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Festival of Lights Starts Nov. 23

The Cosley Zoo Festival of Lights runs through December to celebrate the year.

The lights will shine brighter than ever this year at Cosley Zoo’s Festival of Lights, in celebration of a few dazzling new additions to the family destination Chicago Magazine named “The Best Small Zoo” in Chicagoland. 

Enhancements to the zoo include a new butterfly garden, improvements to the aviary, a newly constructed amphitheater, as well as a specially designed and sculpted habitat for two frisky North American bobcats.

“The Bobcat exhibit recreates a natural habitat,” said Arthur Pape, President of the Cosley Foundation board. “It’s a whole new level for Cosley Zoo.”

Admission to the zoo is free for all visitors during Cosley’s “Festival of Lights,” which begins the day after Thanksgiving and continues through New Years Eve. 

Last year, over 12,000 local residents toured the zoo during the festival. Guests can visit with the animals, while enjoying thousands of twinkling lights and dozens of hand-decorated trees created by local Wheaton scout, school and church groups. Hot chocolate, stocking stuffers and holiday decorations, including freshly cut Christmas trees are available for purchase.

The Festivals of Lights is open daily from 9am to 9pm. Lights come on at 3pm. (Christmas eve and New Year’s eve the zoo will close early at noon. Christmas Day the zoo remains closed all day. 

Saturday, December 1 and 8, Cosley Zoo will also offer a special Santa’s Craft Corner, from 10am-2pm. Children are invited to visit with Santa and make a craft. Cookies, punch or a warm drink will be shared. $3 per person donation suggested. $3 fee for a printed photo with Santa.

To find out more about Cosley Zoo and Santa’s Craft Corner, visitwww.cosleyzoo.org or call 630-665-5534. Cosley Zoo is located at 1356 N. Gary Avenue, Wheaton.

Information courtesy of a press release from the Wheaton Park District.

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