..Is totally worth the late bedtime.
My kids go to be at 7.30, they may not go asleep at that time – I’m looking at you Hannah, but that’s bedtime. I’m a stickler for routine.
The invitation for Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo said gates at 6pm and something about a lighting ceremony at 8pm. I’ll be honest, I wrestled with keeping them up late and going.
Every now and then it’s worth breaking the rules and Wild Lights was definitely worth the not so happy camper I had to wake on Thursday morning for creche after a sugar fuelled late night before.
So on Wednesday evening off we trotted. Myself, Joey, Ois, Hannah, my brother Jeff, an electrician who nearly lost his mind by the way and my seven year old nephew, Zach. All six of us wrapped up in hats, scarfs and warm coats excitedly headed to the gates of Dublin Zoo. Surely we wouldn’t all love it, would we?
As we turned the corner to the entrance road of the Zoo we were met by the first taste of the spectacular ahead of us. The Wild Lights sign, surround by animals lit the way and excitement was at fever pitch and that was just my brother Jeff the electrician.
As you walk through the entrance of Dublin Zoo I dare you not to be taken aback by the pink apparition like scene that greets you across the lake. Everyone, young and old all instantly race to the railings for a closer inspection. Right from the start it was clear we were for a real treat. As people feasted their eyes on the sprawling display of pink, red and green at the far side of the lake you could hear the awe:
“Look at the pink balls Mammy, so sparkly! Ah Wooooow” – Oisin 2 years 11 months
We began to wander anti-clockwise to the usual way you would walk in Dublin Zoo and you can’t help but audibly exclaim as you’re met with draping white lights, red chinese silk lanterns following by vivid fushia pink flowers.
Then you’re met with the silk animals lighting your way along the trail. A troop of Monkeys, a pandemonium of parrots and their array of colour, the bright pink in the flurry of flamingos. I’ve never experienced anything like it.
15ft, maybe even 20ft giraffes frames the performance stage, and though it was a little crowded when we arrived to watch the show, it was nothing that a quick lift onto Daddy’s shoulders couldn’t solve to catch some of the performances.
As amazed as I was, the rest of my gang were equally memorised. Ois ran along the trail, literally leaping with excitement “LOOK MAMMY, A CROCODILE!
“Row, Row, row your boat…
“…If you see a crocodile don’t forget to SCREAM” followed by applause, for himself. Hannah, just turning one pointed and said “Wow” all the way around, not usually content to be confined to her buggy, she happily sat back and enjoyed the sensory visual experience as we wandered around.
Zach, seven was in awe, as was his dad Jeff. Both of them discussed the colours, the set up and how the Dublin Zoo residents, the animals might feel about their new short term inhabitants.
Nothing prepared any of us for the Fire breathing chinese dragon or all 30 foot of it. Then we’d yet to see the giant porcelain elephant on the Great Lawn.
I must have been completely taken with it because I agreed to buy Oisín an ice cream at 8pm. That sugar still was searing through his veins at 10pm.
Honestly though, lesson learnt, sometimes it’s worth breaking routine. We had the most magical family time, Wild Lights is an absolute stunning way to spend an evening. Young, old and everyone in between will love it. I guarantee you’ll find yourself standing somewhere along the trail and saying, out loud WOW! I know we all did.
Oisín keeps asking to go back and we’ll definitely bring him back before it ends in January. Check me out, one night out of routine and I’ve gone rogue.
All the details you need at here
The pictures don’t even nearly give the lights the justice they deserve, just wait until you see them in real life – magic.