A trip to the Akron Zoo can be a bit on the wild side.

And now it can be a bit groovy, too.

Starting this weekend, the zoo is turning on laser lights at night on select weekends so guests can experience the place in a new way.

After it gets dark, the Legends of the Wild area and the Komodo Kingdom are open for families to explore. They have added some 50 laser projectors, a half-dozen fog machines, and special blue lights to cast a whole new light on the zoo.

Tickets are just $5 for the special nighttime Laser Lights. Inside the Komodo Kingdom, there will be refreshments along with a bar selling beer and wine.

A glow zone has been set up inside the building with a variety of activities including photo props, hula hoops and a ball pit. There will be animal encounters and crafts, and kids can learn about what makes some critters glow at night.

Zoo spokesman Vince Jeffries said kids will be given special glasses for the evening that will enhance the laser effects.

"We want to create something that is unique," he said.

In addition to gawking at the lights, Jeffries said, guests will be able to wander around the animal exhibits in the Legends of the Wild area and check out some of the recent improvements to displays in the Komodo Kingdom.

What is kind of cool once the sun goes down at the zoo, he said, is sitting back to take in the sounds the animals make at night.

Jeffries said the event will go on no matter the weather.

"The lasers are really pretty when it is snowing," he said.

The event's soundtrack will have a jazzy feel to it.

"The new sound system actually sounds like a real band is playing," Jeffries said.

Laser Lights runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 16,21-23, 28 and March 1-2.

Jeffries said the goal was to offer a special after-hours event at the zoo that could take advantage of the early sunset before the time changes March 10.

"We are just trying to find other things for families to do," he said.

 

Craig Webb can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com.