Archive: Put a Ring On It at Detroit Zoo’s Wild Lights

Holiday extravaganza proves popular place to pop the question

December 23, 2016

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

It may be cold outside, but hearts are warm during Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo. At least 14 couples have become engaged during this year’s magical holiday celebration, with the help of Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) staff.

Opportunities abound for the ultimate romantic gesture during the annual holiday light display. Red lights swirl to form the words “Marry Me” in a private area of the Cotton Family Wetlands Boardwalk, illuminated at just the right moment as the big question is posed. During one proposal, rose petals were sprinkled from above; for another, a violinist played sweet melodies to set the mood. The cost to have DZS staff help facilitate a marriage proposal during Wild Lights is $150.

“We’re thrilled so many couples have chosen the Detroit Zoo as a place to celebrate this momentous occasion,” said Gerry VanAcker, DZS chief operating officer. “Wild Lights is a perfect place to pop the question because the lights and sights create such a romantic atmosphere.”

Prospective grooms have until New Year’s Eve to ask for their loved one’s hand in marriage at Wild Lights. Call (248) 541-5717 ext. 3301 to arrange a proposal.

Couples can also say “I do” at the Detroit Zoo. Unique and exotic wedding venues include the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, Polk Penguin Conservation Center, Rackham Fountain, Arctic Ring of Life and Cotton Family Wetlands Boardwalk. Visit the Private Events section of the Zoo’s website for more information and to start planning the big day.

Presented by Bank of America, Wild Lights continues through December 31 (except Dec. 24 and 25). Five million LED lights illuminate trees, buildings and more than 200 animal sculptures on a path through the front half of the Zoo. Tickets are $10 in advance and $13 at the gate for guests ages 2 and older (children under 2 are admitted free); parking is $6. The event is open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at or at main admissions and are also available at Michigan Kroger stores.