Saturday, July 1, 2023

Living Desert Zoo and Gardens - Wheelchair Accessibility

Glow in the Dark

Palm Desert, CA

April 2023

Kellisa and I had a few days to explore the Palm Springs region of California. Our first stop and adventure would be the Glow in the Dark event at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Our tickets were for an 8pm entry and we arrived a little early since it was our first visit. All the disabled parking spots were taken, but we were able to find an end spot which made lifting Kellisa out and back into the rental SUV easier than a boxed in regular spot.

Visitors could see the colorful glow in the crisp nighttime air before entering the zoo. There was a noticeable buzz of excitement from children and adults alike. By purchasing our entry tickets in advance, we were able to bypass the ticket windows and proceed directly to the zoo where we were greeted by the first of hundreds of hand-crafted lanterns lighting up the zoo. A large dragonfly garden was the first to grab Kellisa's attention and the bubble machine had children of all ages enthralled. 

We spent the next two hours wandering through the entire zoo watching animals in natural habitat exhibits going about their evening routines. Visiting a zoo at night-time is a completely different experience because animals are often on the move away from the heat of the day. The downside is it's a little more difficult to observe animals in the evening light, but Kellisa had no trouble following the larger mammals. The zoo even has an accessible carousel, but Kellisa was too busy wheeling around to stop and take a spin. Next time!

But the highlight of the visit was the unique lanterns which came in all colors and sizes. They weren't limited to one area as they were consistently placed throughout the entire zoo. Not surprisingly, Kellisa was most attracted to the large snake and chomping alligator lanterns. Even in the darkness, we found the zoo accessible without any obstacles other than an occasional kid running around or an aimlessly wandering adult trying to find the best selfie spot. Kellisa has visited many zoos and this was definitely one of the most unique experiences. I anticipate we will be back the next time we're in the area.

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