Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights

Spectacular Light Display at Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights

Turtle Back Zoo operated and funded the County of Essex as a public service to the people of Essex and the surrounding districts. Its dedication to offering a fulfilling recreational experience that promotes outstanding performance in wildlife education and conservation so that current and future generations are encouraged to understand, appreciate, and conserve the delicate interrelationship of all living things. Each year, the Turtle Back Zoo puts on a stunning light show for its guests and residents. The Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights serves thousands of people every winter for a free, family-friendly event. Over a million twinkling holiday lights will be illuminated with around 50 animal and holiday-themed figures. Lights will shine on Christmas displays of bears, tigers, elephants, wooden soldiers, stars, and wintry vistas. The Zoo’s mascot, Myrtle the Turtle, and a few of his wintertime pals will be there to welcome guests. Santa photo ops and readings from Mrs. Claus round out the festivities. The fantastic show is something that every family should see.


Featured image for Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights
Credit: Image by Alex Robinson | Unsplash


Unique Events and Exciting Programs of the Turtle Back Zoo Holiday

Since its opening, Turtle Back Zoo’s abundance of activities has captivated visitors. Here is a selection of the most unique and exciting events in the Zoo.

  • Holiday Lights – Every December, the Turtle Back Zoo hosts the Holiday Lights Spectacular, its biggest event. Animal-themed lights and decorations transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland. At midnight the zoo stroll will let you greet Santa and other costumed characters.
  • Zoo-vies – On Wednesday evenings in July and August, come out to the rooftop parking deck of the Turtle Back Zoo to watch family-friendly films beneath the stars. The movies start at sunset, and admission is free.
  • The Zoo Camp – Zoo Camp gives kids a close-up look at the Turtle Back Zoo over the summer. Throughout the summer, Zoo Camp offers separate camps for children of different ages. Mini-camps are available at Turtle Back Zoo on several key school holidays during the academic year. These camps are in high demand and tend to fill up quickly.


Tips for a successful trip to Turtle Back Zoo

Hills surround the Zoo, but it’s spread out in a large circle, so you will notice everything as you wander around it. However, if you are on a mission to view specific creatures, the habitat-like displays are set up in regions, allowing you to choose which locations to visit. If you’re looking for a snack or lunch, there’s a full restaurant with many options that suit various appetites and diets and plenty of seats. If you would like to go, you can bring it in from outside, and there are tables for eating and covered spots to eat. It’s also a good size and feels free for a half-day visit. Parking is ample, with a big free parking deck immediately on site. Purchase tickets online or at the door; a yearly membership is available if you live nearby. It is well worth the visit to come in whenever the kids are bored or need to burn off some energy.


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