Our days might be growing darker earlier, but that’s not a problem at the Little Rock Zoo. I can go on and on about how the zoo is important for the state in conservation efforts, educational opportunities and events for anyone and everyone, and the new light festival, GloWILD, proves how lucky Arkansas is to have the Little Rock Zoo.
This is the season for light trails and drive-thru light festivals, but the zoo puts a special twist on the tradition tying in their beloved residents. GloWILD features handcrafted, silk-covered lanterns in the shape of gorgeous animals. Lit with more than 50,000 LED lights, you can imagine how vibrant the colors and scenes are against the dark hours of the evening.
“[GloWILD] is a beautiful nighttime holiday light show, and it’s like nothing Arkansas has seen before,” Little Rock Zoo Director Susan Altrui shares. “Hand-crafted by artisans, the show is larger than life.”
Not only were the lights beautiful, but a few were animated as though they were coming to life before our eyes. The peacock, in particular, was magnificent as it spread its tail detailed in striking colors of blue, green and red. I was blown away to say the very least.
If you’re looking for cute, the pandas are right up your alley. The glowing bears were dancing, climbing on bamboo shoots and playing on a see-saw — they were so adorable I wanted to take one home!
“Every single part of the show is spectacular, but the tigers are especially beautiful,” Susan says. “The octopus is also one of my favorites. We don’t have very many sea animals at the zoo, so I think it’s special to show this different world of aquatics.”
The animals may have been the main feature, but the accents to the sets were just as breathtaking. The small details of the plants to the playful props added layers to the excitement. There were even full flower scenes full of color and depth transporting us to a magical wonderland. I don’t think I ever stopped “ooh” -ing and “ahh” -ing at each new sight on the trail.
The photo opportunities are endless in a setting as beautiful as this. There are plenty of areas for groups to take a few pictures for social apps and insane selfie moments. Any age can enjoy this experience, from babies to your great-great-grandmother. I brought my teenage daughter and she had a great time walking through the lights, taking photos and meeting animals.
“Cafe Africa is open during the GloWILD hours and we will also have an international market,” Susan says. The World Market has festival-inspired handmade artisan crafts and the Safari Trader Gift Shop has goods to symbolize the memories made. “There really is something for everyone.”
The Little Rock Zoo is a staple for Arkansas that we need to continue supporting. Conservation and the preservation of endangered species is vital to keeping our planet alive and healthy. Helping the zoo achieve these goals is as easy as attending this one-of-a-kind show.
GloWILD will run from Nov. 4 through Jan. 15, 2022. If for some reason you don’t have a chance to visit this year, though you should definitely make every effort to, the zoo is hoping to expand the show and bring it back as a new tradition for the following years. Wherever you are, in the state or across the world, this show is a must-see.
GloWild dates to mark on your calendar:
November: 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
December: 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
January: 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15
READ MORE: Arkansas Christmas Event Calendar 2021