The LA Zoo Celebrates the Holiday Season with Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights 2017 (All photos by Elise Thompson for The LA Beat)

One of our favorite spectacles, the L.A. Zoo Lights, returns for its fourth year to “shimmer for seven weeks of wonder, awe and “wow!” The lights are on display from 6pm until 10pm through Sunday, January 7, 2018. Thousands of lights fill the zoo, creating immersive displays including a fun, glittering twinkle tunnel and a magical disco ball forest which quickly fills with dancing kids every night. For the nostalgic Angelenos among us, the zoo also maintains a number of original light displays from the former DWP Light Festival, which was a tradition in Griffith Park up until 2009. Exciting new features include a reimagined water show, “Northern Lights” and a “Wild Wonderland” finale.

It’s a romantic holiday date, warming your hands with hot chocolate and taking cute selfies. as well as a great family tradition. The walk up the hill is a little steep, but it is wheelchair accessible. Some areas between displays are not well-lit, so if you have small children, make sure to buy one of the zillions of flashing, blinking, glowing toys available to make the dark fun. The carousel is also open for an additional fee.

Most of the zoo inhabitants are already tucked away for the night, but you might spy elegant swans or yammering parrots. The LAIR is open for you to check out the nocturnal amphibians and reptiles. Of course, you can also meet the majestic reindeer, who are also available to visit during the zoo’s daytime Reindeer Romp. Although the meerkat habitat is the location of one of the light shows, there are no meerkats to be seen, which is probably best considering the loud holiday music. I wonder if anyone has ever studied the effects of the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies on small mammals of the mongoose family.

Zoo Light Tickets, which are sold separately from the daytime admission tickets, are between $14.95 and $19.95 for adults, $11.95 – $14.95 for kids 2 – 12 years old. Children under 2 are free. The attraction is closed December 24th and 25th. Military and AAA discounts, so bring your ID. Rain or shine.

Reindeer Romp takes place daily from 11am until 3pm and is included with your zoo admission. On weekends, the “Reindeer Village” hosts holiday activities including reindeer keeper talks and a rotating schedule of animals unwrapping “gifts” of their own. We regret to announce there will be no reindeer games.



Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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