“LA Zoo Lights” Brightens Holiday Season

Photo Credit: Jamie Pham

The Los Angeles Zoo is offering its visual extravaganza “L.A. Zoo Lights” for the fourth consecutive year.

The show, which features a musical holiday tree, a reimagined water show, a glittering “North Pole” setting for Santa photos, glowing “Northern Lights” featuring animal constellations that come to life, and an all-new “Wild Wonderland” finale spotlighting endangered and vulnerable species, opened Nov. 17 and will remain open through Jan. 7, 2018 (except for Nov. 23, and Dec. 25 and 25).

Zoo Lights offers an ideal family outing, a chance to meet-up with friends, or a date night by offering a self-guided 60- to 90-minute walking tour through a large area of the Zoo.

While most animal residents are asleep, visitors have the opportunity to see a herd of real reindeer in their “Reindeer Village” habitat. Other live animals on view include a multitude of amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles in the LAIR, which also boasts black-lit "insects" scurrying above the rock walls.

The animals depicted in lights range from frogs, meerkats, flamingos and monkeys to a glowing savanna with a “stained glass” condor, giraffe, elephant, polar bear, and rhino.

Photos with Santa on select dates are available for an additional fee in a glittering “North Pole” setting, and the Zoo's hand-crafted Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel is open during L.A. Zoo Lights, with $3 per person on-site tickets.

Returning this year are “VIP Experiences,” including two exclusive “Holiday Happy Hours” for the 21-and-up crowd — “Flannel and Flapjacks” theme on Dec. 7 and “Tacos and Tequila” on December 14 — as well as a “family New Year’s Eve” for all ages.

The two Happy Hour evenings feature “skip-the-line” express entry to Zoo Lights at 6 p.m., with a private lounge from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and  includes gourmet hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and specialty cocktails. Tickets are $75 per person and $70 for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) members.

The Family New Year’s Eve event on Dec. 31 opens at 6 p.m and will also feature “skip-the-line” express entry to Zoo Lights as well as a dinner buffet, soft drinks, a glass of complimentary champagne for adults, sparkling apple cider for kids, dessert, a ride on the Conservation Carousel, games, a DJ dance party, and a cash bar, There will be a live broadcast of New York's Times Square ball drop at 9 p.m., after which guests are welcome to experience Zoo Lights until closing.

The New Year’s Eve tickets are $69 for adults and $45 for children. GLAZA members save $5. Tickets for all three “VIP Experiences” have limited availability.

“L.A. Zoo Lights is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly. For more information and ticket availability visit LAZoolights.org or call (866) 949-8007; call center hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

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