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Bundle up in your beanies and scarves, then grab a friend, family member, or significant other and trek to LA Zoo Lights! Come discover holiday magic of lights, music, and joy as thousands of twinkling lights brighten up the evening in beautiful displays. It’s a different type of jungle from the daytime zoo experience.
Even moments before entering the main gates, guests are greeted with dazzling snowflakes each with a special animal motif. A brilliant tree spirals in the middle of the entry plaza surrounded by animal images. To the side are a laser and light garden walk through passing flowers and crocodiles. Illuminated garlands hang high above the International Marketplace. Beyond that, the Jungle Garden roars to life with tigers, gorillas, flamingos, and prairie dogs.
Santa Claus himself has set up shop at his L.A. Outpost surrounded by hot coco, churros, radiating rose garden, and flickering Christmas tree.
We recommend proceeding to the right of the path towards the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel. A gorgeous photo backdrop awaits your arrival. Rainforest Ribbits is home to a pond surrounded by water lilies, frogs, and dragonflies. The Blue Forest guides you to the Twinkle Tunnel for illuminated selfies. Then exit this area past the Electric L.A.phants and Starry Lights with their video projection images of holiday cheer.
Backtrack to “Deck the Halls With Disco Balls” and keep straight into Wonderland Walkabout. Stain-glass images of favorite animal silhouettes are found beside the pathway along with glowing butterflies. The dead-end gives way to the Holiday Light Wall with its programmed multi-colored wall of light synched to holiday music.
The best way to end the evening is walking through The Luminous LAIR as it concludes with a water and laser show. It’s hard to miss the LAIR now adorned with a giant multi-colored glowing serpent on top of the building. After visiting the live snakes, exit outside to a giant spider-web light display alongside the oversized arachnid.
Now for the best water, light, and laser show in the zoo comes “Splashes of Light” to end the evening on a high note. The show is approximately 5 minutes long with 5-minute intervals. So guests would not have to wait very long for each show. The best view is anywhere against the fence viewing into the show. The show packs quite a punch with the limited space and effects it uses. But they are all used to the best advantage. The multi-colored laser animation and scrolling words really do have crystal clarity.
The LA Zoo Lights is an excellent alternative to the hustle and bustle of theme parks with their holiday offerings. The atmosphere is charming and the vibe is serene. The Christmas music was also not so overbearing and hitting you over the head. There are quiet moments between the designated light displays. It makes you joyfully anticipate what’s next to see around the corner. Each decoration feels like a selfie and Instagram worthy moment. There was no pushing, shoving, or rushing to go from point A to B. Take in the moment with leisure and tranquillity. It’s a good place to come and clear your mind and breathe in the fresh chill air.
LA Zoo Nights runs every evening until January 5, 2020. Closed December 24 and 25, 2019. Opens 6pm-10pm. Admission at $15 per person is a reasonable value to spend a couple of hours with loved ones for a bright and shiny holiday outing.