Rotary Winter Wonderland

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Rotary Winter Wonderland showers you with brillant holiday lights!

This year I am on a quest to find new holiday traditions to share with friends and family.  This past Sunday, I added the Rotary Winter Wonderland to my list of Christmas events to check out.  This spectacular light show is set up at the Wildwood Zoo in Marshfield, Wi and runs from November 24th through December 31st.  The Wonderland is open from 5pm to 9pm.


My mom, Eddie and I loaded into George Blue Thunder and headed to Marshfield.  From Wausau, it is a fairly simple drive and we arrived within an hour.   Parking spaces were limited and the only accessible parking spot was taken.  However, we did manage to find a space by the gate where I could unload my wheelchair.  My mom was able to find a spot quickly and we were on our way!



Guess what?  People with special needs can park in the zoo during the Rotary Winter Wonderland hours!  Of course, we made this discovery after the fact!  Parking in the zoo is not only a time saver, but is also definitely safer!  Enter the zoo at the drive thru entrance.  Volunteers who are collecting food will direct you to the designated area.  They will not only assist in parking, but will also make sure you are able to exit your vehicle safely!  When leaving, the volunteers will escort you back to your car and help control traffic as you exit!



The Rotary definitely put the “Awe” into “Awesome” when creating this wonderland!  From the moment I rolled in, I was captivated by this breathtaking light display.  I did not know where to look first, there was so much to see.  To give you an idea of how incredible this is, 1.5 million LED lights encompass this small zoo!  Yes, 1.5 MILLION!!




Even the Grinch’s “two sizes too small” heart would swell with Christmas Spirit walking through the Rotary Winter Wonderland.  Christmas music played throughout the zoo, adding to the light display.  Watching the delight on the faces of the children filled me with joy.  This is truly what the holiday is all about, spending quality time with those we love.


Light display if always better with a friend!!


By design, the Wildwood zoo is quite accessible.  The pathways are wide and paved.  Although it has snowed several times, the pathways were cleared allowing for full accessibility.  However, I discovered that despite full accessibility, I still ended up getting stuck multiple times.  Can I blame the lack of cleared pathways? No.  Can I blame the nightfall making it difficult to see? No, remember the 1.5 million LED lights?  I guess I can only blame my poor driving skills!  Thankfully, Eddie added the muscle needed to pull me out!


Rotary WInter Wonderland Light Display
Breast Cancer Ribbon

This is the 12 year anniversary for the Rotary Winter Wonderland.  The addition of local talent this year has enhanced the experience.  Live Music will fill the Gingerbread House (aka the Gazebo).  Here are the remaining acts:

Fri 12.22- The Chamber Chorale
Sat 12.23- Maisie Cramer
Thurs 12.28- Ben Chitek
Fri 12.29- Montana Smith
Sat 12.30- Harps & Heals
Sun 12.31- Maisie Cramer





Additionally, free horse drawn carriage rides are available on Saturday nights.  This is a first come, first serve deal.  So get there early to experience a beautiful winter carriage ride.  No winter walk is complete without hot chocolate, so dont forget to stop at the Special Needs Troop 345 Booth for some goodies!  A Christmas event would not be complete without a visit from Santa!  Check out the website for the times.

Hot chocolate, hot cider, coffee and cookies are available for sale!


Th Rotary Winter Wonderland not only provides a spectacular holiday experience for families, it also provides food for local families in need.  There is no charge for the Rotary Winter Wonderland.  However, they do request a food or cash donation.  Over the past 11 years, the Rotary has collected over 500,000 pantry items for 29 food pantries in Marshfield and the surrounding areas.  What a wonderful way to provide for so many.

 I highly reccommend adding this holiday event to your family tradition, I definitedly will be adding it to mine.


Until next time, Keep Rollin’ and Keep Smilin’!


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2 thoughts on “Rotary Winter Wonderland”

  1. So glad to see that you and your family had a wonderful experience here. Your review is so helpful; I want to go! Warm wishes to you and your mom and family for a lovely holiday season.

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