Holiday Lights Spectacular Returns to Turtle Back Zoo (Photos)

Admission is free to this family-friendly annual event.


The annual Essex County Holiday Lights Spectacular has returned to the Turtle Back Zoo for a sixth year.

The exhibit features 50 animal and holiday-themed figures including bears, tigers and elephants illuminated by over 100,000 lights, along with holiday lights designed to look like wooden soldiers, stars and winter scenes, according to a release from the office of Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. 

“Turtle Back Zoo will be turned into a Winter Wonderland, with extraordinary seasonal lighting exhibits and costumed characters," DiVincenzo said in a press release. "Stroll the landscaped paths of our zoo and admire the illuminated images of everything from toy soldiers to penguins."

The exhibit is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Admission is free.

In addition to the lights exhibit, several other animal exhibits will be open, including the Essex Farm, Tam-ring Gibbons Reserve, Tropical Currents Aquarium and the Reptile Building.  Parents can also bring their kids to have their picture taken with Santa Claus this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Essex County Holiday Lights Spectacular is sponsored by Covanta Energy, PSE&G, the Zoological Society of New Jersey and the Essex County Parks Foundation


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