Buy a tree, see Santa at Cosley Zoo's Festival of Lights, opening Nov. 25

  • Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is transformed into a winter wonderland at the Festival of Lights and Tree Sale Nov. 25 to Dec. 30.

    Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is transformed into a winter wonderland at the Festival of Lights and Tree Sale Nov. 25 to Dec. 30. Courtesy of Cosley Zoo

 
 
Posted11/20/2022 11:15 AM

Lights plus zoo animals plus a wide selection of Christmas trees equals a holiday outing to Cosley Zoo that's sure to be remembered.

This year, Cosley Zoo's Festival of Lights and Christmas Tree Sale begins on Friday, Nov. 25 and continues through Dec. 30.

 

Lights on buildings, on trees, and on animal figurines will add some sparkle to visitors' trek through the grounds, where the animals will celebrate the season along with zoo guests.

A variety of evergreen species will be available for purchase, including Fraser, Canaan and Douglas firs, along with Scotch pines. Trees in a variety of sizes, from 3 to 12 feet tall, will be available.

Wreaths, greens, and garlands will be available for purchase, too.

The tree sale at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton returns, opening Nov. 25. It will feature four varieties of trees ranging from 3 feet to 12 feet, as well as wreaths, greens, and garland  available for purchase.
The tree sale at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton returns, opening Nov. 25. It will feature four varieties of trees ranging from 3 feet to 12 feet, as well as wreaths, greens, and garland available for purchase. - Courtesy of Cosley Zoo

"The zoo and its resident animals add a special dimension to holiday traditions for hundreds of families each year," said Sue Wahlgren, Cosley Zoo director.

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The zoo will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and there is no admission fee during the festival.

Lights come on at 3 p.m. daily. This year there will be more than 20,000 lights glowing on the zoo grounds, creating an inviting spectacle.

Visitors can escape the chill night air inside the Wild Side Gift Shop, where Cosley Zoo-inspired gifts will abound, along with the "Wish Tree for the Animals."

Guests can give gifts to the animals by purchasing ornaments that each list a special gift for a specific animal.

From 3 to 9 p.m. weekdays, hot chocolate will be sold at the Coyote Café concession stand. Hot chocolate sale hours on weekends and on Friday, Nov. 25, will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Santa will be conducting pre-Christmas visits at Santa's Craft Corner, an event that will be held on three Saturdays -- Nov. 26, Dec. 3 and 10 -- from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Crafts and refreshments will be available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

No advance registration is required for Santa's Craft Corner, but there is a $20 per household charge.

All proceeds support the zoo, its animals and programs, through the Cosley Foundation. The zoo will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The zoo will be open from 9 a.m. to noon on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

For more information, visit www.cosleyzoo.org.

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