John Ball Zoo presents IllumiZoo – A Glenlore Tale


Courtesy / John Ball Zoo

Allison Rafferty

For the first time in its history, John Ball Zoo is putting on IllumiZoo – A Glenlore Tale. From Sunday, Oct. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 15, event-goers have the opportunity to walk the zoo and experience a large display of lights and colors that explore the illuminating connections between wildlife and wild places. 

IllumiZoo – A Glenlore Tale begins at 6 p.m. and is a one-mile outdoor trail through the zoo that takes about 45-60 minutes to walk and winds through the lower and upper realms of the zoo. The family-friendly event incorporates projections, LED light displays and audio to help tell the tale of conservation and how everyone is connected to one another and nature around them.

Marketing Manager for John Ball Zoo Darci David said that her favorite element of IllumiZoo – A Glenlore Tale is the fairy garden, which is located near the Zoo’s Natural Treasures building.

“While having a fun time, we hope to create illuminating connections between wildlife and wild places,” David said. “The illuminating tale of how we are all connected to each other, to the land, the water, the air, the trees, and all animals big and small with the power to make a positive change in our world.”

The pathways are both wheelchair and stroller friendly and while real animals that can be seen in the zoo during the daytime will not be incorporated into the event, vibrant lighted creatures come alive at night to help tell the tale of IllumiZoo – A Glenlore Tale. 

Themed nights have been incorporated into the IllumiZoo – A Glenlore Tale experience as well. The final themed night is Tropical Calypso Music Night and will take place on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.

“You will make your way through the illuminated journey to the blissful rhythm of the steel pan drums swirling among marimbas and horns, while shakers complement the upbeat percussion and brassy tambourine,” said David.

Social distancing guidelines will be followed and safety precautions are in place. John Ball Zoo is allowing 300 guests to enter every 30 minutes. Guests are also required to wear a mask when they are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance between themselves and other guests. Washing and sanitizing stations have been added throughout the zoo along with ground markers and signage that will be placed throughout the zoo to remind guests about maintaining 6 feet between groups.

“Using the theme ‘Protect the Herd,’ John Ball Zoo has implemented additional health and safety procedures,” David said. “The most notable change is the request for all guests to reserve a timed ticket online prior to their arrival due to the limited capacity the Zoo will open with.”

For those interested in attending IllumiZoo – A Glenlore Tale, John Ball Zoo recommends reserving tickets ahead of time online for the day and time they would like to visit.