Winter isn’t normally a popular time to visit zoos, but the holiday season is the perfect time to head to the Lehigh Valley Zoo near Allentown. From early November through the end of December, the zoo is home to the Winter Light Spectacular.
First opened in 2014, the Winter Light Spectacular fills the Lehigh Valley Zoo with more than a million twinkling Christmas lights. Displays are set up throughout the zoo with the main path following a half-mile loop through the zoo’s grounds.
Along the way, a variety of holiday scenes are set up for visitors to enjoy. One of my favorites was Whoville from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” In fact, you might even see the Grinch around the town.
Another great area is the main stage which features nightly performances by either Elsa from “Frozen” or Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.” Shows are offered twice each night and feature various songs from the movies.
In addition to characters, visitors can stop by one of the bonfires to warm up or roast marshmallows (which quite frankly are absurdly expensive). There are also light tunnels to walk through, reindeer and sheep to be seen, large games like Connect 4, and even human snow globes!
While the zoo’s animals are not on display during the Winter Light Spectacular (like many are at Elmwood Park Zoo’s Wild Lights), this event is still a great chance to visit this corner of the Lehigh Valley and experience the beauty of the holiday season.
Kids of all ages will be able to appreciate the beauty here, but I’d say that this is more of a family attraction than a date night activity (which would be bettered suited for the nearby Lights in the Parkway). Nevertheless, if you want to enjoy the holidays in the Lehigh Valley, the Winter Light Spectacular at the Lehigh Valley Zoo is a great choice.
Looking for other holiday activities in the Lehigh Valley? Check out my top picks for ways to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, PA. Also check out our favorite things to do in Allentown, PA and the best Christmas light displays in Pennsylvania.
Article updated October 2023 for the 2023 holiday season.
Note: My visit to the Winter Light Spectacular was hosted by the Lehigh Valley Zoo. However, the opinions expressed are my own.
Winter Light Spectacular at the Lehigh Valley Zoo
Hours: Open 11/10/23-12/31/23 at various times. Please check site for times available.
Cost:Adults: $16, Children: $14
Address: 5150 Game Preserve Rd