Zoo Lights vs. Starry Nights

The battle begins for the best Christmas lights in town. Christmas lights are one of the unique things that you never get too old for. Whether it’s a huge light display, or a simple row of lights on someone’s home, everyone appreciates the work and beauty of well-placed Christmas lights. Luckily for Memphians we have two major options when looking to get in the holiday spirit via light show. Starry Nights is held in Shelby Farms and Zoo Lights in Overton ParkChannel your inner Griswold, because here are the results:
Round 1: Weather 
Winner: Starry Nights
My favorite saying about Memphis weather is, “If you don’t like it, wait 20 minutes, it’ll change.”  With our notoriously unpredictable weather (ask Dave Brown) and unusually cold temperatures this year, the safety of your heated car at the drive-through attraction Starry Nights is the best bet. You can even buy tickets online, which will save you time and gas, something everyone is short on these days!

Round 2: Attractions
Winner: Zoo Lights
Zoo Lights seems to only be getting better and better with age. This year includes a 90-foot LED Ferris Wheel, a 200-foot-long tunnel of lights, live reindeer, a new Courtyard light display, ice-skating and camel rides. There’s also something to be said about being in the zoo at night. It’s an exciting combination somewhere between Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Night at the Museum!

Round 3: Food
Winner: Starry Nights
This round was very close. Zoo Lights has funnel cake and hot chocolate, a classic. The edge however, goes to Starry Nights. Since you’re in the car you can bring dinner or snacks of your choosing. You want to eat fruitcake and drink eggnog? Go to it. Better yet, save money and pack a cooler with things guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters.

Round 4: Animals
Winner: Zoo Lights
 Another hotly contested round, but this time the winner is Zoo Lights. The Animals of the Night, the Herpetarium, the Farm and the Aquarium will all be open during Zoo Light Hours. They will also have live reindeer at the Northwest Passage, but the reindeer’s ability to fly remains untested. Last but not least, they have camel rides for $3 for members and $4 for non-members.

Round 5: Prices
Winner: Tie

Depending on how many people are going either option can be cheaper. Starry Nights is $20 per car and is open from 6pm-9pm, 10pm on Friday and Saturdays. Get there as close to opening as possible, as traffic does get congested around the area. Zoo Lights is $6 for members of the Zoo and $8 for non-members. Their operating hours are from 5:30pm-9:30pm. Try to get their as soon as the sun sets; it’s a little warmer and the lines are shorter for attractions like ice skating.

Overall Winner: Tie

With each event having its pros and cons, there is no way to decide which one is the best. In the end the real winner is you. Not every town has two amazing light shows, so go forth and enjoy! Happy Holidays!

For more information here are the links to each event.

4/23/2014 13:36:03

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