SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– The Holiday Nights at the Zoo are back at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo giving visitors a chance to take in the wildlife at night while enjoying incredible light displays, rotating entertainment, and even visits from Santa!

The unique, family-friendly experience was created with the help of local students from the ITC P-Tech Program that designed and executed a light exhibit of their own again this year. 

“Being able to come here and see people walk by and say how cool it is, it feels good,” said ITC junior Zymer Douglas who helped to create the Primate Park-themed display. 

The students spent over a month learning about the wildlife at the zoo and then using their research to inspire designs to showcase the animals in a creative light display. From swinging monkeys to a tiger and a bear the students took the manufacturing and electronic skills they’ve learned in the classroom to bring the animals to life. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for them to be able to display the skills that they’re learning within the classroom and again apply those in real-world applications and to use their creativity,”

Scott Lane, ITC P-Tech Coordinator

“The youth of our community have brilliant minds and the dedication they put to making the detailed designs that they did was phenomenal,” Executive Director of Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Carrie Large said.

This collaboration is just one of the many local partnerships the Friends of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo have for the event. Holiday Nights also features live entertainment from ice carving sculptors, holiday carol performances, and stilt walkers from CircOvation. Fire pits are available to warm up visitors and hot chocolate and smores kits are available for purchase. One dollar from each hot chocolate purchase goes to benefit the United Way of Central New York.

The event continues on Fridays and Saturdays for the first three weekends of December. You can purchase tickets online here