The Los Angeles Zoo’s now-traditional, always dazzling holiday offering, Zoo Lights, is back through January 7th. With live reindeer, a beautifully decorated Santa stop on select dates, and GLAZA’s opulent carousel to ride, this is a family fest that shouldn’t be missed.
Above, a new LED-lit tree at the Zoo Lights entrance.
This year, tots in tow really got into the act, dancing to the holiday music, saying “Wow” to the lustrous display.
Favorite sections of the show return this year, such as the purple lights and disco balls, the pink flamingos, the almost other-worldly green and orange ornaments with sparkling green lights dancing over the ramp that visitors can use instead of steps to enter the zoo.
Awarded USA Today’s “10 Best Zoo Lights” honors in 2015 and 2016 and nominated again this year, new features include a musical holiday tree, a re-designed water show, and a beautiful Northern Lights series of animal constellations.
The finale – after passing through a more-dazzling-than-ever glittering tunnel, replaces the tribute to Hollywood visuals with a new Wild Wonderland that highlights endangered and vulnerable animal species. Faux snow also falls in a fun dance area which every small child we saw was absolutely thrilled by.
The ceiling of the reptile house, open for visitors to explore the exhibits, is more decorated than ever, too.
As to the living creatures at the zoo, along with amphibians basking in the warm light of the reptile exhibit, there’s a lovely aquarium display. Outside, swans sail and meerkats pop up for nocturnal views.
A docent passed a set of shed-antlers from the reindeer, offering kids and adults alike a chance to touch these as well as watching Santa’s friends in their enclosure.
For more information and tickets, click here.
The L.A. Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Dr. in Los Angeles.
- Genie Davis; photos Jack Burke