Holiday Special Event — Annual ZooLights at the National Zoo!
A Very Easy/Newbie Friendly Sneaker Hike (METRO Accessible)
ZooLights has become a part of the Mid-Atlantic Hiking Groups annual holiday traditions! "ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats, and more. Over more than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland. New this year will be a dazzling light show set to music!".
The pace for this hike is social pace of about 2.5 so we can enjoy the lights but still get some exercise
Thaw our paws in our exhibit buildings and see our nocturnal critters! The Small Mammal House, Great Ape House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, and Kids' Farm, sponsored by State Farm®, will be open every night.
Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel
Begin a new tradition during your ZooLights visit: a ride on the Conservation Carousel! Hop on to your choice of 58 animal figurines, as the carousel highlights the Zoo's incredible research and success stories. It is one of the few carousels in the world powered by solar energy, thanks to a generous donation by Pepco Energy Services. The carousel is a new spin on conservation. $3 per ride.
Zoo Tubing on Lion/Tiger Hill (Sponsored by GEICO)
It doesn't have to be a white holiday season to enjoy your favorite snow games. Lion/Tiger Hill will be a winter wonderland complete with two 150’ long "snow tubing" tracks! Be sure to take the plunge down this magical snowless track. $3 per ride.
Food and Drink
Warm up your night with hot chocolate, coffee, eggnog, and mulled cider. Indulge in roasted nuts, kettle corn, s'mores, holiday cookies, and gingerbread. Get into the holiday spirit with a specialty spiked hot chocolate, a glass of wine, or a cold beer. And everyone will enjoy dinner at the Zoo's restaurants, which will be serving their complete menu plus seasonal specials. Concessions located in the Visitor Center and throughout the park.
Nearby City: Washington DC
Length: 2 total miles
Skill Level: Easy/Newbie Friendly Sneaker hike
Scenery: Paved pathways draped with holiday lights, animal habitats.
Configuration: Modified Loop
Elevation Gain: 60 feet
Exposure: Exposed, not much cover from weather
Traffic: Light traffic on weeknights at the zoo
Trail Surface: Paved surfaces
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Facilities: Many buildings open with water and restrooms available to the public
We hike rain, snow, or shine. Click Here to see an up to the minute forecast for where we will be hiking.
Carpool Suggestions and Information
Note that you are responsible for knowing how to get from carpool locations to the venue. Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is not responsible for transportation to and from events or carpools. Suggested carpool times and locations are provided as a courtesy because many members are either new to the area or unfamiliar with a particular hike or venues location. Please use the Comments section below, or reach out via e-mail to make arrangements for carpooling needs and/or offerings.
Baltimore Area Carpool Suggestion - Savage Station
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore area, people can arrange to meet at Savage Station. Click Here for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Savage Station location.
DC Area Carpool Suggestion - Centreville
To carpool or caravan from the metro DC area, people can arrange to meet at the Centreville Park and Ride. Click Here for directions and additional information regarding carpooling from the suggested Centreville Park and Ride location.
If you can drive or want to carpool from any particular location, please post your offer to help those in need of a ride, and those looking for a ride, in the comment section below. Click Here for a list of suggested carpool locations, each complete with a physical address, GPS coordinates, driving directions and additional carpool information.
For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment — by just offering a ride!
Directions to the “Trailhead"
Click Here for Directions to Where We Meet for This Special Event (METRO Accessible)!
Hike is at 6:00 p.m.
Carpool meetup time from Savage Station is 4:30 p.m.
Carpool meetup time at Centerville Park and Ride is 5:15 p.m.
Fido is NOT Welcome on this Particular Hike
We value fellowship and camaraderie and are committed to practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have a leader for all hikes in addition to a volunteer “sweeper” which helps to ensure that nobody is left behind. We are very supportive, encouraging, with a focus on safety whether we are maintaining trails or educating the public via actively hiking trails within the Mid-Atlantic Region. Sharing what we know and learning from each other is an important part of our core values. As a partner with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (LNT), MAHG also helps educate the public in the principles of LNT, and are dedicated to the conservation of our natural resources.
Let's have good times and see you there!
Did You Know?
• Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group is a Mission Driven Non-Profit. Click Here to Learn about Our Mission!
• Click Here to Chip-In Now and Help Us Continue to Connect People with Nature!
Looking forward to hiking.
Refunds offered if:
Additional notes: Please recall that pursuant to MAHG policy - holiday, holiday weekend/special events are non-refundable. Because most MAHG events are refundable, I am pointing out this exception in several locations to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings. Thanks!
Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.