Phoenicians have much to envy about winters on the East Coast. Pretty much all holiday imagery, from snow to pine trees, originates in colder climates. Hollywood would have you believe the holidays are about wool coats, fuzzy gloves, hot cocoa and frozen noses. The fact that we can wear little more than a light sweater and drink a cold beverage outside in the dead of winter doesn’t quite play into that stereotype.
But we do have one leg-up in the competition. Each year, the Phoenix Zoo brings out 3.5 million lights and 600 animal-related light displays for Zoolights, showing off the luminescence of the animal kingdom as the resident tigers, elephants, and monkeys sleep.
Not all of them zonk out for the event, though. Live animal demonstrations, camel rides and close encounters with stingrays take place throughout the park. Now in its 20th year, Zoolights has created a Valley holiday tradition all its own.