the Total Experience Package is $75. The Detroit Zoo will admit children under the age of two for free. Guest need to purchased tickets in advance, online.

In addition to your ticket, you will need to buy a parking pass for $8. However parking is included with the Total Experience Package. Parking will only be available on the surface lots as well as the ground level of the parking structure.

Additional Wild Lights Ticket Packages are available online.

Check out some other great holiday light displays in Metro Detroit.

Connect with the Detroit Zoo

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Amber Louchart
Author: Amber Louchart

Amber is the proud mother to four beautiful children, Damian (27), Rosaleigh (14), Carlyn (11), and Naomi (8). Her family also includes four cats. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy. In addition to Metro Detroit Mommy, Amber has a passion for hosting karaoke with Malibu Entertainment.  She enjoys the metro Detroit nightlife especially, singing, dancing and meeting new people.