holiday

Wild Lights Returns to Elmwood Park Zoo

Elmwood Park Zoo is pleased to announce the scheduled return of its popular holiday lights event, Wild Lights. First debuting in 2018, Wild Lights transforms the zoo into a bright winter wonderland, with over a million lights adorning the trees, exhibits and buildings throughout its 16 acres. Tickets are on sale now at epzwildlights.com.

In addition to all-new light installations and a few returning favorites from last year, each night of Wild Lights will feature additional entertainment and attractions, such as unique animal greetings, performances, character appearances, holiday music, photos with Santa, carousel rides and more.

The evening events are scheduled for 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on select dates, beginning November 22, and running through January 5. Prices range from $14 for adults to $9 for children. Yearly zoo members can purchase Wild Lights tickets for $12 for adults and $7 for children. Children ages 0 to 2 years old are free. 

Wild Lights is generously sponsored by Taphouse 23. Located in Bridgeport, PA, Taphouse 23 serves gourmet food and the finest locally-sourced craft brews. Additional support for Wild Lights is provided by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 98, the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board, and 1SEO.com. 

Eco-Friendly Halloween

Most people think that the scariest things about Halloween are the ghouls, goblins, zombies, vampires, and giant spiders that come out of hiding. What’s our biggest fear during this eerie holiday? An eco-UN-friendly Halloween! Sometimes decorations and celebratory choices can unknowingly be harmful to the planet and our animal friends. Below are some tips on how to celebrate Halloween in the most ecofriendly way!

Ecofriendly Halloween tips

(here's what to do)

Compostable items

Decorations like pumpkins and gourds are perfect for Halloween. They transition into November well — hello Thanksgiving, we see you! Once you’re done using them, they can be composted. Bonus points, pumpkin seeds can easily be roasted in the oven for a delicious snack.

Paper decorations 

One way to get the kids excited for Halloween is by giving them some of the responsibility of decorating! Paper decorations are generally easier on the wallet, allow for some creative exploration, and are recyclable! You can come see our black paper bats at our own Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo! We also love these cereal box tombstones.

Recyclable candy packaging 

You may not think that your choice of candy could be environmentally friendly, but it can be! Next time you’re in the candy aisle pay attention to how much plastic is used for your Halloween candy choices.  Lots of candies are individually wrapped with plastic. Other candies are individually wrapped with material like cardboard that can decompose easier than plastic. Some earth friendlier options are Nerds, Dots, Junior Mints, and Milk Duds.

LED and solar powered lights

Lights are incredibly important when we are all tiptoeing around in the dark. Opt for LED and/or solar power when purchasing flashlights and decorative lights. They even come in a variety of colors and designs! These options are energy efficient, have a longer lifespan, and can save you money on your electric bill.

REPURPOSE COSTUMES

Most Halloween costumes are usually worn once. We don’t want to dress up as the same thing we were last year either, but someone else could want the costume. Host a costume swap party to help cut down on the wastefulness of a one-night outfit. You can even put out some craft supplies & show off your DIY skills. Perhaps last year’s Cinderella costume could transform into this year’s witch costume.

ECO-UNFRIENDLY HALLOWEEN TIPS

(HERE'S WHAT TO AVOID)

Fake spider webs & other decorations made with entangling fibers

If you like to use these as decorations, keep them inside your home. Wild animals can get stuck in them and as they try to free themselves they become more tangled. It is like a human size spider web that catches birds & bats, rather than bugs.

Decorations with loops or closed circles

Animals are curious and might get their heads stuck!

Decorations with tiny, dangling, edible-looking parts

Birds, squirrels, and other creatures spend a large portion of their day scavenging for food. We don’t want wildlife confusing Halloween decorations with a yummy snack.

Hanging string lights or other rope-like decorations near paths where deer may cross

Deer antlers are larger than you might think! They can get tangled in the string lights and ropes.

Leaving candy outside & and its wrapper

For houses that leave a bowl of candy out for Trick-or-Treaters, be cautious of how long candy is left out. You may have more than people visiting your porch. Unattended candy can be a hazard to hungry critters.

Animal crossing

We know drivers are already on extra alert for children on Halloween night, but don’t forget about those animals that may be spooked out of hiding due to all of the unusual nighttime activity.

Plastic trick-or-treat containers

Here’s an opportunity to reduce, reuse, recycle, and perhaps even get a little crafty! Decorate a pillowcase or tote bag. Perhaps you can use that old basket that collects unread magazines in the bathroom. You can even dig out an old oversized purse! Many items that you already own will hold candy. Save money and the planet by refraining from plastic usage.

Written by Christa Fryling

Wild Lights

Purchase Tickets

 

See the zoo in a whole new light!  Embark on a self-guided nighttime holiday experience that features animated light installations, music, and themed stops along the way. Follow our tree-lined path as you stroll through Disco Ball Way, Candy Cane Lane, and Santa’s Workshop. End your unforgettable night with a visit with Santa’s reindeer. Wild Lights is generously sponsored by 1SEO.com, Philadelphia’s leading I.T. support and digital marketing firm.

Wild Lights will also feature the following attractions:

Santa’s Workshop will be open to guests, where they can meet and take photos with the big man himself

Santa’s live reindeer return to the zoo for guest greetings and photos.

Experience Treetop Adventures like never before! Zip line over the bison exhibit in a glowing harness that interacts with select light installations.

Bubby’s Dessert Party features Elmwood Park Zoo’s bison mascot helping guests to an assortment of delicious holiday treats, a hot chocolate bar, and gingerbread men decorating stations.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join us on Wednesday, December 5th from 5-7pm for our annual Tree Lighting Ceremony!

We’ll get in the holiday spirit with visits from Santa and his reindeer, animal meet & greets, crafts, s’mores, and more!

Thanks to MetroPCS and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery for sponsoring this event.

Choosing LEDs for your Holiday Lights

From our holiday Wild Lights displays, to the lights you decorate your home with, to the strands that circle your tree, the holiday season is filled with LIGHTS! While these are often a festive indicator of the excitement to come, the large amount of lights being used can take a toll on your energy bill, and the environment at large. Fortunately for businesses and consumers, LEDs are readily available, and are growing in popularity. 

What's the deal with LEDs?

LED lights use “light-emitting diodes” instead of filament to create their light. LEDs don’t burn out like traditional bulbs, and don’t get hot to the touch- making them a safer choice inside and outside the home! Though they may cost a bit more up front, their value lasts for years, as they are known to be more durable than traditional lights.

Do they really save more energy?

Absolutely! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs! While other bulbs can use produce up to 90% of their energy as wasted heat, LEDs don’t get hot to the touch! Aside from saving so much energy, LEDs can last 25x as long as standard bulbs! That’s a win-win!

Untitled design-2

LED lights have come a long way in recent years. What once were piercing blue-toned lights that were not pleasing to the eye, now exist in a variety of styles and colors! While you may pay a bit more for them initially, LED lights help cut down on environmental impact during the holidays because of the energy they save. Your wallet will thank you when your winter energy bill comes!

Source: The Spruce

Written by Ali Chiavetta

Palm Oil-free Halloween candy

You can do your part to help by only supporting companies that make sustainable, palm-oil free candies this Halloween.

Go the extra mile and help write letters to ask large companies to stop using unsustainably-sourced palm oil! 

Our friends at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo made this helpful PDF to use as a template when writing your letter! 

You can also download their sustainable palm oil shopping app to help you make easier decisions when you’re in the grocery store! 

Learn more about what’s being done around the world through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil HERE.