Now through January 8th, join the roar and wonder of lights at L.A. Zoo Lights. The Los Angeles Zoo’s now-traditional, always dazzling holiday offering is a justifiably popular replacement for the DWP Holiday Light Festival, a drive through that once called Griffith Park home.
The Zoo display is a delightful crowd pleaser, with a cheerful color palette, a rain forest canopy, recycled water bottles recreated as illuminated frogs – all fantastic fun for all ages. Adults, babies in strollers – grab a churro or a hot chocolate or cocktail and enjoy.
Silver birds soar through one of our favorite sections, all purple lights and shimmering mirrored disco balls.
Flamingos as lithe as pink musical notes hop; neon meerkats dazzle.
Entering along a path lit by large glowing holiday ornaments sets the stage for what’s to come, an animal-centric, whimsical display of illuminated critters.
In a new and more easily viewable location this year are crowd-favorites like elephant statues illuminated with a changing pattern of designs from Christmas sweaters to sparkling lights to tribal markings. Santa and his live reindeer continue to charm children.
The now-open LAIR reptile house makes a fascinating stop and a good way to step out of chilly night air. Friendly docents explain what these nocturnal critters do.
Around the corner an even more spectacular water and light show this year runs in fifteen minute intervals, creating glowing surreal images out of the mist.
Palm trees become multi-colored and fanciful, a parade of Christmas trees vies for attention with alligators and rhinos, and there are tunnels of lights leading into and out of the Hollywood scene that concludes the exhibit, with a Hollywood-premiere red carpet, and illuminated images of the Hollywood Bowl, freeways, and Capitol records.
Two hours allows for a leisurely look and a quick cup of cocoa, stay longer to visit Santa.
L.A. Zoo Lights runs 7 days a week through January 8th, from 6 to 10 p.m. , closed December 24 and 25. Don’t miss the Family New Year’s Eve celebration, with express entry to L.A. Zoo Lights, a dinner buffet with soft drinks and dessert, a carousel ride, games, DJ dance party, and live broadcast of the Times Square ball drop.
More details and tickets can be found here. The L.A. Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Dr. in Los Angeles.
- Genie Davis; photos Genie Davis, Jack Burke