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Holiday lighting project begins as monkeys ‘escape’ from zoo today

Our neighborhood’s new holiday lighting project is 150 metal-framed monkeys with lighting strips that will hang from businesses and trees throughout Phinney Ridge and Greenwood through Jan. 4. Some of those monkeys “escaped” from Woodland Park Zoo today, as a publicity stunt for both the lighting project and the zoo’s annual WildLights event.


A gorilla, penguin, meerkat, and otter make a run for it with some escaped monkeys this afternoon.

Businesses and community members (including us) sponsored each monkey, which were manufactured with the help of numerous neighborhood volunteers. Sponsors of the project include the PNA Business Membership and the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods.

WildLights officially kicks off on Friday night (although there is a preview tonight for all monkey sponsors and the media) and runs through Jan. 4 (closed Dec. 24-25). It runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m. nightly.

The winter lights festival features more than 600,000 LED lights along zoo paths, shaped to look like wild animals and global destinations. The carousel will be open during WildLights (for an additional fee), and food is available for purchase. Visitors can see real reindeer and listen to carolers. Most of the zoo animals will not be on display, but the Day Exhibit (reptiles and amphibians) and a part of the Adaptations Building (sloths, Indian flying foxes and meerkats) will be open during WildLights.

Tickets are $9.75 for adults (ages 13+), $6.50 for children ages 3-12, and free for toddlers ages 2 and under. Enter at the zoo’s West Entrance on Phinney Avenue. Tickets can be purchased online or at zoo gates during regular zoo hours. (Admission to the zoo prior to 5:30 p.m. is not included.) Parking is free.

Another part of the holiday lighting project is the new “Glow Cone,” hanging from the old air raid tower at the Phinney Center at Phinney Avenue and North 67th Street, which will be lit up at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Neighborhood sculptor Kim David Hall developed the designs for the 17-foot-cone and the monkeys.

GloCone installation1-resized

The cone is hung from the PNA’s air raid tower earlier this week. Photo by Mike Veitenhans.