DALLAS — Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a sucker for animals. Combine animals with Christmas lights and I’ll definitely be there.

Combining the best of both worlds is  exactly what the Dallas Zoo did this year for the Dallas Zoo Lights, a mile-long light display featuring more than one million Christmas lights. I have to admit, I’m a little surprised their website says the route was only one mile long because it seemed a lot longer and took about 45 minutes to drive through.

When we arrived, they scanned our QR code and directed us to the entrance, where we were given light-up Santa hats, hot chocolate, cookies and popcorn. The hot chocolate was served in adorable reusable mugs with lids. We were told we could tune the radio to a station with Christmas music to gain the full experience.

Despite the 2.5-hour drive to Dallas, I was definitely not disappointed. Even my super Soldier, who doesn’t normally enjoy these kind of things, enjoyed himself. There are light displays shaped like zoo animals, such as lions, tigers, zebras and elephants. Some were light displays shaped out of metal, while others were 3-D displays made out of metal and cloth.

All the lights were stunning and one section even included a laser display featuring wild animals. We had the radio going and, while it was pure coincidence, the Christmas music and laser display synced up beautifully.

After the drive-thru display, we were invited to park and check out Holiday Village. The little Christmas-themed village featured vendors selling souvenirs and food, Santa Claus and even more Christmas lights.

My family collects Christmas ornaments whenever we visit a new place. Whenever we  look at our tree each year, it’s like a little trip down memory lane as we put all the ornament up. It’s wonderful to remember all the good times we have had throughout the years. We just had to buy an ornament featuring the animals and lights. We were stuck between a lion, tiger, giraffe and elephant, but the elephant eventually won out.

We also took the opportunity to take our annual photos with Santa Claus, as well as photos with all the giant displays, such as a huge tree and a giant Christmas ornament. Photos with Santa were free and Santa’s helper will take a photo with your camera or phone, so everyone can be in the pictures.

The Dallas Zoo Lights are open from 6-9:30 p.m. through Jan. 2. Tickets must be pre-purchased at https://www.dallaszoo.com/zoolights.