Dublin Zoo lights up for Barnados

By Niamh Byrne

Dublin Zoo, located in the Phoenix Park, launched its first night of their annual Christmas lights on November 14th. The night which was hosted by Barnardos charity was filled with Christmas spirit. Staff who currently work for the charity had buckets for people to put money in if they wanted and were dressed up as Christmas animals/ characters, around the zoo in order to raise money for the children’s charity. 

Starting off the night, a light show began on the zoo’s lake just as you enter. A hologram of various animals is shown on a fountain spurting up from the lake. The animals consist of mythical and non-mythical creatures and music is played to enhance the show’s experience. 

The theme for this year’s experience is ‘the Enchanted Zoo’.  At the beginning of the tour, you’ll be greeted with a wizard and will have the choice of three different magical pathways to choose from. Whatever path you choose, you will see different sets of beautiful iconic pieces and stepping through different arches filled with bold lights will make it feel very fantastical. Stopping along the way you will see different prop animals filled with lights. From ladybirds to deer and unicorns, there are many to see. Also along the way you will see villages of gnomes and their houses lit up which are great opportunities for family pictures, or if you want one by yourself like me! All these creatures are only visible from the zoo at night which makes the experience that much more special.

If you happen to need a pit stop, there are a couple of hot chocolate stands to choose from, don’t worry if you miss one or the line is too long, another shouldn’t be too far away. There are also food stands with snack foods such as hot dogs and a candy floss stand which should never be missed!

Ticket prices start at €24.50 for adults and €20 for children, while children under three go completely free! There are many ways to get to the Zoo, but one way is the Luas. The Luas will bring you from Abbey Street and will leave you just a two minute walk from the Phoenix park. 

If you’re looking to do something special with your family or friends where you can feel like a child again this Christmas, this is a highly recommended place and is suitable for all ages. It is a very unique experience and is one that would not be forgotten!

(Photos by Niamh Byrne)