The Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley is preparing to open a new exhibit that will run from December 3-January 17 and will have massive illuminated animals that people will see as they drive-thru at night. The exhibit is called Nature Illuminated. This magical tour will take you around the grounds of the zoo in the comfort of your own car, where you will see animals from around the world that are endangered and endearing.

These larger than life animal installations were made locally by a company called Landmark Creations in Burnsville. Each of the inflatables is individually crafted using reusable materials. Over the years the company has made inflatables for events on MTV, the Grammy Awards, Coachella and many other major concerts and events. From initial design to the final set up the whole process can take up to six weeks for each inflatable, making this a one of a kind experience. Check out the video below to see how they are made and the sheer size of these exhibits.

The Nature Illuminated drive is ¾ mile long with a 30-minute audio tour. The pace of the event is is nice and slow so you can take in all that there is to see. Each vehicle will drive less than 2 mph and everyone is encouraged to stop, look, take photos from inside your vehicle, and listen along through the audio tour.

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Tickets for the event must be purchased ahead of time online, they will not be for sale at the zoo. The event will be open 5-9 p.m. on Sundays-Thursdays and 5-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Weeknight tickets (Sunday-Thursday) cost $25 per vehicle for zoo members and $50 for non-members. Weekend tickets are $35 per vehicle for members/$60 per vehicle for non-members.

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