L.A. Zoo Lights 2015 is Open Through Sunday, January 3, 2016 Including FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE For All Ages



L.A. ZOO LIGHTS, which heralds a new standard for nighttime magic at the Los Angeles Zoo through Sunday, January 3, 2016, is named one of the “Best Zoo Lights 2015” in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards.  10Best local experts and editors picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.  L.A. ZOO LIGHTS, in only its second year, was selected #10.  An instant hit when it debuted last year, attracting more than 170,000 people, the dazzling wonderland returned in 2015 to top visitors’ “holiday tradition” destination list with a trove of awe-inspiring new lights and displays for an even brighter atmosphere of wonder and delight.

Upcoming is L.A. ZOO LIGHTS’ FAMILY NEW YEAR’S EVE on Thursday, December 31, 6 pm, providing an opportunity to celebrate the coming of 2016 in style with “skip-the-line” express entry, dinner buffet, soft drinks, complimentary champagne for adults, sparkling apple cider for kids, dessert, a ride on the Zoo’s hand-crafted carousel, crafts for youngsters, 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 $65 for adults and $40 for children, or $60 (adults) and $35 (children) for GLAZA members.  Tickets for this VIP-style experience are limited, so early purchase is strongly suggested.

L.A. ZOO LIGHTS sets the Zoo’s enchanting environment aglow with breathtaking displays unlike anything seen in L.A. before, among them thousands upon thousands of LED lights, flurries of illuminated snowflakes, stunning 3-D animated projections, a musical light-and-water show and glittering light tunnels.  The fanciful menagerie of animal characters brought to “life” include mischievous animated monkeys throughout the grounds, a gigantic glowing snake coiled on a roof, a hillside with “snowboarding” iguanas, 3-D animated elephants wearing colorful holiday sweaters, an origami-type rhino lit from within and so much more.  L.A. ZOO LIGHTS is open every night, except Christmas Eve (December 24) and Christmas Day (December 25), from 6 to 10 pm Mondays through Thursdays, and 6 to 10:30 pm Fridays through Sundays and December 23.

Captivating guests for an ideal family outing, meet-up with friends or date night, L.A. ZOO LIGHTS’ self-guided 60- to 90-minute walking tour through select areas of the Zoo – while most L.A. Zoo animal residents are asleep – offers a unique experience that features the only opportunity in Los Angeles to see real reindeer; visits with Santa Claus on select dates; and steaming hot chocolate, irresistible churros and other holiday treats and goodies for sale.  Last year, the first-ever LA ZOO LIGHTS was established by the private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) as a festive new tradition.

In addition to more lights, displays, décor, effects and a larger L.A. ZOO LIGHTS footprint in the Zoo, the event’s biggest expansion this year takes place in and around The LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles), which boasts a giant, illuminated snake gazing down from the rooftop, flicking its tongue as guests enter the building.  At an equally stunning next stop, guests encounter a “Lightscapes: Wild Holiday” aquatic show boasting lighted fountains and shooting screens of water with majestic projections of fanciful animations set to music.  In several special areas are unique sound experiences, including music from Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS – Cabinet Of Curiosities (performing December 10-February 7 at Dodger Stadium) as well as an eclectic mix of tunes hand-picked by local NPR station KCRW.  The re-imagined Santa’s Village is in an all-new, glittering setting, the perfect location for magical holiday photos (available for an additional fee).

L.A. ZOO LIGHTS has again been developed in collaboration with art director Gregg Lacy and Bionic League, entertainment-industry partners renowned for remarkable large-scale installations for festivals, stadiums, arenas, clubs, and artists like Daft Punk, Kanye West and many others.

Sponsors of L.A. ZOO LIGHTS include KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities from Cirque du Soleil, Service Systems Associates, 99 Cents Only Stores, Edison International, Paramount Pictures, ScholarShare and Stella Artiois.  Donors include The Georgina Frederick Children’s Foundation, Beth and Joshua Friedman, Larry and Sue Ivanjack, Donald and Susan Rice, The Shultz Family and the Employees of the Shultz Steel Company, The Simms Family Foundation, and The Marc & Eva Stern Foundation.

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.75 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered.  Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo; one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world; a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants; and much more.  Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife.  The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children.  As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.

Admission to “L.A. ZOO LIGHTS” is $13 for adults/seniors and $11 for children ages 2 to 12 on Mondays through Thursdays (except on December 21, 22 and 23 when tickets are the same as weekend prices), and $16 for adults/seniors and $14 for children ages 2 to 12 tickets on Fridays through Sundays.  Tickets for GLAZA members are $11 for adults/seniors and $10 for children ages 2 to 12 on Mondays through Thursdays (except on December 21, 22 and 23 when tickets are the same as weekend prices), and $14 for adults/seniors and $13 for children ages 2 to 12 on Fridays through Sundays.  Children under age 2 are free.  Tickets are also available for $9 after 9 pm on select nights.  Visit LAZoolights.org for details and to purchase tickets.

This is something that you must experience! My family had the opportunity to check it out over our Christmas break and loved it! It’s really quite unique! 


Photo Credit: SoCal City Kids.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.  5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA  90027.  Free parking is available.  For additional information, contact (323) 644-4200 or visit LAZoolights.org.

Credit: Los Angeles Zoo.


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