Wild Lights Festival at Blank Park Zoo

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Get Wild at the Wild Lights Festival at Blank Park Zoo

As soon as the Blank Park Zoo’s Wild Lights Festival was announced I knew a visit was a MUST for us. We were lucky to be included in the preview night and I can easily report that this amazing festival is awesome! The displays are beautifully placed throughout the Zoo. We grabbed hot chocolates with Baileys for the adults and regular hot chocolate for the kids and walked the zoo twice, so we could see the displays at dusk and after dark. To be completely honest, we’ve seen the displays in the daylight as the crew was setting them up and they’re really neat that way too. Still, after dark is the way to see them!

The light-up piano and stars were a favorite! 

About the Wild Lights Festival

The Blank Park Zoo Wild Lights Festival is presented by MidAmerican Energy Company. Each year the zoo is covered with light displays all over and there is always something new to see. New for 2023 visitors will be in awe of the 75-foot-long sunflower tunnel and a giant 33-foot-wide octopus. Blank Park Zoo has partnered with Tianyu Arts & Culture to bring a new theme that highlights Asian culture and includes Asian mythical creatures, Asian lanterns, and so much more.


Beginning, Wednesday, March 8, 2023, is when public ticket sales begin! On this date, the public can purchase advance tickets on the Blank Park Zoo website for this visually stunning festival. This includes a one-day sale where tickets will be discounted up to 40% for one day only!  Tickets will only be $15 (choose your date) or $20 for a flex (any date) ticket. After the one-day sale prices of tickets are based on peak and non-peak dates. You can take a look at the calendar here.

Ticket Cost – General Admission

  • Peak – $25 per ticket
  • Non-Peak – $21 per ticket

Ticket Cost – Zoo Member

  • Peak – $21 per ticket
  • Non-Peak $19 per ticket
The way the swans reflect on the pond is perfection.
The giant crab blows bubbles!

Dates and Hours of Wild Lights Festival

Plan your visit any time between April 1st – May 29th (nightly, Wednesday – Sunday plus Memorial Day). The festival is open from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Visitors should plan for 60-90 minutes to walk through the zoo and observe the displays. The last admission is accepted at 9:30 p.m. Please remember that this is an evening special event and animal exhibits are not available for viewing.

About the Author

Ashlen Sheaffer is a proud Des Moines resident who was born and raised here. Ashlen wears many hats: mom, wife, daycare provider at her in-home daycare, blogger and co-owner at The Kidsperts, children’s book author, and co-director and producer for the upcoming play Expressing Motherhood play. In her free time, Ashlen enjoys exploring all Des Moines has to offer, road trips, and adventuring all with the kids in tow. Ashlen is super excited to be able to share some of her family’s adventuring with other Iowans and get other families out into the community.

Follow her:

Website: www.thekidsperts.com

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/AshlenSheaffer

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Wild Lights Festival, Blank Park Zoo, Midamerican Energy, Des Moines, Iowa, things to do, outdoor fun, family fun

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