Fantastical lights, projections, installations and performances are illuminating Melbourne Zoo this autumn. For two weeks in April the historic zoo is hosting Neon Playground, a new after dark event where guests can enjoy enchanting projections, meet giant glowing puppets, witness bedazzling laser art and explore a neon maze.
Brush up on your low-light photography because this is an event that will and truly attract the Insta-crowd. Dazzling projections are lighting up the art deco facade at the main gate, while inside laser and neon artworks can be enjoyed along the zoo’s main drive (where you can also learn how Zoos Victoria are fighting extinction).
The intricate illustrations of children’s author Graeme Base will be brought to life during Neon Playground. Characters from his 2001 picture book The Waterhole are being transformed into glowing puppets for the event for you to take a snap with. For the daring, Neon Playground also features a neon maze with 600 metres of LED neon lighting suspended from the ground. You may get lost, but we bet you’ll still come out glowing.
Conservation is key to Melbourne Zoo so it’s no surprise that Neon Playground is being held for a good cause. The event hopes to raise awareness and funds for the critically endangered southern corroboree frog, with all proceeds from the event going towards its conservation. There are only around 100 of the distinctive yellow and black amphibians left in the wild so every bit of help makes a difference.
The event will have food trucks and pop-up bars set up by the zoo’s carousel for when you need a break, bite or bevvy. Neon Playground runs from Friday, April 12 until Saturday, April 27.