Hali’a Bull, Correspondent
Image Credit: Hunter Hournay
It’s not implausible that every college student has a soft spot for animals, especially when it comes to zoo animals. It will delight those students to know that, while it is not possible to adopt a brown bear, you can visit them and many other furry creatures at Heritage Park Zoology Sanctuary (HPZS) this winter.
The holidays bring about joy, laughter, and the opportunity to visit Heritage Park under the stars. Surrounded by a variety of cheerfully colored lights, an inflatable “Olaf” from “Frozen”, hot chocolate, and cider, Heritage Park is the destination to visit before or during Winter break.
For the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University students venturing out after a particularly excruciating batch of late-night classes, Wildlights and Animal Sights is the perfect destination to both procrastinate and destress.
The park is located across the road from ERAU with a marked entrance on Heritage Park Rd. The event runs from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 25, 2022. With music, a giftshop, and an admissions cost of only $10, Wildlight is great to visit while staying under budget. If you happen to be a member of the HPZS community, you can enjoy a visit to the park for a discounted price of $7.
Raquel Gardner, the Deputy Director at HPZS, described Wildlights as, “one of the big events of the year for us, especially for the Holiday season. As we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all the proceeds from any event, any admission, any program, membership, and donation goes back into the Zoo. We love to put [Wildlights] on for the community and are glad everyone can come enjoy and support our collection at the same time.”
Gardner also told Horizons, “If you want to get into the spirit, you don’t have to go very far. You can go across the street, and if you guys are members, great! If you aren’t members, you could also consider being volunteers!”
While the tortoises, a fan favorite, are not currently on display due to the cold weather, a plethora of furry, scaly, and hairy animals await your arrival at Heritage Park! If you are particularly lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the infamous Larry the Peacock. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the park during this Holiday season.