L.A. Zoo Lights
Contributor: Delia Douglas
We were so excited to be invited to back to L.A. ZOO LIGHTS as it returns for its fourth spectacular year. We attended one weekday night out of the seven weeks of wonder you can enjoy the lights.
Under the stars sets the Zoo aglow with LED lights by the thousands, a disco ball forest, glittering twinkle tunnel, stunning 3-D animated projections and much more.
With a burst of breathtaking new features, this year definitely raises the bar for awe-inspiring nighttime holiday delight, among them a dynamic, musical holiday tree experience, a re-imagined 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.
L.A. Zoo Lights captivates guests for an ideal family outing, meet-up with friends like we did on this night. We did a self-guided 90-minute walking tour through a large area of the Zoo.
Although most animal residents were asleep, we enjoyed a herd of real reindeer in their "Reindeer Village" habitat. Other live animals on view are a multitude of amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles in the LAIR, which also boasts black-lit "insects" scurrying above the rock walls. An inventive collection of 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.
We didn't get to have photos with Santa on the night we were there but he is there on select dates and available for an additional fee in a glittering “North Pole” setting.
We love the event enough to come back year after year! We love the Zoo's hand-crafted Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel which is open during L.A. Zoo Lights, with $3 per person on-site tickets.
We enjoyed our time at the L.A. Zoo and hope you and your family get a chance to get out check out the lights.
Thank you to the L.A. Zoo for the invitation and tickets for this media event. All opinions are of this contributor.
Friday, November 17, 2017, through Sunday, January 7, 2018 (except November 23 and December 24/25)
Awarded USA Today's "10 Best Zoo Lights" honors in 2015 and 2016 – and nominated again for 2017 --,
L.A. Zoo Lights was established by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) as a festive annual tradition to celebrate the Zoo's important role as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species, a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife and a special place for people of all ages in the world's entertainment capital.
L.A. Zoo Lights 2017 presents a "Preview Week" with discounted admission of $10 for all ages (under 2 free), available online only for November 17 to 22 dates, an unlimited-visits Season Pass, exclusive HOLIDAY HAPPY HOURS for ages 21-and-up on December 7 and 14 and a popular FAMILY NEW YEAR'S EVE for all ages. Tickets for members of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association are $10 during the entire run, the deepest member discount ever offered. Memberships are available for purchase at www.lazoo.org/membership.
Returning this year are "VIP Experiences," including two exclusive HOLIDAY HAPPY HOURs for the 21-and-up crowd – “Flapjacks and Flannel” theme on Thursday, December 7 and "Tamales and Tequila" on Thursday, December 14 – as well as a FAMILY NEW YEAR'S EVE for all ages. The two HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR evenings feature "skip-the-line" express entry to L.A. Zoo Lights at 6 pm with a private lounge from 6:30 to 8:30 pm including gourmet hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and specialty cocktails. Tickets for HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR are $75 per person and $70 for GLAZA members. FAMILY NEW YEAR'S EVE on Sunday, December 31, 6 pm, provides an opportunity to celebrate the coming of 2018 in style with "skip-the-line" express entry to L.A. Zoo Lights, dinner buffet, soft drinks, a glass of complimentary champagne for adults, sparkling apple cider for kids, dessert, a ride on the Conservation Carousel, games, DJ dance party, cash bar and live broadcast of New York's Times Square ball drop at 9 pm, after which guests are welcome to experience L.A. Zoo Lights until closing. FAMILY 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, so early purchase is strongly suggested. " Flapjacks and Flannel" is sponsored by Bushmills’ Red Bush Irish Whiskey, and "Tamales and Tequila" is sponsored by VIVA XXXII Tequila.
Media Sponsor KCRW will be on-site with lawn games and family fun on Thursday, December 7, Wednesday, December 13 and Friday, December 29.
Sponsors of L.A. Zoo Lights include Service Systems Associates, 99 Cents Only Stores, SoCal Honda Dealers, Welk Resorts, Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA and ScholarShare. Media Sponsor is KCRW. Denny’s also joins as a first time sponsor and is offering customers who visit Denny’s locations in the Greater Los Angeles Area a free child’s ticket to L.A. Zoo Lights with the purchase of two paid adult tickets starting November 13 through January 7. Complete offer details available at Denny’s locations.
L.A. Zoo Lights' production partner is GES Events.
Admission to L.A. Zoo Lights is $10 with online purchase for all ages (2 and older) and times during "Preview Week" from November 17 to 22. Thereafter, admission prices vary and range from $14.95 to $19.95 for adults (13+) and $11.95 to $14.95 for children (2-12). Children under age 2 are free. Tickets for members of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association are $10 during the entire run, the deepest member discount ever offered. A special unlimited-access L.A. Zoo Lights Season Pass, with express entry privileges nightly, is $49.95 for adults and $44.95 for children ages 2 to 12. Tickets for HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR are $75 per person (ages 21 and up), or $70 for GLAZA members. FAMILY NEW YEAR'S EVE tickets are $69 for adults (13+) and $45 for children (2-12), or $64 and $40 for GLAZA members. Holiday Happy Hour and Family New Year’s Eve benefits require a separate ticket, even for Season Pass holders. All L.A. Zoo Lights events and evenings take place on a "rain-or-shine" basis, with no rain checks issued. Visit LAZoolights.org for details and to purchase tickets. To become a GLAZA member and receive discounted ticket pricing, go to www.lazoo.org/membership or call 323-644-4747.
The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways, at 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323-644-4200. Free parking is available. For additional information about L.A. Zoo Lights, call 866-949-8007; call center hours are 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week. For tickets and more, visit LAZoolights.org