If you're looking for a weekend road trip this summer, head no further than our capitol city. Des Moines offers a lot of exciting entertainment options, including the popular Blank Park Zoo. 

Ever since our kids were little, my wife and I have enjoyed taking them to the zoo. As an adult, I don't think your wonderment of wildlife ever leaves you. Pair that with the sense of awe you feel when you're watching fireworks or looking at Christmas lights, and that's how you'll feel after a relaxing evening at the zoo checking out this unique attraction.

Enjoy a wild weekend in Des Moines at the zoo

As the Blank Park Zoo's website describes it, the "Wild Lights Festival" has "over 35 larger-than-life illuminated animal (and plant) shaped Asian lanterns designed and fabricated by artisans".  "Over three million people have enjoyed Tianyu Arts and Culture festivals around the country." - (keep scrolling for photos)

Will the real animals be out for viewing?

Unfortunately, most of the animals are not available for viewing. The zoo's website says it's for the safety of the animals, staff, and visiting public. However, a handful of animals like the flamingos, seals, rhinos, and the donkey and goats in the petting zoo will out for your enjoyment.

It's your last chance to see the displays this weekend

Don't miss out, the festival's last days are this Wednesday through Memorial Day from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. Of course, the darker it gets, makes for the best viewing of the lights. Make sure to allow at least an hour (or two) so you have enough time to see all the displays (we made two trips around the park!).

Support this important fundraiser for the Blank Park Zoo

Keep in mind, this event has a limit of 50% of regular zoo capacity. Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance if possible by clicking here. It will save you time at the door, and assure your entry (last Friday and Saturday night were sold out). Masks are not required, but they do ask that you social distance from other groups when possible.

Scroll down for a virtual tour, then go see it for yourself in-person this weekend.


Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo's Wild Lights Festival - Photo Gallery

Young and old will love Blank Park Zoo's Wild Lights Festival, going on Wed. May 26th through Mon. May 31 (Memorial Day).

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